Many businesses, in fact most of them, offer some sort of training program for staff. Whether it’s business-specific training, professional and personal development, or more generalised business training, owners and managers all know the benefits of developing staff.
Not only does it make your workforce more skilled, but it also increases employee engagement and makes staff feel valued. But what if your staff are a bit tired of the standard old training courses being offered?
Let’s take a look at customised learning and how it can benefit your business.
What is Customised Learning?
Customised learning, in simple terms, is an opportunity for businesses to tailor training programs to best suit their needs. For example, rather than a standard leadership skills course, businesses may choose to provide staff a series of tailored professional development opportunities focused on a range of leadership-related topics.
It’s not even always about learning specific skills, because customised learning can also incorporate gamified learning, team building and problem-solving components. In short, it’s a great way for business to inject some excitement back into training, and provide staff with more tailored, beneficial courses.
Why Do Business Use Customised Learning?
There are a lot of reasons why businesses choose customised learning over general programs. The business landscape is changing every day, and this means companies need to be forward-thinking about everything. That includes the training needs of their staff. The beauty is, customised training has considerable benefits to individuals as well as workplaces.
One of the biggest draw cards to customise courses in Australia is the flexibility of learning topics. Most workplaces are made up of different departments doing very different work. While team-building is a part of training, it doesn’t always make sense to send everybody to generic training courses that may not be relevant to their job.
Providers who work with you to create your own course are able to deliver specific programs where, when and to who you want it delivered.
Training is Relevant to the Workplace
One of the criticisms of older types of staff training is that people don’t find it relevant. Sometimes this is a result of poor course content, but often it’s because businesses don’t have the luxury sending everybody to every single training course they’d love to attend. With customised learning, you can help to tailor certain topics that are relevant to each and every staff member. It’s also a great way to develop certain learning pathways within your workplace.
Staff Learn the Skills They Need
Employees are often enthusiastic about development opportunities, until they start and find they don’t really need the skills being taught. The development pathways we mentioned before are crucial to giving staff the opportunities they want. For example, if people want to work towards leadership, you can tailor programs for them. If they have an interest in becoming trainers themselves, you can customise Train the Trainer courses that give them truly relevant skills for your workplace.
Great for Culture Building
When done correctly, training is great for culture building. Because you’ve got total flexibility, staff will be learning at ease. Customised training can include a lot more fun, particularly in the way of team-building opportunities.
When people actually enjoy going to training together, you develop a culture of learning that becomes infectious. By gamifying parts of your development courses, you can start getting staff really excited about learning again.
Staff Align and Commit to Improvement
Flowing on from the learning culture you start to build, there’s also an added benefit that people often miss out on when the training content isn’t specifically tailored to their business. When you develop customised learning packages, you’ve got an opportunity to use real examples specific to your company. You can even use the training in response to performance issues or identified areas of improvement.
It’s not about making people feel bad about recent results, but it’s about getting people on the same page and aligning them towards continuous performance improvement.
What Types of Customised Training Should You Consider?
Perhaps the best thing about customised learning is the fact that you’re really not limited in what can be developed. For convenience, however, you can usually choose from a range of existing training courses and have them tailored for your business.
This means you can inject current and relevant examples for your workplace. In fact, the whole content can be customised so that it’s even more engaging for staff. You can also mix and match certain components of existing courses to ensure they’re hyper-relevant for your workplace.
Here are some of the common training types you can customise.
Professional development is a very broad concept, but there are generally a few key pillars that training will fall under:
Influence and negotiate: Topics such as conflict resolution, assertiveness, influencing skills, negotiation and plenty more.
Leadership: Change management, performance coaching, time management and leadership essentials.
Business writing: Writing policies and procedures, business writing basics and how to write business cases and proposals.
Presentation skills: Learn the skills to create engaging content and deliver it effectively.
Project management: Topics such as time management and project management fundamentals.
Aspects of all professional development topics can be extracted and pulled together into valuable courses that most benefit your training program.
Microsoft or Adobe Training
There are literally over 1,000 Microsoft training topics available online, and a quality training provider should be able to tailor several of them into a convenient package that delivers value to your teams. Adobe is also a commonly used suite of programs that staff can really benefit from learning.
Tailoring these courses is particularly useful when you have certain areas of the business who do vastly different work. Simply mix and match the topics to make sure each and every section is relevant to the participants.
Training for Trainers
If you run internal training in addition to using external providers, Train the Trainer courses are invaluable. Participants will learn how to use modern training delivery tools, create engaging content, and of course how to deliver it in a way that holds people’s attention.
Mixing elements of presentation skills training, and even Microsoft PowerPoint training is a great way to deliver a highly valuable package for your trainers.
Team Building and Engagement
We did mention that training courses don’t all have to be about professional development or specific technical skills. There are a lot of popular gamified training programs out there which are designed to teach and build teams at the same time. For example, courses such as LEGO® Serious Play™ are designed to create a fun, engaging environment where teams need to work together for specific goals.
These types of courses are great for culture, bringing people together and also teaching valuable skills about working as a team. Customised training can incorporate aspects of these more ‘fun’ courses to break up the rest of your program.
Business Specific Skill Training
Finally, business specific skills are always popular because of the obvious benefits to different organisations. It could be longer courses allowing staff to obtain specific business qualifications. You might even consider other skills training that’s unique to your business.
Again, customisation makes it far more engaging for staff as they can train with real examples and explore the type of situations they find themselves in every day.
On the whole, customised training courses in Australia give you so many options and so much flexibility. The benefits to businesses are significant, and even when you take into account all of the positives we’ve talked about, there’s one more to consider.
Cost effectiveness. Being able to customise your training courses so that staff receive maximum value is a great financial benefit. Less time on irrelevant training, and more on learning the skills that genuinely help your business every day.