There isn’t any area of business that hasn’t been affected or disrupted by technology–none so much as corporate training. What used to be a one-time session or seminar has completely transformed into a more customized experience as companies discard the one-size-fits-all model. No longer is training just for distributing knowledge, programs are now more all-encompassing than ever, allowing leaders to more effectively track the progress of their team members and gain insights into what information is being communicated effectively–and what is not.
There’s no doubt that searching for a new tool to add to your organization’s technology stack can be overwhelming and with so many programs out there, it’s difficult to know which key features you should be looking for. If your enterprise is looking to change its training tool, these features are an absolute must-have in a corporate training solution.
1. Video support
It’s a well-known fact that many corporate learning management systems and training solutions are not very friendly to multimedia files. They are usually stored in a manner that isn’t conducive to the user experience if they’re able to be stored at all.
The fact is, people are more interested in watching video training material than reading lengthy manuals, that’s why it’s become the new standard for corporate learning. According to Forrester Research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails, or web articles. More than that, it’s radically more effective when it comes to knowledge retention; the average worker will have forgotten 65% of the material they’ve covered within just 7 days of completion. After 6 months, that number jumps to 90%.
While many people talk about the benefits a for the trainee, oftentimes, the conveniences a video training platform can offer leaders are overlooked. Some of these include:
- Steep cost-savings: With video, you don’t need to pay for travel or incur extra expenses for personnel: you just push play. This can net some serious savings for your organization. For example, when Microsoft converted to video training from the standard classroom model, they reduced the cost from $320 per person to just $17 per person. That’s about $13.9 million per year they got back.
- More content in less time: If you choose a platform that has native recording tools which allow you to create content directly from your computer or mobile device, that module can be live in a matter of minutes, versus a written asset or presentation that can take weeks to produce.
- Consistent messaging: When it comes to conducting training sessions, there are about a million variables that will decide if your employees will all be getting the same information. Sometimes it varies by who is conducting the session, other times certain information will be covered more in-depth than other material. Either way, putting your training on a video ensures everyone is getting consistent information.
When it comes to evaluating a corporate learning solution’s multimedia capabilities, you’ll need to ask yourself:
- Is the content able to host multiple types of files (i.e. .mov, .pdf, .avi, .mp4, and so on)?
- Does the solution have native recording tools?
- Are you able to create training tracks and playlists?
- Is video content optimized for mobile devices?
- How discoverable is content after its created?
- How much flexibility do you have around categorizing and tagging content?
- How much control do you retain over your content (note: this should be a very serious concern for your organization, especially if you’re considering using an external resource like YouTube or Vimeo for your content. We don’t recommend it)?
Mobile has surpassed desktop as the primary way to access the internet, so it’s critical that whatever training tool you choose be optimized for smartphones. Some corporate training solutions will already have an app that you can custom brand, but many force you to access your company’s portal through a regular internet browser that is not mobile-responsive, rending the product completely useless to anyone that wants to access training on-the-go.
Whether you have just a few employees or thousands, it’s next to impossible to get everyone in the same place at the same time. That’s why mobile compatibility is key. Not only does it give your team members anther way to access information at any time (thus removing one of the peskiest barriers to adoption), but it also lets them easily refer back to the information they may have forgotten or missed.
3. Enterprise-grade security protocols
It’s no secret that data is very vulnerable to attacks and privacy. We hear about it every day. To avoid becoming a statistic or worse, a PR disaster, your content needs to be protected by the most up-to-date security protocols available. That doesn’t just mean end-to-end encryption, either. You should confirm with your vendor that:
- Data is stored in a SOC-1 facility
- The platform allows you to set custom access controls for each piece of content
- Advanced features like IP restriction and whitelisting are enabled
- The solution utilizes two-factor authentication and single sign-on (SSO) protocols to verify user access to the training platform.
4. Gamification abilities
In order to accurately gauge your team’s understanding of the material and concepts, there needs to be an assessment engine in the corporate training tool. Gamification isn’t a new concept but it’s one that’s increasingly being applied in training programs. 83% of those who receive gamified training feel motivated, while 61% of those who receive non-gamified training feel bored and unproductive (Yikes!).
Some ways companies use gamification include:
- Tests and quizzes attached to relevant training modules
- Points granted
- Virtual or physical rewards for accomplishments
In addition to these tactics, some platforms will even allow you to generate completion certificates once an employee has finished a certain module. A good use case for this might be for a particular software that’s used at the company or to show a team member has completed diversity training.
If you’re not sold on the value of gamification, consider this: when training is engaging for the end-user, they have more of a reason to stick with it. Studies have shown that there is a huge correlation between gamification and training: when elements are added to modules, motivation climbs up to 83%, and boredom drops to just 10%. Those are stats you just cannot ignore.
5. Robust reporting and analytics
You can’t improve what you don’t understand and the sad reality is that many training platforms don’t give you the analytical information you need to make intelligent, data-driven decisions about how to improve your training program. That’s why it’s s critical to look for a solution that will go beyond basic data points and give you a holistic view of things like:
- Which training is being watched
- Who is watching it and;
- How long they engaged with the content.
Your corporate training tool should also give you the option to generate custom reports based on data points like channels, data range, department, users, and uploaded media. All of these will give you a better look at the impact your program is having and what the ROI is.
The bottom line is that in order to stay competitive in business, it’s time to get serious about the way your enterprise facilitates training by investing in a knowledge platform that works.
If you’re looking for a corporate training tool that can help you increase knowledge retention across your organization, keep employees engaged, and increase your bottom line, we’d love to speak with you. Contact us for a free demo.