Improve training results and cut costs with this advice from our free downloadable ebook Six Tips for Successfully Training a Distributed Workforce
There are many ways to get creative when training employees who work in multiple company locations. But when you analyze them, you realize that distributed training really comes in three basic formats. In today’s post, let’s take a closer look.
Option One: On-Location, In-Person Training
In other words, you select a single location and bring everyone together and train them in the same room. Until recently, this has been the most common form of multi-location training, and it has benefits. By bringing employees or key managers to one centralized location, you can minimize outside distractions and establish a sense of collaboration and team-building.
The biggest problem with this method is that it costs a great deal of money. It requires an event space, travel expenses for trainers and trainees and the cost of time lost when employees are away from their desks and offices.
While immersion into a specific topic over the course of a few days may seem like a great way to train, history shows that this is not always the “stickiest” form of training. Some studies on cognitive load theory (how much information the brain can absorb) show that retention rates just the Monday after a weeklong training event are less than 12%. But bear in mind that top-quality training can improve on a percentage like that, especially when appropriate post-training follow-up is part of your overall training plan.
Option Two: A Mobile Training Initiative.
This approach involves building a team of trainers and then sending them as a group to offer regional and on-site training at multiple company locations. This is a more cost-effective option than Option One, because it brings the information to the people and can reduce travel costs and employee downtime.
It’s important to know, however, that this option requires a significant initial investment to build out the training collateral, train the trainers and cover the costs incurred by the team’s time on the road. And learning can sometimes sill be hamstringed by the same constraints inherent with classroom style training that we discussed above.
Option Three: eLearning
eLearning techniques include recorded webinars, computer-based training (CBTs or eLearning), quick access video-based training, training delivered to tablets and smartphones, and other forms of digital delivery that provide information to the workforce where and when they need it.
There are a number of reasons so many companies are turning to eLearning. It is cost-effective and time-effective. It provides consistency, it is sustainable and scalable and with advances in design, it is emerging as a proven form of training. It is well planned and executed, it can be even more effective than live training classes.
The costs to design, develop and distribute information through eLearning channels can be much less expensive than live training. For example, one study determined that a company with 1000 employees spent over $2000 a year per employee for live training. In contrast, the company was able to deliver the same training content via eLearning for only $35 per employee. That meant that a $2 million annual training expenditure was reduced to $35,000, with no loss of training effectiveness.
Which Form of Distributed Training Should You Choose?
To review your current training and best practices with a Tortal Training professional, we invite you to call Dan Black, Tortal’s Vice President of Business Development and Client Engagement, at (704) 502-0343.