Spending on Corporate Training Soars: Employee Capabilities Now A Priority

The economic recovery is clearly here: spending on corporate training is soaring.

We just completed our 2014 Corporate Learning Factbook and the research is striking: US spending on corporate training grew by 15% last year (the highest growth rate in seven years) to over $70 Billion in the US and over $130 Billion worldwide. (Download executive summary here.)

This tremendous increase follows two years of accelerated spending in this area (10% in 2011 and 12% in 2012), illustrating how companies see tremendous skills gaps as we recover from the recession.

Corporate training is always a very good indicator of economic activity: when companies slow down they often cut training spending, and then as business grows they ramp back up to train new hires, sales people, and leaders. This is among the most discretionary of all corporate spending areas, so it is an excellent bellweather for business confidence.

Spending on Corporate Training

Why the rapid growth? All our research tells us that organizations today suffer from a “skills supply chain” challenge. Not only do more than 70% of organizations cite “capability gaps” as one of their top five challenges, but many companies also tell us that it takes 3-5 years to take a seasoned professional and make them fully productive.

And the skills challenge is huge. Recent research shows, for example, that the Oil and Gas industry needs 60,000 petrochemical engineers by 2016 yet only 1300 graduate from US schools each year. This means that oil companies have to train, retrain, and jointly educate a lot of energy engineers to grow.

A few key facts about L&D spending:

Spending on leadership development remains very high. As in prior years the research shows that the #1 areas of spending is management and leadership (35%). All our research on corporate talent shows that global leadership gaps continue to be the most pressing issues on the minds of business and HR leaders. As Millennials take on more responsibility, companies need to build leadership skills at all levels and in all geographies around the world. (Read more at: Millennials Will Soon Rule the World.)
High-performing companies spend more. Companies which fall into our “high-impact” categories spend significantly more on training than average. So companies who invest in a total L&D strategy spend more per employee than those who are inconsistent. This shows that L&D spending pays off.
Technology is revolutionizing this market. The research shows an explosive growth in technology tools to train people today. Self-authored video, online communication channels, virtual learning, and MOOCs (Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, edX, …) are all growing rapidly as training tools. People still need formal classroom education, but this is now less than half the total “hours” people consume in training around the world. And among the highly advanced companies, as much as 18% of all training is now delivered through mobile devices.

We see significant growth in new virtual learning environments: companies like GE, Motorola, Philips , and others are extending their training budget to reach 2-3 times the audience through the use of easy to use training portals and virtual learning experiences. While most big companies still have a lot of work rationalizing their training spend, the adoption of technology in training has accelerated.

The Learning Management Systems market is also growing rapidly. We estimate that the market for learning management systems is now over $2 billion and continues to be one of the fastest segments of HR software. Every major HR technology vendor is investing in its LMS offerings.

MOOCs are also likely to radically impact corporate training, as branded universities put more and more courses online. (read The MOOC Marketplace Takes Off for more information.)

This is exciting news. While skills gaps (we call it the “supply chain of skills”) continue to challenge companies, an increased investment in training is good for everyone: employees, businesses, and job seekers. This level of increase shows that businesses are aggressively expanding and companies need skilled workers to grow.

Despite a tightening labor market for skills, this data predicts a good year ahead.

For more information about corporate training: www.eFOURlearning.com

Originally posted by Josh Bersin; FORBES ON-LINE…


Listening Makes Technology (and Stuff) Work

2014-04-November-Listen.jpg  Meg Bear, group vice president of Oracle Social Cloud, uses an interesting term when she discusses the role of listening in the customer relationship: humility. That doesn’t come up often when discussing enterprise software, but Bear stands behind it as being a catalyst for a customer-centric business.

“Customers are trying to tell you what they want — they’re giving you breadcrumbs. With humility and listening, you’ll be on to the right thing,” said Bear during a presentation at last month’s Pivotcon.

Humility wasn’t the only quality Bear mentioned. Respect also made an appearance. As did authenticity. What Bear is looking at is a change in mindset, that requires businesses to open up to hearing what may not be the message they want to promote, to listening to the themes and topics that arise in their customer’s (and would be customers) conversations in social forums, and then being open and ready to make changes based on this listening.

It Comes Down to Preparation

Of course it takes more than using these “soft” skills to make a social strategy work. For Phil Colley, social media strategist at General Motors, it comes down to three factors: structure, organization and tools.

Having the structure in place means that Colley and his colleagues are prepared in times of crisis. GM has been no stranger to crisis. When it issued a recall almost nine months ago due to faulty ignition switches, GM’s social channels played a large part in handling customer concerns, questions and complaints. The existence of a three pronged process meant the difference between ramping up and acting versus scrambling to put new processes in place. The process listed clear priorities: informing customers, connecting customers to the right division and keeping GM dealers up to date through digital toolkits.

Colley gives credit to social’s support and integration throughout the company: “everybody touches social.” The company witnessed early on the power of social to connect with its audience, with the publication of its FastLane blog in 2005. With the success of the blog, every brand created its own social channel, its own blog. Social grew organically throughout the company, but it also grew out of control. A governance plan was set in place to aid in alignment.

Alignment was also needed in the technology realm. Before General Motors became an Oracle Social Cloud client, it had “125 different tools, none of them talking to each other, none of them talking to the CRM,” said Colley. The move to the Social Cloud allowed Colley “to focus on what he needed to be focusing on” and opened up an internal social channel for employees to discuss solutions for customers.

Differentiate Yourself

Colley’s assessment of the automobile landscape would probably be unheard of 15 years ago. “The vehicles from every auto maker are very good across the industry.” And yet this sentiment comes up more and more often, no matter what the industry. Businesses are no longer competing on the basis of their products — the differentiating factor comes down to the relationships with the customer.

Bear shares an example of how social listening — combined with the openness to use that input to provoke change — can deliver for customers and companies. A community manager at children’s toy maker LeapFrog started noticing customer comments on a discontinued line of alphabet refrigerator magnets. People missed them, discussed past experiences buying them for a niece or nephew and in general asked “why did you ditch this product?” The community manager brought these conversations from the social channels to product. The company reissued the toy.

For those still struggling for the hard return on social efforts, Bear made it clear that social should not be seen as a standalone item, “Social is an enablement tool for your broader customer goals. They’re tied to KPIs, they’re tied to broader strategic goals.” What businesses need to do when trying to assess the ROI question is ask, “What is our investment in the customer experience and how is that impacting the bigger strategic picture?”

About That Technology and Stuff

Last week Rikk Wilde, regional zone manager for General Motors in the Kansas City area, was tapped to present San Francisco Giants pitched Madison Bumgarner, MVP of the World Series, with a new Chevy truck. When it came time to hand over the keys to the truck, Wilde froze. Index cards in hand, Wilde ad libbed to describe the truck’s capabilities as “technology and stuff.”

PR gaffe? It looked at first like it might be.

But after a few hours, the tide turned. GM noticed the hashtag #technologyandstuff and #chevyguy taking off on social channels as people came out in support of Wilde. We’ve all been nervous before a presentation, but not many of us have those nerves caught before a televised audience estimated at 23.5 million people. The company ran with it, overdubbing commercials with “technology and stuff,” and adding it to the Chevrolet.com homepage.

Sometimes humility means being able to have a little fun, even at your own expense.

For more information contact: www.eFOURlearning.com

Originally published b

Houston Astros hacked, trade conversations posted online

The Houston Astros have been hacked.

The incident affects more than just the Texas baseball squad because information pilfered in the breach – and posted publicly online – relates to private conversations the team had with several other major league ball clubs.

Officials with the Astros were alerted last month that an unauthorized party, or parties, obtained information stored on its servers and in its applications, according to a statement emailed to SCMagazine.com on Tuesday.

Team officials quickly alerted MLB security and, since then, an investigation aided by the FBI is ongoing, according to the statement, which adds that the Astros organization plans to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.

“While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated,” the statement said.

Some of the ball clubs the Houston Astros were corresponding with include the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins, according to two postings on anonymous data sharing website Anonbin, which reveal talks dating back to June 2013.

Jeff Luhnow, general manager of the Houston Astros, held sessions with reporters on Monday and said that the organization is working to upgrade its security to prevent a similar incident from occurring, according to a transcript posted by the Houston Chronicle.

Luhnow, who thought that security was sufficient prior to the breach, said he does not believe the Astros were targeted specifically, but added that he is not exactly sure of the motives behind the attack, according to the transcript.

“It’s a reflection of the age we living in,” Luhnow was reported as saying. “People are always trying to steal information, get information, whether it’s legally or illegally, and in this case it was illegally obtained and it’s unfortunate.”

Mike Lloyd, CTO of RedSeal Networks, said he could not agree more with Luhnow. Lloyd told SCMagazine.com in a Tuesday email correspondence that this kind of illegal activity is further encouraged by how relatively easy it is to execute.

“Attackers are finding [that] complex defenses are badly deployed, badly coordinated, and easy to walk through,” Lloyd said. “All the attacker needs is persistence, and the search for a forgotten, unlocked “side door” into the business can be largely automated.”

To recover from this incident, the Astros should not only shore up the security of their infrastructure, but also improve the logging and tracking of users who access sensitive data, Jean Taggert, security researcher with Malwarebytes, told SCMagazine.com in a Tuesday email correspondence.

“I’m not surprised at all,” Taggert said. “Baseball is a highly competitive game, and the kind of insight you could garner from these private sabermetrics would not only help in trade negotiations, it would allow you to frustrate the future trade prospects of the Astros.”

For more info on Security Event Management Solutions (SIEM): www.eFOURlearning.com

First reported in SC Magazine by Adam Greenberg

Sustaining Training’s Impact

Time plays a key role in business. It has a meaningful impact on how corporate training programs are developed, whether it’s the speed of delivery, the length of the program, the time the learner interacts with the materials, the time the behavior is demonstrated by the employee after the training, or the introduction of tools and technologies that can get information to learners quickly.

Looking across three research studies, I have collected a group of factors demonstrating the impact of time or speed on training programs. Time is a major constraint in the delivery of training – creating tension between desire for shorter training and longer impact.

In the Training Industry and ON24 research study, “Using Virtual Environments for Leadership Development,” 68 percent of respondents cited that sustaining the impact of training is a key challenge. What’s interesting to note is that the drive to shorten the duration of the programs crosses with the notion of effectively sustaining the impact of the program. In this study, we looked at the length of leadership development programs, and found that more than half of leadership development programs last one week or less (see Figure 1).

Chart 11

Interestingly, the companies that felt their program was effective actually had longer programs, ultimately sustaining the impact of training by extending the entire program (see Figure 2).


In a related piece of research, “Strategies for Sustaining the Impact of Sales Training,” we found that continuous training leads to sustained impact. Effective organizations utilize more pre-training strategies for sustaining training and post-training reinforcement, logically extending the program, but making it more impactful.

One of the key problems that these longer more effective programs introduce to the learning management team is the potential for cost increases. Logically, longer programs cost more to support and deliver. So the learning leader is challenged to find new ways to make these programs happen, and we see it in true blended solutions, including face-to-face training, e-learning, adoption of tools such as virtual training platforms, or digital e-readers to make the materials and reinforcement available when the employee needs it, or more importantly, has time to consume it or participate.

Cost and Sustainability

While our research has shown that long-term, continuous training programs are more effective at sustaining the impact of training, cost is still a critical factor in terms of delivery. Using cost-effective resources to leverage information can help offset the cost of long-term training initiatives, such as digital e-readers, virtual training and e-learning.

From the same research on the use of virtual platforms in leadership development, 51 percent of organizations use a virtual delivery platform in support of their company’ program, often cited as one of the soft skills that benefits most from face-to-face, experiential learning .

In another, soon-to-be-published study on the use of e-readers in the support of corporate training programs, we found that roughly 59 percent of respondents currently use digital e-reader platforms to deliver corporate training content (see Figure 3).


Access was the number one benefit of using digital content delivery platforms as part of corporate training programs allowing the learner to access the content at any location, at any time with quicker reach to the entire group of participants. These digital content delivery platforms also provide the benefit of improved consistency and reduce the cost of revisions to the training materials.  Being able to quickly and inexpensively update reference materials or inserting a session on a topic that appears to need more reinforcement allows for improved agility in the program makeup, and potentially continuous realignment to the company goals.

Additionally, effective companies are 50 percent more likely to include self-study online and e-learning training as an element of their leadership development program, according to the ON24 research report. We are beginning to see an increase in the use of blended learning approaches in key focus areas like leadership development emerge in the training marketplace. There is also increasing pressure from the learner pool to provide program elements in the modality they chose. This provides a clear picture for the future direction of corporate learning surrounding key change initiative like leadership development.


The most effective companies are those that utilize long-term or continuous training programs to sustain the impact of training. Regardless of budget, companies are looking for cost-effective ways to deliver the training, including the introduction of digital e-readers, virtual training and self-study into the learning program. A blended learning approach helps the program sustain the impact of the training while keeping the cost in check as the programs begin to span longer periods of time.

For more information: www.eFOURlearning.com

Originally posted by: Ken Taylor, Ken is Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Training Industry, Inc., and editor in chief for Training Industry Magazine.

6 Inspiring Examples of Gamification

When your customers or employees are having fun, it boosts your performance as a company. The concept of Gamification brings a world of opportunities for online businesses to attract and retain users, as well as converting them into buyers and even better… loyal buyers. We’re interested in Gamification because when building our chat tool we also aimed to combine business with fun. There are a couple of companies that we look up to as they truly nailed it with Gamification.

Even though the Google Trend graph shows the term ‘Gamification’ to be rather new, the systematical approach of driving motivation from people to a certain goal through game elements, such as teams and challenges, is literally as old as the Egyptian Pyramids.

Google Trends: Gamification searched throughout the time (checked on 11th February 2014)

As argued by various authors, the pyramids were built under a different structure than what we’ve been thinking for so long. Apparently the number of slaves used for the construction was way below what has been thought, all because of the game elements that were included in the work. Slaves were organized in extremely hierarchical groups with specialized individuals in different crafts. These “teams”, named after their hometown, competed against each other for many different goods. Their victory was based on effectiveness and rapidness.

The first Gamifiers

Now we wouldn’t want to dream of glorifying slavery in any way. However, this example does demonstrate the power of game elements. There are some great examples of modern-day companies that used gamification to boost their performance. We accumulated some of the most inspiring examples to put on display.


1) M&M’s Eye-Spy Pretzel Campaign

One of the great examples of successful participants engagement with an online social game was the 2013’s M&M’s eye-spy game. Framed within the M&M’s Pretzel campaign, this simple cost-effective game consisted of a simple full-page graphic design of M&M’s and 1 small pretzel which users had to find.

Can you find the pretzel?

This simple, cheap game brought huge gains to M&M, with a boost of more than 25.000 likes on their Facebook page, 6.000 shares and 10.000 comments.


2) Club Psych TV Show and Merchandise Sales

Another great example comes from the american TV Show Psych. Marketers for this product decided to create a new platform – Club Psych – which incoporated gamification into their dynamics with the main goal of increasing customer engagement and ultimately increase their merchandise sales.

The Club Psych is a platform with different games, challenges and multimedia resources related to the tv series. By registering and accomplishing new levels, downloads and other resources, players are ranked in leaderboards, are awarded points and can challenge their friends.

When marketers measured gamification effects within the platform they came out with astonishing numbers: overall traffic on their network increased by 30%, online merchandise sales by 50%, page views by 130% and their content was shared 300,000 times on Facebook, reaching 40 million users.


3) Nike + and the Running Experience Community Project

Nike+ is one of the most famous examples of a game that locks a high amount of potential customers into staying in contact and communicating with the company.

Nike+ is an app developed to complement the most unstructured sport on the planet: running. This platform collects personal data from the users and keeps close update on their running activities in order to monitorize and display their latest achievements and overall evolution. Moreover, Nike+ allows users to compare and compete with people from all over the world, including direct friends when connected to social media.

For Nike, this viral game greatly boosted their exposure and customer loyalty. Furthermore, this highly-developed gaming system allowed them to collect high amounts of data over long periods, after which they were able to segment and market their products and services directly. All the information collected also allowed an increase in productivity of the R&D and Online Marketing departments.

In fact, Nike +’s concept has been so successful that the main framework was built upon and expanded by many other businesses. We just want to highlight the entertaining example of Zombies, Run!, a game where instead of competing with your mates, you are running ahead of a flesh-eating army of zombies.

This game combines the main principles of Nike+ with storytelling – a story about a postapocalyptic zombie world to be exact. While you’re out running you’ll hear a voice telling you whether it is time for a sprint to outrun a hungry zombie mob.


4) Giff Gaff’s Magical Gamified Business Model

Similarly to many community based game approaches comes the Giff Gaff game developed by O2 in 2010. Giff Gaff is a mobile phone service provider with a unique business model.

The idea is that every service provided by Giff Gaff is done by the users of the community, from sales to customer support! From the beginning, since you buy your Giff Gaff SIM Card from one of the members of the platform you’re giving away points and becoming a member of the community. When you request any kind of support at their forum and a member supports you, he is also getting more points. These accumulated points can be then converted into cash, as 1 point is equal to 1 pence (which can be withdrawn, converted into airtime, or donated to charity).

Although gamification is typically used to engage customers, the following examples show that it can also be applied for internal purposes.


5) The US Army Game – The #1 recruitment tool on the planet

Another great example of an organization that deployed the gamification concept to support its strategy is the US Army. They developed a free to download game which has become their number 1 recruitment tool.

This is a multiplayer tactical shooter game where people have the opportunity to combat at a squad-level with three fireteams in an extremely realistic approach. By bringing reality into a game, recruiters allow recruits to put themselves in the shoes of a soldier and check whether they have what it takes to become a battle fighter.

This game was developed with a very clear business goal: increasing the number of recruits to the army. Before playing the game everyone is recommended to create an online account, joining the “Online Army” (and giving them all your real data).

In this example the gamified thought goes even deeper by replacing typical badges you get with any online game, for the “Badges of Honor” you will earn by becoming a member of the American Army.

As you can expect, this game has been under heavy ethical discussion. Colonel Wardynski defends the game: “There is a fine line and you don’t want to step over it. We steer clear of glamorizing war or taking advantage of current events. People may have lost love ones recently. And there is the privacy of the people involved. Another concern is national security, if you put too much detail into it.”


6) Salesforce’s Roadwarrior Training

Gamification can also be used for training purposes, as shown by SAP use of Roadwarrior to train its sales staff. Roadwarrior was developed by Salesforce to train sales representatives, through simulated meetings with customers, on how and what to answer considering tailored customer needs. Through the process of answering simulated customers, the sales rep wins badges and earns points, or loses them when they request life-lines. There are many levels to be unlocked on cross-technology matters and reps can challenge other colleagues to match their accomplishments.

Sales people are generally very competitive, making them a good target for a game motivating them to upgrade their sales skills. According to Salesforce.com’s blog, 90.4% of the companies that implemented a gamification program for their sales team reported successful results.

With Roadwarrior SAP turned training into fun, increasing the position of its sales force within the learning-curve (by forcing them to continuously simulate different scenarios), increasing motivation and stimulating socialization among the team. And the bottom line, leading to higher sales.


The Possibilities of Gamification for your Business

You might be aiming at developing your internal capital related with HR matters such as productivity, as you can see from the example of SAP and its training game Roadwarrior, the US Army’s recruitment game or through crowdsourcing as Giff Gaf’s original business model which includes the concepts of gamification merged with relevance of social communities.

Gamification is a business tool and games are not simple, not just graphics and design. If you would like to create an engaging experience to your customers think strategically and plan carefully what you want to achieve even before hiring your game developer.

For more information: www.eFOURlearning.com

12 Surprising Gamification Stats for 2013


Here at PunchTab, we love creating engaging campaigns. One strategy we use to “get more engagement” for our customers is to add a layer of gamification.

Gamification is one of the most popular, name-dropped buzzwords among marketers today. By definition, the concept is simple- by applying game mechanics to something (program, campaign etc.), you can promote users to take desired behaviors or actions. Game mechanics can come in many forms but usually involve fostering competition, rewarding users for reaching goals, adding narrative or managing user progress on leaderboards.

Gamification is exploding in the marketplace and being utilized by marketers, enterprises, schools and even governments to increase engagement and reach their goals.

So since it’s such a hot topic this year, we thought we’d arm you with some stats to drop when promoting gamification to your company, clients or that random marketer you befriend at your next networking summit. We collected these stats from top industry researchers like BI Intelligence, Gartner and M2 Research. These reports studied the effect gamification has on the everyday consumer and the predicted impact it will have on future marketing efforts.


1. Although the term “gamification” was coined by Nick Pelling back in 2002, it didn’t gain popularity till 2010 (Marczewski)

2. More than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one gamified application by year-end 2014 (Gartner)

3. The overall market for gamification tools, services, and applications is projected to be $5.5 billion by 2018 (M2 Research)

4. Consumer-driven gamification commanded more than 90% market share in 2011 (M2 Research)

5. Vendors claim that gamification can lead to a 100% to 150% pickup in engagement metrics including unique views, page views, community activities, and time on site (M2 Research)

6. Over 2/3rds of employers consider gamification an effective strategy for encouraging their employees to improve their health (Buck Consultants)

7. More than 30% of employers intend to adopt a minimum of one health-focused gamified strategy in the next year (BI Worldwide)

8. 47% of vendors say their clients are looking to increase user engagement in their gamification applications (BI Worldwide)

9. 80% of current gamified enterprise applications will fail to meet their objectives, due largely to poor design (Gartner)

10. The enterprise industry vertical already accounts for 1/4th of all gamification vendor revenues (M2 Research)

11. 63% of American adults agree that making everyday activities more like a game would make them more fun and rewarding (JW Intelligence)

12. 51% of American adults agree that if a layer of competition were added to everyday activities, they’d be more likely to keep closer watch of their behavior in those areas (JW Intelligence)

Important note: Some of these stats are contradictory to one another, as each researcher has their own beliefs on what the future holds for gamification. While the future of gamification may not be certain, gamification continues to be currently be a great way to engage future and existing customers.

For more information on GAMIFICATION: www.eFOURlearning.com

Engaging Your Team via On-site Training

Corporate training has risen in the past three years, with corporations spending more than $70 billion in the Unites States, according to Forbes.com. Additionally, training expenditures have risen to more than $130 billion, worldwide. The reasons are due to the economic recovery, as well as how companies are discovering large gaps in the skills of their employees now that the fog of the recession has cleared.

Although most corporations understand the need for ongoing training, many companies have trouble getting their workers to get excited about it. This is because workers often view training sessions as either a waste of time or just more work piled on their desks. If you consistently receive unenthusiastic responses when you inform your employees about an upcoming in-house training program, here are three highly-effective ways to make training more engaging and worthwhile in your workplace.


1. Starting with the Fun Factor

First and foremost, training should be fun, interesting and engaging. Many employees hear the word, “training,” and they immediately think of long, dull presentations that take up hours of their time and give them very little to use in their everyday duties.

Spice things up a bit by using a variety of tools. Thanks to technology, there are many at your disposal. Find some engaging training videos, plan some discussions around interesting issues, work in some role play, set up a quiz or plan a debate.

Find the best training materials you can afford for training, because they are the tools that will spark interest in your employees. To find the best in-house training materials, ask colleagues and managers, and look online for reviews. Search for training programs tailored to your specific industry or field.

2. Targeting to Employee Roles and Responsibilities

One of the easiest ways to turn your employees off your training before even starting is to fail to target it to them effectively. Quite simply, if your employees don’t need the training, they won’t be interested in it, and you’ll just waste their time – and yours. As a busy employee, you don’t want to spend your time training for something that will not help your employees in the slightest.

Aim training at individual employees to provide them with skills they can use in their jobs. If everyone does the same generic training it will reduce motivation, and it could even generate resentment among experienced employees. For some great ideas, talk to your employees and ask them what types of training would help make their jobs easier and more productive. Your team probably has a much better idea how they can improve their work processes or productivity in order to tap into their full potential.

Break it down by department, workgroup, project or team to focus on specific training that will improve the quality of the work environment, as well as the finished product of your worker’s efforts. When employees know you care about training them to make their jobs better, they feel better about their jobs, which motivate them to engage and work harder.

When you finish a training program, provide an anonymous survey to participants to fill out to check for effectiveness. You can ask for suggestions on ways to improve the training so you can fill in any missing areas the next round.

3. Recognizing and Rewarding Participants

A simple way to motivate your staff for their training sessions is to provide them with some form of recognition after they complete their training. This could involve something as simple as a certificate, but it could also be an increase in wages or a promotion. You could also give prizes for the workers who got the best overall scores. Whatever you decide, try not to make money the only motivation for attendance. Let your employees know exactly what you want them to get from their training, and how they can use what they learn to make their jobs easier and more productive.

If your employees know they will get rewarded for completing the training, it encourages them to want to do it more. They know it has some value and will not be a complete waste of time because you endorse and believe in it, too. This will only work, however, if the above two points are already covered. If you fail to make the training fun and targeted, no amount of recognition will make your employees look forward to the training in the first place.

A Creative Example

The best on-site training programs pay off tenfold when employees can put their training to practical use each day in the workplace. Here is an example illustrating a training program at New York Presbyterian Hospital that utilized all three of the above tips to create an extraordinary and highly-effective training program:

  • Fun Factor – A top-notch hospital is like a winning baseball team because both require the best players combined with great coaching, so the hospital produced “Your Playbook for Creating a Grand Slam Patient Experience,” a concept to capitalize on the fact they have a baseball field next door and are the official hospital of the New York Yankees.
  • Target to Employees – They put together a team of “all-stars” to provide their best plays for home runs: The most positive patient experience possible, and then they conducted “Spring Training” based on their playbook. They based the sessions around nine “knock out plays,” including listening, reflecting and empathy, according to the nine innings in a baseball game.
  • Recognition and Rewards – They extended their training by initiating the “Play of the Week, in recognition of service well done by specific individuals, and to continue the training and growth well after the initial spring training sessions. They also have an ongoing recognition program in place, “Most Valuable Players.”

The results are that more than 60 percent of the staff can cite the “Play of the Week” and give an example of how they’ve used a play in recent days. Weekly patient comments reflect the nine plays taught in Spring Training, and since initiating the playbook, the hospital has witnessed upward trends in the 2012 Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey results, where “Responsiveness of Staff” increased to 60 points, up 14.6 percent from 2011, and “Overall Rating of Hospital” went up to 77 points, a whopping 18 percent jump from 2011.

For more information about Adult-Learning: www.eFOURlearning.com 

Originally written by Chris Bates for TrainingIndustry.com