7 Must-Have Features Your Corporate Training System Needs

When it comes to implementing a corporate training solution at your company, the conversation will inevitably turn to features. Yet, if your company is tied into a cumbersome Learning Management System, you’ll understand why only 39% of users rank their LMS features highly. So what is everyone else looking for that these systems aren’t providing?

In order to gain a better understanding of why organizations are abandoning these legacy systems in droves, you need to get a better picture of the user experience causing the inevitable exodus. If you’re evaluating a new corporate training solution for your company, these ones are what you should be looking for. 

Ease of Use

The number one reason why companies shift from an existing LMS or content management system is because of the poor user and administrative experiences that typically accompany these platforms. 

Once upon a time, it was par for the course to spend a week in an intense onboarding session or get wrapped up in a lengthy training manual, but we can all agree that is no longer the best use of your team’s time. Choose a corporate training solution that is flexible, intuitive, and easy to learn, with a familiar interface your employees already know so the platform becomes as useful as possible, quickly. 

Content Management Tools

Whether you always have training content available, or you’re looking to fill in some gaps, it’s essential your training system also functions as an effective content management tool. 

Every day, your employees are spending more time than they should be looking for product sheets, referring back to training modules or all-hands meetings, scouring for team notes, other company assets, and more. Sadly, many organizations turn to solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox, or some other file repository to house their content. But this is a big mistake, since it not only makes finding the right documentation next to impossible, it’s time your workers are spending on tasks that don’t yield any ROI and instead cause lots of lost productivity.

But there’s a better way: look for a training solution that not only allows you to sort your content into channels and playlists, but offers the ability to tag and annotate content with contextual documentation so people know what they are looking at, what it’s used for, why it’s relevant, and what changes its undergone. 

Security

Of course, having great content management tools is only half the battle: you also need to make sure whatever system you’re using to manage it is secure. In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, it’s important to protect your most sensitive information from attacks and would-be hackers. It’s been reported that “63 percent of companies said their data was potentially compromised within the last twelve months due to hardware- or silicon-level security breach”, which underscores just how essential it is to make sure your solution can protect your most sensitive information. 

Of course, there are also other reasons you want to make sure your learning solution is up-to-date on the latest security protocols, from smaller needs like restricting certain content to particular teams or users, to employing the use of end-to-end encryption, SSO, and custom access controls to ensure information is only shared with the personnel you grant permission to.

Integration 

Flexibility is absolutely essential to whichever corporate training solution you choose. You’ll not only want the ability to custom brand your portal so it feels like a natural extension of your company, but you’ll want to make sure that your training system integrates with a wide range of best-in-class programs for a frictionless experience.

Support for Mobile Learning

To get the most mileage possible out of your corporate training content, it needs to be as easily accessed as possible. We’ve become such a mobile-first world that you’re doing your enterprise a complete disservice if you’re using a platform that doesn’t allow your employees to have the most convenient experient possible. 

Not only does mobile learning result in a 72 percent increase in engagement, but it also results in massive cost savings and higher revenue for companies that implement it. So whether your team is in the office, on the road, or working from home, they’re able to access key company news, training and announcements, at a time that is most convenient for them, from anywhere in the world, even if there’s no wifi connection. 

Testing and Assessment 

Integrating tests and quizzes into team training materials isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that’s increasingly gaining traction and it’s essential to gauge your team’s understanding of materials and concepts. 

But implementing quizzes doesn’t just help you, as a leader, evaluate understanding, it’s also a powerful motivational tool: 83% of those who receive gamified training feel motivated, while “61% of those who receive non-gamified training feel bored and unproductive” (Yikes!). 

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 and boredom drops to just 10%. Those are stats you just cannot ignore.

Reporting

You can’t improve what you don’t know which is why it’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
  • Where they might be getting stuck
  • What topics you may need to create more content around

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.

In order for you to get the most mileage out of your corporate training system as possible, it’s time to get serious about the way you enterprise implements, distributes, and handles learning. By making an investment in a good system, you give your workers the tools they need to succeed while improving engagement and growing your company’s bottom line. 


5 Things to Look for in a Corporate Training Tool

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)?


2. Mobile-friendly

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
  • Badges 
  • Points granted
  • Virtual or physical rewards for accomplishments 
  • Leaderboards
  • Levels

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. 


Training Remote Employees With a Powerful Internal Communication Tool

Remote work is a hot topic right now, mostly because it’s been propelled into the spotlight in response to the coronavirus pandemic. While the circumstances surrounding the new working normal aren’t ideal, telecommuting can actually have some pretty stellar effects on your staff. It’s been reported that remote work produces happier employees, reduced turnover, and overall positive effects on most company cultures. But anyone who has had to move their operation online knows that the process doesn’t come without challenges–particularly when it comes to keeping training consistent and accessible. 

There’s no doubt that remote training comes with a unique set of challenges, including:

  • Lack of face-to-face interaction
  • Barriers to information
  • Distraction
  • Isolation
  • Technical difficulties

So how can you set up your organization to be well-prepared and equipped to deliver the most effective training experience possible? 

Think about how you want to deliver information


When it comes to delivering effective training to your team members, it’s common for many leaders to be a bit short-sighted in their delivery model. Many turn to live, synchronous learning sessions where everyone participates simultaneously on a web-conferencing tool but this approach is limited. It forces trainers into a situation where they must:

a.) create a single time slot where all parties attend or;

b.) conduct several sessions over the course of days or weeks, which understandably eats into the time they could be spending elsewhere.

Both approaches are cumbersome because they force the trainer to spend an inordinate amount of energy on coordinating details, but they also waste time on a process that is typically repeatable and lose message consistency in the process. 

Of course, with everything going on, there’s also a very high probability that many of your workers aren’t living in their usual circumstances as well, likely contending with childcare, homeschooling, and other distractions in addition to their usual workload. This in mind, an asynchronous learning model would be a far better solution for your enterprise training. This model allows learners to access content, assessments, and communications on their own time. 

But even when there isn’t a pandemic going on, asynchronous learning still has many distinct advantages over live classes. It gives employees more control over their training experience, allows them to absorb material at their own pace, fits around their busy schedule, and allows them to interact at a time that works best for them, regardless of geographical location.

Evaluate and choose a powerful employee engagement platform


Showing you the value of asynchronous learning is really only half of the battle. When you’re implementing this type of arrangement for your enterprise training, you’ll also need to consider how you store, share, and keep your company’s proprietary information secure. 

In this type of situation, many leaders turn to company intranets or LMS for their needs, but this approach is misguided. Not only are these systems typically cumbersome and not equipped to deliver information in a user-friendly manner, but they don’t take into account that the way we communicate is changing: It’s no longer effective to just email or Slack something and assume it’s seen, you need a central repository where all information is stored that is easily accessible on all devices. 

Modern communication tactics aren’t the only way intranets and LMS fall short for trainers, though. Many leaders have reported difficulty when uploading new content to these portals and even more have cited poor user-experience as a significant barrier to adoption for their learners.

Just a few ways these solutions fall short in the UX area include:

  • Nightmare navigation
  • Lack of personalization
  • Inaccurate labeling and tagging
  • Annoying pop-ups
  • 15+ clicks before you can start learning
  • Video not supported natively
  • Complicated SCORM training requires multiple toolchains

When it comes to evaluating corporate communication software for your enterprise training, you’ll want to consider several things:

  1. Is the corporate learning solution easy-to-use and simple to learn?

  2. How much time will it take until the employee training platform becomes useful to your team members? Using things like LMS becomes a time-consuming, costly endeavor that causes disruption at your organization, sometimes taking up to a year to implement. You’re better off finding a solution that is quick to start, intuitive, and has a familiar interface many of your workers may already be familiar with (this is the part where we promote CircleHD for your consideration). 

  3. What level of security do you need? It’s very likely you will be sharing sensitive information in your training program, so you want to make sure whatever you use utilizes the latest enterprise-level security protocols to keep your information safe from prying eyes. Not only that, but you want to find a solution that allows you to take advantage of access controls–after all, the information in one training module may not be suitable for all departments or team members so it’s critical to be able to restrict information to the relevant parties. 

  4. Is it mobile-friendly? That advent of the smartphone has exponentially changed the way we create and consume content and it’s essential that your team members are able to access their training modules from their device, no matter where they are. Not only should you look for a solution that has a dedicated app, but you should also check to ensure browser compatibility.

  5. What type of analytics does the platform give you? You can’t improve what you don’t understand but, the truth is, many of the solutions on the market today don’t really give you enough data points to paint a picture of what’s going on, they just give you enough information to say they offer analytics as a feature. Look for a platform that provides you with information like:
    • What content is being accessed
    • When content is being accessed 
    • How often the content is accessed
    • Who is viewing it and for how long
    • Where additional training may be needed

When you offer your workforce effective onboarding and training, you’re giving them the tools and skills they need to be successful at their job. At the end of the day, intranets and LMS are not designed for this use and you will be much happier if you find a solution that is focused on securely delivering training to your remote workforce.

Gather your existing learning materials

If you’re a training leader, you’re likely to have a large backlog of training materials stored in multiple places, which can make transferring them to a new portal seem like an exhausting, insurmountable task.

In this instance, going back to basics is the best way to address the task at hand: make a spreadsheet and take inventory of all your existing assets noting the name of the item, what type of file it is, a short description of its use, and a link to where it is stored. By putting together a holistic picture of your assets, you’re able to get a better understanding of what you have, what’s outdated, and what needs to be archived.

Assess where you may have gaps in your training


The best part about the aforementioned exercise is that it doesn’t just enable you to see what training assets you have, you can also gain insight into what you don’t have. Perhaps you noticed during the inventory step that some assets are out of date, don’t have accurate or complete information on them, or address some new processes or functionalities your product has. This is a great time to note the updates that need to be made, but it’s also a good time to strategize ways you can update your existing training with next-gen technology or other information that may make it have a bigger impact. 

Start by surveying employees who have gone through specific training or onboarding to see if there were any pieces of content they found particularly helpful or if there was anything they felt missing. Be sure to also assess materials for any knowledge gaps, looking for things your team could use more information on or any new trends in your industry they should be educated about.

Of course, finding these shortcomings is one thing, creating content to fill the void is a whole other beast. Often times other teams, such as marketing, usually need to be involved in the process, which can create less-than-ideal bottlenecks for you. If you’re using an effective internal content management platform though, you’ll find that it has native recording tools that let you create videos for key information, which is exponentially quicker to put together than a lengthy document (and wildly more effective).

Put together a training calendar and pre-class checklist

When you run a remote training program, you’re managing content, the environment, and the overall experience for a lot of people, which can be a big responsibility. It may sound old-school but checklist or agenda of modules and due dates will go a long way to ensure nothing slips through the cracks and essential steps are followed. You may even want to go a step further and create a sense of urgency to finish a program by implementing a training schedule for learners.

Define the support process

Knowing who is going to provide support for technological hiccups is an important aspect of the remote training planning process. At a minimum, you should have a member of your IT support team prepped on what happens if a serious issue occurs, and try to keep them on call. (Hot tip: if you’re using a platform like CircleHD, you should have access to 24/7 support for anything that goes awry.)

Deliver training modules

You’ve gone through all the pre-planning. You’ve selected your platform and identified what content is going to be used. Now, it’s time to actually deliver that training. The good news: if you selected an adequate corporate learning solution, this part should be incredibly simple. You’ll just need to upload your courses, set pertinent access controls, and invite employees. Make sure accessing the portal is as simple as possible. You may even want to put together a “cheat-sheet” for basic functions.

Engage your learners

Since your asynchronous training is being conducted remotely, you need to go that extra mile to ensure employees are engaged with and understanding the content. Not only can you encourage knowledge retention by attaching tests and quizzes to your training modules, but you can also reward your employee’s training efforts with a build-in certification function that automatically issues awards upon course completion.

Another great way to increase learner engagement is through the activation of gamification features like leaderboards, which can be used to facilitate friendly competition amongst colleagues, or just to provide some milestones as employees progress through the program.

Make a connection a priority

Of course, you want to use your employee training platform to save time, but don’t forget that part of creating an effective working environment means reaching out and offering yourself as a resource to your team members.

Studies show that employees who are are emotionally disconnected from their companies and may actually be working against their employers’ interests; they are less productive, are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.

Set your workers up to be the best they can be by empowering them with the knowledge they need to succeed and the support to do it.

Measure performance and results

When determining if your training efforts are making an impact, you need to go much further than just completion percentages. Be sure to track the metrics we mentioned earlier and use that information to create and distribute content that is meaningful to your audience, which will make you radically more effective in the long run. 

When it comes to remote training, don’t let “out of sight” mean “out of mind”. Equip your remote teams with the powerful corporate communication software they need to make onboarding, training, and continuous learning and cornerstone of your company experience. 


If you’d like to learn more about how CircleHD can help your enterprise implement a training program that is effective and propels your employees to higher levels of success, we’d love to chat with you. You can also read more about how some of the biggest companies in the world are using CircleHD in their own communication initiatives.