The maturity of a business, its size, leadership, financial stability and the industry it’s in all come into play when considering whether training internal staff is a worthy investment.
Very few industries are excluded from the impact of digital transformation, and while most business owners, stakeholders, and executives are aware that staying on the cusp of the digital marketplace is a full-time job, few are confident as to where to start.
There are a handful of obstacles that stand in the way of innovation for most companies, regardless of their size. It’s a large investment with no immediate or obvious ROI. We just don’t have the time. We can probably do this ourselves. These are the explanations Ryan Heitman has been hearing and countering for the last 10 years. As director of sales for Simplilearn, Heitman understands the risks a business is taking when they invest in team training. So we asked him to unpack some of the biggest barriers companies face to find out how they can circumnavigate those hangups, how to execute a successful team training, and how to determine when it’s time to start.
Here are some of the things you should consider if you’re hesitant—or even pessimistic—about team training with a provider like Simplilearn.
No Budget...But Are You Bleeding Anyway?
Of course, budget is likely the biggest factor to give a company pause. Quality education isn’t cheap and rarely is upskilling a one-and-done solution. It’s a large cost that gets even larger as your company grows. But Heitman points out a crucial concern for enterprises: if you’re in a modern industry, standards are evolving fast. So if your staff is delivering old, outdated practices, you can bet it’s hurting the organization financially.
Many enterprises opt for a pilot program before diving into team training. Stakeholders and employees at the executive level undergo the training to vet that the course and education provider are a fit before scaling the program.
Another major cost factor is retention, and maintaining loyalty in today’s business world isn’t what it used to be. But training does more than show an investment in employees; it can show them potential career paths and enforce long-term career goals too. With the average cost-per-hire at $4,000, providing valued employees with the ability to grow internally is mutually beneficial in today’s business world.
How Are We Supposed to Find the Time?
Respecting a team’s time is number one, says Heitman, and being as transparent as possible about the time commitment is a must.
“It’s our job to find out what the company’s criteria for success is, and then back into those obstacles,” says Heitman. Building learning paths that ensure someone is taking the right training that will impact their daily activity is key, and timing is everything. “Some don’t want to start training in the fall because the holidays are a factor. For other companies, the holidays are their slow season, so it’s the perfect time.”
Many prefer to know upfront what percentage of time training is going to eat up each week. The lower that number, the more achievable the training feels. The last thing an employee should feel is overwhelmed by the training.
Skill is the Sum of It’s Parts
Many department heads come to Heitman looking for a specific training course for a fraction of a team. After listening to the team’s challenges and upcoming projects, it’s clear that success depends on more than the ability to grasp a singular concept. The team needs to level set to understand how to work together best.
“Level-setting creates a common language within your organization, which allows your team to communicate more effectively—which is especially handy when in a meeting with clients,” says Heitman. “You may not need to be a mobile expert, for example, but you should be able to speak about mobile.”
One company realized after introducing a subscription-based service and spending massive amounts of their marketing budget solely on social media marketing, that they were lacking the expertise needed to have a holistic marketing plan that involved email, SEO and content marketing strategies.
“Every marketing department has the same needs: know how to drive traffic, how to convert, and how to analyze those conversions. Our collective goal is to expand digital competency across a team, despite particular areas of expertise.”
When Implementation Fails
One of the biggest reasons training fails is due lack of retention. Companies attempting to cut costs will use an internal subject matter expert to deliver training to a team and deliver the training in a single day. Unfortunately, the knowledge is often lost in a matter of days, and time is wasted building a presentation that failed to engage its audience.
Another reason it often fails is a lack of liability. Based on his own observations, Heitman has noticed a pattern:
- When training is optional, the completion rate is about 5 percent.
- When completion is incentivized through prizes and contests or when training is presented in a breakfast club or lunch-and-learn format, completion rates are at about 50 percent.
- When training is mandatory, completion rates are around 80 percent.
What Makes a Successful Training Partner?
There are many organizations that offer corporate training, and no two are the same. When it comes to stacking Simplilearn beside other top industry trainers, there are some important characteristics that make the difference.
“When you consider some of our unique offerings—live virtual classes, modified course content to suit a particular industry, and launching classes for global organizations—the way that we deliver that training is more art than science,” says Heitman. “It’s highly customized, and that level of customization is what makes my job exciting.”
Mustering the budget for team training isn’t an easy feat for most organizations, but it’s important to remember the return on investment comes in many forms. High retention rates, a level-set and communicative team, and state-of-the-art business practices will all impact the bottom line.
Learn more about our corporate training, here.