Companies invested $82.5 billion in employee training in 2020, according to the 2020 Training Industry Report. But 37% of those companies reported that their training programs were ineffective. They didn’t have the right tools or the learning and development (L&D) expertise needed to create engaging training programs.
Employees want you to provide opportunities for continuous learning and development, but there’s a catch—they won’t finish the courses you provide if they can’t see an immediate benefit. And low course completion rates mean that you are not getting a return on your employee training investment.
You can achieve a higher return on your training investment with personalized employee training.
Personalized training is your solution to low course completion rates and low return on investment (ROI). It is a type of employee education wherein employees are placed on custom learning pathways based on their individual needs, resulting in the most beneficial learning experience. Personalized training at an enterprise level is best executed with digital training software that generates custom learning experiences based on your employees’ current responsibilities and future goals.
Personalized Training Is a More Effective Training Method
Personalized training programs beat one-size-fits-all training methods because they are relevant to each employee on an individual level. Hardly any courses in a personalized training program are irrelevant to the learner.
Personalized training is more effective than one-size-fits-all training methods.
Personalized training is more relevant to your employees. Personalized learning plans are created to be topically relevant to each individual’s current learning needs. Whether your employees want to get better at their jobs, develop useful soft skills, or work towards a promotion, a personalized training program will help them achieve exactly that.
Personalized training is more versatile than traditional, standardized training methods. Personalized training programs are more versatile than one-size-fits-all programs because they’re self-paced and multi-formatted. Information in personalized training programs is presented in different formats, based on an employee’s learning preferences and goals. Some learning goals are better achieved by consuming content in certain forms. For example, software training is best conducted through interactive, hands-on learning, while safety training is more effectively learned through videos and articles.
Personalized training increases employees’ motivation to learn. Personalized training increases employees’ motivation to learn because it gives employees the opportunity to take ownership of their learning. Employees know a personalized learning path will help them achieve their goals faster. They are more likely to complete the courses you’ve invested money and time developing while also increasing their own job competency, which leads to better performance.
Personalized training increases employee satisfaction. Personalized training increases employee satisfaction because employees are happier with growth opportunities and are more efficient, more engaged, and less likely to quit. Personalized training shows your employees that you care about them and are invested in their development. Ninety-one percent of employees want learning programs that are more relevant and personalized.
How to Create a More Effective Training Program with Personalized Training
Of companies surveyed, personalized training improved both individual and organizational performance by 95% and 91%, respectively. A properly designed personalized training program yields a higher return on investment (ROI) because it encourages learner commitment and improves overall work performance. But the effectiveness of your personalized training programs still depends on how much you invest in creating bespoke content that aligns with your L&D culture.
Here are six ways you can achieve better training results:
1. Understand What Your Employees Need
Employees from different corporations have different needs, goals, and interests. You need to find out what your employees want to learn at any given moment so that your learning and development (L&D) team can start creating or curating content that fits those training needs. For example, employees at a marketing agency will probably be interested in learning more about content marketing or social media, while employees at a web development firm will want online training programs about different programming languages.
Figure out what your employees are interested in by using digital tools to conduct company-wide and onboarding surveys. Send your employees a quick survey asking them to name a couple of new skills they want to develop over the next quarter. Determine which new skills are mentioned the most and ask your L&D team to create training sessions for those skills.
2. Invest in Personalized Training Technology
Personalized enterprise training relies heavily on technology to suggest personalized learning paths for each of your employees. Manually creating individual training programs that align with your employees’ training goals is time-consuming and inefficient—and if your company has over 100 people, likely impossible.
Invest in personalized online learning tools with algorithms that gather information on your employees and suggest learning activities based on that information. Here are two learning solutions you can use to create a relevant training program for modern learners:
Digital Adoption Platform
Use a digital adoption platform to provide your employees with personalized training programs.
A digital adoption platform (DAP) is an employee training solution that integrates with digital tools to provide automated, personalized training in the flow of work. It has artificial intelligence (AI) technology that determines the learner’s role in the company, personal development goals, and current training needs to suggest the right training module.
A DAP assigns each learner a contextual task list containing relevant walk-throughs based on the learner’s user segment. Walk-throughs are a series of step-by-step prompts that show users how to complete a certain process by guiding them through each step, showing them relevant training videos, or providing informative articles.
DAPs also work hand-in-hand with learning management systems (LMSs) and e-learning software like xAPI and SCORM so that you can track your employees’ learning progress. With this data, you can build more relevant training content and increase personalized training paths.
Learning Management System
An artificial intelligence (AI) based LMS has features designed to enhance personalized training programs. It provides personalized learning paths that show employees both mandatory and non-mandatory courses based on that employee’s actions taken within the LMS.
LMSs track what courses your employees commonly access and complete within the LMS’s database and suggest similar courses that the employee might be interested in. It’s a completely automated process that requires little time investment from your L&D team outside of the initial setup and content creation.
3. Gamify Your Learning Process
Gamification will make your personalized training program more engaging and thus more effective. Eighty-three percent of employees who underwent gamified training are motivated to learn more and perform better. In contrast, 61% of employees who received non-gamified training felt uninterested and unproductive.
You can gamify your personalized training program in many ways. Use training technology to create leaderboards that showcase employee learning progress and foster friendly competition. Or create quizzes for your skills training courses and award points for correct answers. You can then reward employees who garnered the most points.
4. Partner With Relevant Content Creators
Partner with relevant content creators so that you can save time on content creation without sacrificing the quality of your training courses. You can quickly add more courses to your training content database by curating content from reputable sources and subject matter experts. The more relevant your training content, whether developed in-house or by a partner content creator, the more personalized learning options your employees can choose from.
Contact reputable websites like Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, or industry-specific sources and tell them that you want to create training courses with their content. Look for subject matter experts (SMEs) who can help you create webinars, eLearning courses, or other forms of training content that would be relevant to your employees. For example, Entrepreneur partnered with Kim Perrel to create the Side Hustle Accelerator, a course that is relevant to their target audience.
5. Tell Managers to Regularly Provide Employee Feedback
Tell managers to provide performance feedback to help your employees determine if their training was effective. Providing feedback is also a way for your managers to show employees that they appreciate your employees’ efforts at self-development. In fact, 65% of employees want more feedback.
Providing employee feedback will help your employees understand what they are doing great and what they can do better.
Ask managers to set up 6-week check-ins with each of their team members dedicated to providing feedback, checking goal progress, and setting up new goals when necessary. Manager feedback is necessary for employees to know if they are investing the right amount of time in their own development.
6. Gather Feedback to Improve Your Training Content
The first iteration of your personalized training program won’t be perfect, so you need to keep updating it based on your employees’ needs and the changing technological environment.
Integrate chatbots, manager one-on-ones, and surveys into your training programs to give your employees opportunities to provide feedback. After gathering the feedback, take a course of action that will show your employees that you are listening to them. For example, if you receive feedback about the lack of soft skills development opportunities, you can create soft skills training programs to show your employees that you are invested in their needs.
Collect data using your training software to determine if your training programs are effective.
Also, use your training software’s data analytics dashboard to determine how your employees are interacting with your courses. With a DAP’s analytics dashboard, for example, you can track which courses your employees are interacting with, how many times they interacted with the course, the average course completion rate, and where employees are dropping off. Based on those numbers, you can infer which courses are most effective or ineffective, useful, interesting, or confusing.
Personalize Your Training Programs for Better Employee Performance
Personalized training programs encourage employees to own their learning and development. They take on a learner-centric approach that ensures each training pathway is relevant to the learner (your employee) and their goals. And when your employees are developing themselves and investing in their own learning, they perform better, leading to better business outcomes for the entire enterprise.