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20 05, 2021

Is It Time for an Update? Why You Should Evaluate Your Existing Training Programs

By |2021-05-21T02:16:23+00:00May 20th, 2021|Uncategorized|

You sit down in front of your computer, ready to start your workday, when you see it—the dreaded pop-up. The latest version of your operating system is ready to install; all you have to do is restart your machine. Of course, there is far too much work to do. You simply don’t have time to reboot and wait for the update. And everything still works perfectly fine, right? Better snooze the alert. So, you click “Remind me later.” But how many times do you select that reminder button? Two times? Five times? Twenty times before you actually finish installing that update? And in that time, your computer becomes less efficient. Applications may slow down, not work right, or stop functioning altogether. And you may be missing out on new or improved features or become more vulnerable to security threats.

But this issue isn’t just limited to your computer. If your company has failed to update its training programs in recent years (whether you haven’t seen the need or have been putting it off), you could be experiencing the same issues within your organization, pushing out employee training that is disengaging at best and no longer relevant or ineffective at worst. But the solution is simple—and a hard reset isn’t always necessary.

Problems with Outdated Training

Like with your lagging, outdated computer software, your existing training solutions may no longer meet employees’ needs. To avoid compromising your employee’s training experience, or wasting time and money on ineffective training, ask yourself these questions to see if it’s time to finally update your training program.

 

Does your training engage employees?

If your training relies heavily on proven ineffective “teach-by-telling” strategies, where passive observation is the only training method utilized, employees may “tune out” and disengage from the training. Learner engagement is largely fueled by motivation, and motivation by relevancy. Does your training include the hands-on, experiential learning as well as feedback and continual support that ensures employees are involved in the training process and understand its relevance to them? Do the employees feel that their needs are being met? If not, the training may no longer be achieving the intended learning objectives.

Do assessment results stay the same?

The ultimate goal of any employee training is to enact significant change, whether that be a behavioral change or improving a skill set. A good way to measure that change is through pre-assessment and post-training results, which can be compared to track an employee’s individual growth. However, if progress is limited or the results show little to no change, it may be time to update your strategy and training to promote growth in the areas you want to see improve.

Does the training result in real-world improvements after the training ends?  

Even if assessment results indicate that employees have successfully understood and retained the training content, it won’t do any good if they cannot apply that knowledge in the real world. If your training lacks context, the ability to practice what they learn, or supplemental communications and reinforcement materials, many employees may struggle to overcome the daily challenges that the training was meant to solve.

Do employees dread taking your training?

There are many reasons why your employees may be indifferent, apprehensive, or disheartened toward your training. But the most common cause is that the training fails to appeal to employees on a personal level. Oftentimes, the content is delivered in a uniform, one-size-fits-all approach, with no way to customize the curriculum to fit their role or accommodate their individual learning needs. For them to engage with the material, it must be meaningful and relatable to each employee, at a pace that is suitable to them, and that uses compelling interactive components to keep them motivated.

Do employees feel frustrated with your training?

Are your training modules long and overloaded with information? Is the course design disorganized or hard to navigate? Is the subject matter complex or poorly communicated? Is there no way for your employees to ask for help or share their concerns? All of these things may be adding frustration and stress to your employees’ already busy lives, where the goal of proper training should be to make their work lives easier, not harder. 

 

Refresh and Repurpose Your Existing Training

If you recognized any of those warning signs within your company’s training programs, then it might be worthwhile to reevaluate your current training strategy and identify where improvements can be made. 

First, take inventory of your current learning resources and ensure that these materials actually support your learning objectives. You may be surprised what you find—and you’ll probably discover resources that you forgot you even had. Before you can make any enhancements, you need to know what you’re working with.

Once you’ve gathered all your assets, pick-and-choose which material can be repurposed. This is also a good time to identify what materials may be outdated, inaccurate, or no longer necessary for employees to learn. As you compile your materials, take note where there are areas in the training program that are scarce or lack sufficient tools and resources to meet your goals. But once you know what resources are at your disposal, then what? In most cases, revisions to outdated content can be performed fairly quickly. However, if you’ve identified problems with engagement and knowledge acquisition, it may be time to modernize its delivery.

 

Go Digital

In today’s world, digital natives expect to use technology in almost every aspect of their lives—and training is no exception. With tech-savvy millennials now making up over 35% of the modern workforce, textbooks, classroom-based learning, and training videos that are not updated regularly are simply not enough to engage an audience who lives in a world of social media, interactive apps, and on-demand video content. Incorporating current technology into corporate training programs is essential to ensuring the format and the content itself will be engaging to all participants. The modern employee is trained best when training is seamlessly integrated into how they already live their daily lives.

Training at your fingertips

You can even further encourage active participation by offering bite-sized microlearning modules that employees can complete at their own pace. Eliminate the classroom altogether by offering programs on already familiar and available devices, including mobile phones, so content can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

Never fall behind

And, as your company grows, your training program will need to grow as well. Rather than having to remove old lectures and start from scratch, eLearning courses allow for much faster updates. You can quickly edit small portions of the content, replace one video with another, or adjust specific activities within the curriculum—saving you time and money.

If you’re ready to stop hitting the snooze on updating your corporate training, then reach out to see how you can bring your training into the modern age.

25 02, 2021

How Does Your Learning Staff Stack Up?

By |2021-02-25T17:12:46+00:00February 25th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Learning staff

Ensure Your Learning Team Can Get the Job Done

A team, of any kind, must aim for the same goal to be successful; your learning staff is no different. Learning staff must have the instructional, visual, and development skills and resources available to deliver learning experiences that make an impact in your organization.

Custom staff resourcing or supplementation for an existing learning organization offers an opportunity to quickly and effectively reach beyond your team’s current capacity. This will save you both time and money. By using learning staff supplementation, your training can work smarter, not harder.

Read on to learn the benefits of learning staff expansion.

Without the right skills and tools, a learning team will flounder. They may fully connect with business partners and understand their training needs but will not be able to deliver training experiences that drive business results. To do this, you must consider the scale of the learning programs you want to implement.

 

Consider the Scale

Think about a business that needs to implement a new HR system across a global team. Beyond the technology considerations, every employee needs to be trained on how to access and use the HR system. This becomes your defined learning goal. But, how do you reach it? A one-on-one demonstration for each employee isn’t feasible. An emailed slide deck with system screenshots and instructions will be lost, misinterpreted, or deleted. So, what do you need?

You need a learning solution that will engage and resonate with employees. A training solution that employees can connect with easily when and where they need it. A training solution that provides the “why” behind the “what” and “how.” This type of program will save time and money in system implementation. Before moving forward, though, analyze the resources you need.

 

Analyze Your Resources

A company’s training resources must sit at a dynamic apex. One where business partner consulting, project management, adult instructional design, visual design, and learning technology collide. These resources must be able to flex and adapt to evolving business needs and help the organization stay ahead of change as well as respond to urgent needs. Now, let’s review each in detail.

Business partner consulting

Your learning staff must be able to talk with business partners to understand the issues they need to solve. They must be able to identify if there is a knowledge gap or an application gap and then speak to potential learning solutions to solve it.

Project management

An effective learning project stays in scope, on budget, and on time. Learning project managers understand the ins and outs of learning development, areas to pay particular attention to, and how to work with business partners to generate productive review and approval cycles. This requires defined scope documentation, timelines, people management, templates, and tools.

Instructional design

Contemporary instructional designers understand and are able to apply user experience concepts and their intersection with content curation. They work directly with subject matter experts to gather, analyze, and synthesize content that meets defined learning goals. Instructional designers use adult learning best practices that respect employees’ short attention span and limited time for training activities. By writing with a targeted voice, instructional designers can break down complex concepts into easily digestible chunks of information. They can create interactions, infographics, video, and gaming concepts that enable information to come to life.

Visual design

Employees now require visual stimulation to engage and absorb content of any kind. Content must look and feel made for them, relevant to their role, and be easy to use. Expert visual designers use an Adobe suite of tools, design layouts, design tools that push training well beyond standard corporate photography. Visual designers can take text-based content and transform it into an engaging and useful presentation, eLearning course, website, interactive PDF, and more.

Learning technology and development

Training development tools have quickly evolved in recent years. To create digital training that functions well on modern browsers, learning management systems, and mobile devices, expert learning developers must stay on top of the latest technology. Outsourced learning development resources can often develop custom video, augmented and virtual reality, microlearning, gaming, and knowledge retention platforms quickly and efficiently. They know the ins and outs of LMSs, SCORM requirements, xAPI, learning analytics, devices, browsers, and application of non-English translations to ensure your employee encounters little to no hurdles in completing their training.

 

Expand Your Reach with Custom Talent Support

People and the programs and tools they use can often be leveraged to do more than their current capacity. However, with impending timelines and constrained headcounts, companies need to look for new alternatives.

With a team of one or a team of ten, custom staff resourcing or supplementation for an existing learning organization offers an opportunity to quickly and effectively reach beyond current capacity. This will save you both time and money.

 

Rent Versus Build

In fact, HR Executive recently stated that a top HR trend in 2021 is to “rent” versus “build” talent. They noted that “as the speed of in-demand skills accelerate,” companies will shift investment away from building talent internally to renting talent when and where it is needed.

 

Modern Staff Augmentation

Custom talent support no longer conjures up images of outsourced and mismanaged technology; paid for, then forgotten. Instead, modern staff augmentation includes highly managed contracted resources who are experts in their target field. Outsourced learning team support works with existing business partners and processes to bring out the best in your organization. This type of talent supplementation delivers training results beyond your team’s current capacity and addresses specific learning experience concerns or deliverables. Plus, there are several other benefits, too.

 

Benefits of External Learning Staff Expansion

Using external learning staff support allows a company to define their talent gaps and then address them specifically, with custom expertise. In addition, it allows you to:

  • Define a budget and stick to it. Budget dollars allotted to learning and development are limited.
  • Implement training that will create business results. Business processes and systems are unique to your organization and are often complex. To be beneficial to your employees’ time, training must capture and sustain attention and address a targeted, not generic, business need.
  • Stick to a timeline. Learning projects often unintentionally grow beyond their initial scope. Outsourcing components of a learning project ensure delivery when you need it and with sufficient testing, functionality support, and analysis of overall learner experience.

 

Work Smarter, Not Harder

By using learning staff supplementation, your training can work smarter, not harder. The goal becomes clearly defined, and with the right instructional, visual, and development skills and people in place, reaching it becomes attainable.  

LHT Learning has supported global teams in learning staffing support with a variety of training expertise. Reach out if interested in seeing how.

 

 

 

 

25 02, 2021

A Fresh Set of Eyes With Contract Instructional Design

By |2021-02-25T17:12:18+00:00February 25th, 2021|Uncategorized|

contract instructional design

Expert Instructional Design Saves Time and Money

Company instructional designers must see content through a lens that business partners cannot. Contract instructional design resources, though, are able to fine-tune this vision through a fresh set of eyes and bring your content to life. Outsourced instructional designers can effectively come in and make the most of your employee’s limited time for training; saving you time and money.

 

When to Consider Outsourcing Instructional Design

Designers of any learning experience, small or large, blended or virtual, must be able to identify the goal of the training and how to get there. And, they must perform a wide variety of skills in order to do so.

In many organizations, functional area professionals across sales, operations, compliance, or human resources are asked to perform this training work in addition to their day-to-day roles.

Contract instructional designers, though, are experts in learning experience and design. They work with business partners to identify the knowledge gap or application. Then, they write and create content presentations in the most effective and efficient way.

 

Expert Instructional Design Skillset

Specifically, contract instructional design resources are experts in:

  • Content analysis
  • Content curation
  • Content display techniques
  • Assessment writing
  • SME partnerships
  • Audience analysis
  • Training goal identification
  • Learner experience techniques
  • Video script writing
  • Technical writing
  • Corporate communication
  • Learner evaluation and analytics
  • Performance enhancement

And the best part? This broad skill set can be applied to any type of organization or industry. If your team is not currently ready, willing, or able to perform this type of work, you may want to consider outsourcing.

 

Contemporary Learning Design

Contemporary learning designers must be able to identify employee challenges and the best way to solve them, without worrying about accomplishing non-training related tasks. They can effectively and efficiently gather, analyze, and synthesize content. Then, by zeroing in on what is most relevant to the learner, instructional designers implement adult learning best practices to get the training effort moving.

Outsourced training writers know exactly how to grab an employee’s already short attention and make the most of their limited time for training. By writing with a targeted voice, they can break down complex concepts into easily digestible chunks of information and create interactions, infographics, video, and gaming concepts that enable the information to come to life.

Whether the final deliverable is eLearning, microlearning, virtual instructor-led training, video, or virtual reality, contracted training writers and designers, deliver training results beyond your team’s current capacity.

25 02, 2021

Skyrocket Productivity with Outsourced Training Developers

By |2021-02-25T17:11:46+00:00February 25th, 2021|Uncategorized|

outsourced training development

How well does your company training developer know the ins and outs of the latest technology and how to create learning experiences that use them? If answering anything other than “they are experts!” it may be time to consider outsourced training developers.

Outsourced training developers can jump into an organization, support a specific training initiative, and then step away – freeing your team of the time and money that would be necessary to upskill someone on any one of these elements.

 

On the Edge of Technology and Application

Contracted training developers sit on the edge of modern technology and company IT applications. They know how to custom code and how to get that code to work in an often-dated learning management system. Outsourced learning developers can develop responsive training experiences across mobile and desktop devices and troubleshoot when company devices no longer support specific browser configurations.

 

Build It and They Will Come

Company learning programs often get a bad rap due to development challenges. Training programs can be difficult to access, challenging to navigate, or faulty in ability to complete. However, if built using modern tools that mimic cutting edge web design techniques, company training programs can become not only more valuable, but more enjoyable. As the expertise of training development increases, the frustration of company training decreases.

 

Rented Training Development

A top HR trend in 2021 is to “rent” versus “build” talent. In the learning industry, this trend can be seen most in training development. Without the overhead costs associated with an employee, contracted training developers can be experts in many training development software and tools along with how best to make them work within various company platforms and configurations.

 

Outsourced Training Developer Skillset

Specifically, outsourced training developers are experts in:

  • Training software, such as Lectora and the Articulate suite of products, including Storyline and Rise 360
  • Training requirements, such as xAPI, HTML5, SCORM, and AICC
  • File types and compression methods
  • Gaming methods and techniques
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Video development
  • Animation development
  • Audio integrations
  • Content and image dimension display
  • Website design, including use of parallax and other display mechanisms
  • User experience best practices
  • Translation implementation and application of non-English translations
  • IT department and LMS provider settings and configurations
  • Internet browser settings
  • Mobile and responsive learning design
  • Knowledge retention platforms
  • Learning analytics

 

Outsourced Training Developers Jump in and Do the Work

These skillsets can be beneficial to organizations with specific development needs, or to a those who still need to understand how development resources impact the ability of their training to produce meaningful business results.

Outsourced learning developers can be used to supplement existing company resources. They have the ability to quickly jump into an organization, support a specific training initiative, and then step away – freeing your team of the time and money that would be necessary to upskill someone on any one of these elements.

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