In the not-so-distant past, there was a misinformed school of thought that existed in relation to corporate training. In certain quarters, it was perceived that corporate training was “cost heavy, result light”. The thinking process was that a business could invest valuable funds into training without seeing any tangible return on their outlay. That perception was wrong.
Corporate training has always had the potential to deliver real, substantial and measurable positives to a business. The concept is statistically proven to be sound. The key is in the methodology. It has to be the right type of training for that particular business. That being the case, let’s take a look at the various types and benefits of corporate training available to businesses today.
Different Types of Corporate Training and their Benefits
Leading comes naturally to some people, and not so easily to others. Either way, or anywhere in between, leadership training is vital. Essential skills can be completely developed from scratch, honed, or revised as required. The benefits of a business having the right leaders in place shine bright for everyone to see, so let’s take a look:
• Increased productivity. A trusted and respected leader with the right skills can inspire and motivate their colleagues. Employees that buy into the vision of their manager and are completely on board with a joint sense of purpose will be more productive. Establish this culture throughout a business and success will follow.
• Reduce turnover. Statistics show that 75% of employees who voluntarily leave their jobs, do so because of their bosses. It stands to reason then that a company can avoid high turnover and hefty recruitment costs by investing in leadership training. Put simply, the right leaders lead to happier and more content employees.
• Future-proofing. Let’s move to dispel a popular misconception here…..that leadership training is only for already-established leaders. It really isn’t. Leadership training is for aspiring leaders, middle managers, executive leaders, and anyone in between. Today’s employees are tomorrow’s leaders. Leadership training prepares your business for the future.
This category of corporate training can often be glossed over and dismissed as buzzword lip service. Surface level with a nice title but, essentially, of no real substance or use. Well, it’s officially time to mark that perception as outdated and inaccurate. Why? Simply because communication-centric training brings genuine, business-boosting benefits to the table:
• Building trust. When people can communicate in a free and open way, it lends itself to constructive conversations, honest dialogue without fear of recrimination, and increased collaboration. All of those factors can drive increased productivity.
• Supportive culture. A workplace thrives when a unified and team culture exists between co-workers. An environment of cohesion and teamwork as opposed to an environment of blame and fear.
• The Hawthorne Effect. Without going into full research paper territory here, the Hawthorne Effect refers to a famous series of studies first carried out at the Hawthorne Works Electrical Factory in Illinois (circa 1920s). Similar studies have been carried out numerous times in the intervening years and the conclusions drawn by researchers are genuinely intriguing.
One conclusion is of particular interest. It was concluded that when employees felt their grievances or suggestions were being listened to, their productivity increased. The links to communication training here are obvious. When employees feel involved and empowered to share their clear and concise communications, it increases their output.
With the business world constantly evolving at a rate of knots and the competition becoming ever more fierce, only those businesses that can keep up with the pace of change will survive and thrive. Resistance to change and shying away from innovation is no longer an option. Up-skilling staff with corporate training on how to manage change and utilise innovation is the way forward.
• Increased success of change initiatives. It’s a slightly shocking but sadly true statistic that roughly 70 percent of change initiatives within businesses fail. Which begs the obvious question, why? These failures are mostly adjudged to have come about due to resistant employees and ineffective management behaviour.
The statistical breakdown is interesting. It suggests that 33 percent of management behaviour doesn’t support effective change and that 39 percent of employees are extremely reluctant to embrace change. It’s a no-brainer that the right innovation and change training, by its very nature, decreases those negative percentages. That percentage decrease naturally leads to an increased percentage of successful change initiatives.
• Design thinking. What is design thinking? It’s a non-linear process which looks to challenge assumptions, re-examine and understand problems in order to create innovative solutions. Essentially, it’s thinking outside of the box. As a process, it is increasing in importance with every passing day due to the type of challenges the modern business world poses.
Design thinking can be taught and learned. A business with a culture of design thinking will place themselves in a strong position to stay ahead of the curve, and most importantly, will save themselves time and money.
Roleplay scenarios, complex training manuals, lectures, question and answer sessions, etc etc. All staples of corporate training courses for the last seven decades and beyond. They had a time and place…and in certain circumstances, still do. The world has changed though. We now have technology that can be utilised to revolutionise the corporate training experience. Virtual reality training is here, it has changing everything, and it delivers a whole host of benefits:
• Memorable. Recent research shows that we retain considerably more information through virtual reality training than we do through more traditional methods such as computers and books. What is learned has far more chance of being retained and implemented in the workplace.
• Immersion. This isn’t embarrassingly role-playing in front of cringing colleagues we’re talking about here, virtual reality training is a fully immersive training experience that encourages creativity to solve problems. An added bonus? VR training labs are proven to be considerably less pressurised than traditional training environments.
• Realism. VR corporate training labs immerse the trainees in problem-solving and emotionally-testing scenarios they will be likely to face in the workplace. They can fully test themselves in these realistic situations, learn from their mistakes….subsequently tweaking their technique and tactics.
• Everyone learns. We all learn in different ways and we all have learning-technique preferences. Some retain more information through listening, some find it easier to learn by carrying out physical activities, and some benefit more from visual stimulation. Virtual reality training has the unique ability to simultaneously appeal to all the senses. Its very design lends perfectly to all ways of learning.
Whatever the industry, whatever the specific needs of a business, whatever challenges are being faced, corporate training now exists that can truly make a difference. It’s time to check it out.