Employee skills have a rapidly decreasing shelf-life. Automation, digital transformation and emerging technologies mean that many employees need new skills that didn’t even exist five or 10 years ago. And it’s nearly impossible to know what skills employees will need five years from now.

Long-term educational frameworks, like studying for a university degree, can’t keep up. Corporate training is the solution for upskilling and reskilling employees.

Taking many forms, corporate training is a broad umbrella. It includes face-to-face or virtual instructor-led training, asynchronous eLearning courses and a constantly growing pool of mobile, flexible and in-the-workflow options for microlearning, performance support and social and collaborative learning.

Corporate training for modern learners

Corporate training is changing to mirror changes in the way modern, digital consumers learn and behave. Rather than sending employees to long training sessions that take them away from their work, more learning is moving into the workflow, in the form of short microlearning content, which may use video, audio, text, infographic or multimedia content to deliver short, focused nuggets of information.

And, rather than put all employees through the same comprehensive training, more organizations are personalizing learning paths and curricula according to employees’ needs, existing knowledge,  experience and career goals.

Identifying and filling skills gaps

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As job roles change, as parts of jobs become automated or as new technology demands new skills, employers need to upskill their workers. Skills development is an ongoing need, but far easier and less costly or disruptive than constant employee turnover.

Emerging corporate training solutions specifically tackle the problem of skills or knowledge gaps. The first step is to identify these gaps; it’s then possible to deliver targeted training that focuses on getting learners up to speed in their weak areas.

Anticipating future needs

Ideally, corporate training looks forward, anticipates knowledge and skills that employees will need and prepares to meet those needs — before a crisis hits.

Employees can be placed on learning paths that will prepare them for changes in their existing roles or help them move into new roles. Learning paths and progress are generally configured in the LMS, and learners and their managers can ensure that prerequisites are completed, get reminders and status updates and track progress. 

A modern LMS can juggle conventional eLearning courses, microlearning, other in-the-workflow solutions and social learning that occurs online or among colleagues within an organization. Many LMS platforms can also manage instructor-led training and other formal and informal learning.

Attract and retain the best employees

Employees want to learn — and they’re more likely to stay at companies that invest in them and help them build skills. Corporate training is an opportunity to build a better, stronger, more engaged workforce. And one that just happens to be prepared for whatever the future brings.

Poor Use with
Adult Learners
Effective with
Adult Learners

Games

Simple games layered on top of content

Scenario-based games that use the content

Leaderboards, competition

Fan excessive competition among employees or teams by offering large prizes for top performers and/or shaming those with lower scores

Challenge employees to beat their own past performance, or design a leaderboard that shows each employee only the four scorers above and below them

Points, rewards, badges

Award points or levels for completing sections of training or playing for a set number of minutes

Award levels, badges or points for recalling or applying content correctly, demonstrating mastery

  • Remember — bookmark, google, link, search
  • Understand — annotate, Boolean search, journal, tweet
  • Apply — chart, display, execute, present, upload
  • Analyze — attribute, deconstruct, illustrate, mash, mind map
  • Evaluate — comment, editorialize, moderate, network, post
  • Create — blog, film, integrate, podcast, program, publish
A smiling, mature man with short brown hair and a mustache. He sports a black suit jacket and a gray button up shirt with no tie.

As Neovation's Manitoba Territory Manager, I'm continually reminded of the resiliency, innovation, and initiative of Manitoba’s business community. Seeing these budding entrepreneurs develop and present their business plans reinforces that Manitoba is a great place to do business.

– Gord Holmes

Comparison of the Three Levels of eLearning Content
Type
Off-the-shelf subscription libraries
Pros
  • Saves development time - you don’t have to create any courses yourself.
  • Good fit for a limited budget.
  • Quick to set up and launch.
  • Access to hundreds of courses on a wide variety of topics.
Cons
  • Users cannot make any changes to the pre-existing content.
  • Users do not own any of the content.
  • An overwhelming amount of courses and a short time in which to complete the training can create a higher likelihood of users experiencing learner fatigue.
  • Learners may view content that isn’t relevant to their learning objectives.
  • Time and resources can be spent curating your content library to suit your learners.
Type
Course customization
Pros
  • A premade course that is quick to set up and launch.
  • Customization options such as adding your logo, branding, choice of colors, or some fonts.
Cons
  • You do not own the content of the course.
  • You cannot make significant changes to the content of the course (e.g. adding your own images, data, or organization’s terminology).
  • You cannot make significant changes to the content of the course (e.g. adding your own images, data, or organization’s terminology).
Type
Fully custom courses
Pros
  • Completely tailored to meet your organization's audience, needs, and strategies.
  • You have limitless creative potential.
  • You own the original content/IP.
  • Prevent learner fatigue through personalization.
  • You can change, personalize, and maintain the courses however you want and at your discretion.
Cons
  • More expensive - custom courses are a bigger investment for both time and resources.
  • Learners will not have access to as many course options as quickly as they would through a library subscription.
  • A professional eLearning development team should be assigned to this project - either hired in-house or contracted.
Pamela S. Hogle

An experienced writer, editor, tech writer, and blogger, Pam helps you make sense of learning science and eLearning technology. She provides information you can use to drive improvements in your training effectiveness and ROI.

Read more articles by Pamela S. Hogle