As we finish the last chapter of 2016, it is time to take a peek at the prologue for 2017 in anticipation for what the next 12 chapters hold for all of us. I am in the unique position to observe what companies are currently doing and planning to do in the next 12–18 months in employee development. TrainingPros supports some of the most employee-focused companies in the world like AT&T, American Express, State Farm, Publicis Media, Atmos Energy, Synchrony Financial, Kimberly-Clark and many others.
These are companies that understand the value of investing in their employees. What we have observed is that, in general, the content and skills in which employees are receiving training is not changing. Organizations continue to provide training for onboarding, compliance, safety, job-specific procedures, new business applications, sales effectiveness, customer service, product knowledge, people management and soft skills. What is and has been changing is how training is delivered to employees AND the speed at which learning programs need to be developed. Faster deployments are in response to the speed at which businesses are now moving.
In the past, our clients have needed instructional designers to design courses for classroom delivery, eLearning on PCs, synchronous virtual delivery (webinars), or self-study. We are now seeing more and more requests for designers who can create multimodal curriculum - part instructor-led where face-to-face interaction is important; part eLearning for prerequisite content; part microburst training to receive updates or quick hit training delivered to the employee’s mobile device to reinforce key behaviors; and part on-the-job references to provide learning, information or access to an expert at the point of need.
Many of our clients now know how to leverage technology to develop and deploy training that can be consumed by employees in a manner that will facilitate retention and/or access to the learning experience at their point of need. This continuing shift has created challenges for our clients in terms of having the in-house expertise or capacity to design and develop learning solutions that require new instructional design skills and/or technology experience. With this shift in delivery methods and the new development and delivery technologies that are emerging every day, TrainingPros is positioned to help our clients overcome these challenges in a number of ways.
First, we are constantly scanning the horizon for the latest trends and technologies in the L&D industry. Second, we are sharing this intelligence with our clients and consultants. With our clients, so that they understand the opportunities to create and deliver learning solutions that may be more effective in terms of improved employee performance and design & delivery cost. With our consultants, so they can invest in building their skills as quickly as possible in these new technologies and instructional methods which, in turn, will make them more marketable to our clients. Third, we are listening to our clients to understand their L&D strategies through forums such as the TrainingPros’ Learning Insights radio program, our Executive Roundtable event, and, most importantly, through our local Relationship Managers who are constantly walking the halls at our clients learning about the daily challenges that our clients face delivering learning solutions to their business partners.
Finally, when our clients determine that they do not have all the in-house experience they need to design and deliver these new solutions, they turn to TrainingPros to augment their internal team with contract experts who have the instructional design experience designing microburst training or using Brainshark to develop cloud-based eLearning.
2017 will be an exciting year in terms of companies and the industry implementing new technologies and blended learning strategies that will put learning and performance improvement at the fingertips of employees. TrainingPros is excited to have the cadre of professionals that we can selectively deploy to our clients to help them design and deliver these solutions until our clients build the internal capacity and expertise.
I want to express my deep gratitude to our clients who have welcomed our Relationship Managers and consultants into their organizations. We appreciate having the opportunity to help our clients design and deliver learning solutions that have improved the performance of employees resulting in a greater contribution to the company, an enhanced customer experience, and greater shareholder value.
TrainingPros is blessed to have so many L&D professionals across the country who are dedicated to the talent development profession and who focus on delivering cost effective learning and development solutions to our clients. Our consultants are on the front line working with our clients on a daily basis determining the right content to be delivered using the right methods at the right time to improve the performance of our client’s employees. Without our consultants, we would not have enjoyed the success that we have in 2016. Happy holidays to our clients, consultants, and the TrainingPros’ family.