Training Delivery Strategies for Organizational Learning
Proposing an effective training strategy that fosters an environment of continual learning is complimentary with innovative and traditional delivery methods to create a comprehensive platform for workforce development. Improving the competency base of the organization by stimulating individual learning development is essential in learning and retention across the organization.
Effective training systems include comprehensive training strategies. As businesses seek to create more value for the organization, companies must consider training and motivational strategies to enable them to compete, grow, and innovate. Effective training strategies meet the needs of the organization and the individual to fulfill interrelated requirements in workforce development and job performance.
The concept of a learning organization establishes that individuals have the capacity to create desired results through continually learning how to learn. The application of a learning organization approach is predicated on the principles of organizations fostering a climate that promotes learning. Learning organizations create competitive advantages by employees modifying their behavior to reflect new knowledge. Knowledge as a competitive advantage requires investments of time, people, and energy. Using technology as a tool for supplementing traditional training delivery methods mitigates the investments in financial and human resources through flexibility and ubiquity of delivery.
The requirements for multiple training delivery methods using traditional and virtual mediums is becoming commonplace in organizations. As a comprehensive learning organization training strategy, a congruency in delivery methods to attain strategic training objectives and not merely training content has the advantages of consistency in delivery across the organization and reduced training costs. Competition without technical innovation, demands that organizations continuously upgrade the knowledge of their workforce and seek out ways to improve cost and efficiency synergies.
Virtual training systems and platforms are in use by more than 80% of large corporations. According to Reagan and O’Connor (2002), virtual training offers cost-effective alternatives to traditional stand-up classroom training; however, sufficient lead time is required for planning, development, and deployment. The synchronous (live) and asynchronous (on-demand) delivery format requirement provides solutions to address the needs of a geographically dispersed, financially, and time constrained training audience. The financial and time costs typically associated with developing and implementing classroom delivery methods include:
· Ancillary materials to facilitate learning,
· Compensation of trainer and trainee time spent in training,
· Cost of the training facility for the program, and
· Travel, lodging, and food for the trainer and trainees.
Synchronous and asynchronous training delivery methods mitigate the time and cost variables associated to classroom delivery methods. Selecting a training tool to support synchronous and asynchronous training should include a real-time learning environment using virtual technologies.
Synchronous training delivery, meets a requirement for a training platform with the flexibility for a facilitator to conduct training sessions through either conference call access or computer audio. The format can also integrate established productivity applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint® and other real-time instructional materials. New synchronous training delivery applications provide web based functional tools of a virtual training and learning environment, such as two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, rich media, breakout rooms, and session recording. With web based synchronous platforms, training materials are delivered electronically via the training interface further reducing the time and expense of printing and shipping training materials. Facilitator, trainee, and facilities costs for travel, course materials, and ancillary costs of distribution are minimal to nonexistent.
Session recording of web based synchronous platforms can also provide on-demand access to selected synchronous training sessions. On-demand training provides critical information and professional development in a format that saves time and money. On-demand asynchronous tools level the playing field for access to vital information on workplace development training irrespective of location or time constraints.
Classroom delivery formats are described as a traditional training method with delivery of course content to take place in on-site sessions. New requisites to a classroom delivery format include a delivery philosophy of facilitative training versus lecture and demonstration. Facilitative training is a supportive delivery method to the concepts of the learning organization. Facilitators enhance the classroom training experience through sharing personal knowledge and expertise with the participants, remaining within the guidelines of the course content.
The premise of facilitative learning methods closely follows social learning theory. Facilitative training techniques involve discovery activities that provide the trainees the opportunity to contribute to the course learning experience. The ultimate goal of facilitative methods is to help the students to develop, test, and obtain feedback on new knowledge and skills applicable to his or her needs. Conducive to the learning organization strategy, facilitative learning encourages achieving desired results of class participants through continually learning how to learn.
Facilitation, however, does not preclude the trainer from the responsibilities of knowledge and expertise. Demonstrating workforce instructional experience with workforce training is the impetus for using facilitators with certification and experience in the facilitative methods. Certified Professional in Learning and Performance Certifications (CPLP) and CompTIA CTT+ are two examples of instructor certifications that promote facilitative delivery methods. Certified training professionals have distinct advantages in using the latest methods for preparation, presentation, communication facilitation and evaluation skills in classroom and virtual classroom delivery environments.
Effective training strategies foster an environment of continual learning. Complimenting training strategies is the innovation of learning organizational theory and technology creating a comprehensive program for workforce development. Technology is the enabler of the learning organization concept of fostering learning through innovative ideas in delivery methods. Using technology to supplement traditional methods of training delivery to organizations provides the flexibility and ubiquity of learning to learn. Stimulating individual learning development is essential in allowing learning to be retained and to spread what has been learned to other individuals across the organization.