How to Spot a Training Opportunity for Businesses

Support workers when they need training (and not when they don’t).

Corporate e-learning is a large segment of the online learning industry that faces its own set of unique challenges. One of the biggest hurdles these organizations must overcome is identifying when their employees need training so that they can offer assistance effectively.

A missed training opportunity could cost an organization thousands of dollars in lost productivity, dissatisfied customers, or failed compliance tests. On the other hand, employees tend to resist unnecessary training, viewing it as a waste of their time (and of company resources). Because of this, it’s important for businesses to be able to identify the sweet spot between training offered to early and that offered too late.

Whether you’re a business wanting to improve your internal training or an outside contractor hoping to supply an organization with a timely e-course, here are a few ways you can identify a possible training opportunity.

1. Businesses need a faster way to bring new hires up to speed.

Many industries face a skills gap between the training level of the job market and the requirements of job positions they’re hiring to fill. This happens for many reasons. In some cases, there aren’t enough instructional courses offered in the specific skills necessary for a job position. In other cases, there aren’t enough workers with the right qualifications. In either case, many companies find that the most expedient way of closing the gap is to train new hires themselves.

An online course can fill this need, but to do so it must accurately gauge the difference between a new hire’s actual skill level and where that skill level needs to be to fill the new job requirements. That’s not an insurmountable challenge, but it does mean most organizations need to set the right expectations for new hires.

2. The industry is changing and employees need to keep pace.

Some industries are more stable than others, but all change over time. This is especially true where digital technology is involved. The more rapid the pace of change is for any organization, the more training their employees will need to keep up.

Providing this kind of support for learners is usually an ongoing process for businesses. They can’t just design one course and expect to use it year after year—rather, the course itself has to update frequently to stay relevant.

3. Customer support could use some assistance.

Sometimes the training need has less to do with external factors than internal ones. If customers are voicing dissatisfaction with the level of customer service, that’s a clear sign that employees need more support in handling the complaints coming their way.

Customer service is a sensitive are for almost any business. Many customers only call for support when something is going wrong, and this can quickly raise the stakes for employees who need to effectively manage the situation. However, this can also make it one of the best places for organizations to back their frontline employees with training.

4. Businesses want to promote internally.

Every business faces growing pains as their organization expands to encompass a broader workface, new services offerings, and an increasing market share. While some organizations try to hire professionals from the outside into management positions, this can often be viewed as an unpopular move by employees within the organization, especially early on as the new management hire adjusts to the culture of their new work environment.

Instead, most organizations find it more effective to promote internally. But this also comes with challenges, as internal employees may know their job, but not the nuances of effective management. For this reason, most businesses are wise to offer internal training to employees they want to move into a new position.

5. New compliance regulations are on the way.

Many regulated industries have a requirement for their employees to undergo routine training, often on a yearly basis. These training opportunities are easy to plan for, but many businesses leave it to their employees to manage it on their own. You can help your business (or the businesses you work with) stay ahead of the curve by promoting compliance training as a key initiative.

6. Employees are requesting it.

One of the clearest and most important cases for offering internal training comes when your employees are specifically asking for support. This can happen when they spot an early chance to take advantage of an emerging technology, or when they identify a need for additional learning.

When an opportunity to offer workers extra training comes your way, jump on it. This is the kind of initiative that most businesses dream of. Don’t let it go to waste.

Training is valuable for businesses, employees, and customers.

Identifying a training opportunity in an organization is a chance not only for the business to improve their customer relationships, but for employees to expand their skill sets. Most employees are eager to take advantage of ongoing training that’s relevant to their work, because they see it as a means of expanding their expertise. Furthermore, training support helps employees feel more confident in their jobs, especially when the work they put into ongoing learning is recognized by management within the organization.

Meanwhile, customers are quick to spot—and value—improvements in the knowledge level and service skills of the representatives with whom they interact. They key lies in delivering the right course to the right learners at the right time.

Author

Laura is a marketing specialist with experience presenting at WordPress events in Ann Arbor and Vienna. She speaks Russian and German and holds a double MA (Hons) in History and Russian Studies from the University of Edinburgh.

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