Corporate Training is the process of improving the capabilities of the employees and the teams through systematic delivery of information and instruction to improve effective results for the organization.
Most organizations often think before they spend on corporate training. Their management often ask what is the need for corporate training.
The HR team especially the Training and Development team find it difficult to prove and substantiate with facts, the need for corporate training.
Most progressive and employee development focused organizations, share the following reasons on why they think corporate training is needed. They find corporate training is needed to:
1. Improve Engagement and Productivity. It is known practically and by research that more regular and relevant training sharpen the knowledge and skills of employees to do their work more effectively and efficiently.
The analysis done on 3 million engagement surveys by Bob Nelson has shown that continuous and relevant training and development boosts engagement and productivity at work.
2. Create a Learning Culture. It is known that conducting regular corporate training builds a learning culture within the organization.
Research done by Josh Bersin and associates suggest that organizations with a learning culture are 30% more likely to be market leaders.
3. Employer Branding. Organizations like GE, Toyota, Apple, Microsoft, Google etc. are known for their regular and most-prized corporate training.
These trainings are an attraction for the best talent in the industry. Organizations that are well-known for their trainings have branded themselves as Great Places to work for.
4. Reduce Attrition. Most employees want to stay with an organization which provide regular corporate training for helping them to do their current job more efficiently and to prepare them for their future roles.
Data has revealed that 40% of the overall employees who leave in the first year do not get proper induction and other trainings.
So most employee development focused organizations continue to emphasize for corporate training for any or all of the above reasons.
The infographic below summarizes the need for corporate training.
The various types of corporate training offered by various corporate training companies can be categorized under the following heads:
1. Induction Training
This type of training is usually given to employees who have recently joined an organization. This training helps to know the policies of the organization, values and culture, resource people to connect with either on intranet portal or offline .
It also tells about the department or function they will be working with.
It trains and guides the newly inducted employees to know more about their specific jobs and roles, expectations of the supervisors and managers. It also help to know about their peers and junior colleagues.
2.Prevention of Sexual Harassment(PoSH) training
PoSH training is supposed to create awareness and understanding of what sexual harassment means. It trains on the various sections and rules of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 applicable to all Indian organizations-both in public and private sectors.
It trains the employees to identify different gestures, words, means and ways of sexual harassment, ways to report and escalate sexual harassment, redressal channels, sexual harassment redressal committees.
It also helps the employer to adopt methods by which the organization can prevent any such sexual harassment incidents , provide protection to the employees under the Act from sexual harassment.
3. Management Development and Leadership Development Programs
All employees who are currently managers or are individual contributors who aspire to lead a team in the future are required to go through professional Management Development Programs (MDP).
These programs equip the young managers or future team leads who may go through a First Time Managers (FTM) training.
The FTM equips these young managers with mindsets, principles and skills in managing others. They were earlier used to managing their own work. They however as a new manager are required to also supervise, motivate and get things done through others.
Many times, these young newly appointed managers may lead ineffectively or find it difficult to manage without proper FTM training.
The FTM training covers topics related to different management styles, delegation, team development, motivational techniques, managing conflicts, giving performance feedback, coaching and training team members, appraisal techniques and ratings, individual development plans etc. Know more about this here.
Similarly slightly senior managers may go through customized Management Development Programs, which could either help them to build certain functional skills related to their domain (IT, Finance, Manufacturing, Production, HR, Product Management,Project Management, Quality etc) , creating systems and process skills, building a high performance culture, managing in a matrix organization or dealing with dual reporting.
The top or senior management are usually sent for Leadership Development programs of leading leadership development or management consulting companies like McKinsey, Korn Ferry, AON etc. They may also be sent to top management institutes in India like the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), ISB or lectures or case based training of world-class universities like Harvard Business School or other Ivy League business schools, INSEAD , London Business School etc.
4. Skills-based training
Most organizations nowadays provide some or the other skills based training to its employees especially for the individual contributors who have still not reached or taken the managerial career path.
The skills-based training could be categorized into :
ii) Process and
iii) Soft skills
i) Domain Skills mean related to the knowledge and skills required by an employee , in one’s role, to do a specific work or project most productively.
Domain Examples: In an IT organization, the domain skills could be that of Dot Net or Advanced Java programming skills, Linux, RedHat technologies, Android Applications, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics etc.
In Finance it could be related to Taxation and Compliance, Auditing, Corporate Finance, Securities and Risks, Treasury and Investments etc.
Consumer Durables, Manufacturing, Engineering, Construction etc which could be specific industry specific skills like Automobile Robotics , FMCG, chemical technology, bio-technology or pharma , trading and logistics, infrastructure tools etc.
Many organizations also conduct longer technical bootcamps for new employees who are fresh from college campuses to enhance their skills which are required in that organization.
ii) Process Skillsmean those skills that help to deliver a specific output with the highest possible quality in the entire organization or in specific teams or projects. It results in very high internal departments/functions/teams and external customer satisfaction.
Process Skills Examples in IT like Agile or DevOps, Prince, ITIL, Six-Sigma methodologies.
All types of processes and process management linked to that industry or domain like manufacturing and production processes of that industry or function (e.g flight booking, trading or trade cycle operations, bleaching and dyeing etc.) Supply Chain Management, Quality Processes etc.
iii) Soft Skills training
Soft skills training is one of the most required training in any organization to help employees work together effectively and productively.
As per Wikipedia, Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients, among others, that enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills.
The Collins English Dictionary defines the term “soft skills” as “desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude.
Soft Skills Examples are listening, assertive communication, presentation skills, business etiquette, diversity & inclusion, conflict management, time management, telephone and conferencing etiquettes, customer relationship, public speaking, influencing and persuasion skills etc.
Thus the above four types of training- Induction, PoSH, Management Development and Leadership Development programs, Skills-based training covers and sums up almost all types of corporate trainings.
Most organizations make a request for proposal for training from corporate training companies. They however focus mostly only on contents and professional fees and in certain cases they also want to know who is/are the trainer(s). In this section, we attempt to explain the most important criteria for selection of corporate training partners.
1. Check whether the training outcomes are correctly set for each of the trainings. It is important to find whether it is a knowledge, skills or attitudinal related training. So training outcomes and criteria will change according to application context of each training.
Many often we have seen tcorporate training companies writing in their brochures or training material that participants will “Understand …X subject..” which is an ineffective objective as no one including learners and L&D team can find out what understand could mean.
It will help if the the Training & Development team or the HR team asks or checks for the following depending on the training outcomes.
i) For Knowledge based training outcomes, check the usage of these verbs: Describe, List, Explain, Classify, Analyze, Compare, Differentiate.
Example 1: List down all the tools that participants could use to research on a topic
Example 2: Explain how the principle of Time Value of Money can be used for Investment decisions
ii) For Skills based training outcomes, check the usage of these verbs: Apply, Use, Design. Construct, Demonstrate, Prepare
Example 1: Prepare a profit and loss statement using the entries from Tally software
Example 2: Demonstrate steps of giving assertive feedback
iii) For higher cognitive complex skills check for usage of verbs like Evaluate, Judge , Organize, Plan, Decide
iv) For psychomotor and manual skills it may help to check for usage of verbs in the learning outcomes like Operate, Stitch, Insert, Hold, Raise, Lift etc.
2. Corporate training design and delivery. Research has recognized the importance of aligning training delivery methods with learning objectives.
Arthur, Bennett, Edens, and Bell’s (2003) meta-analysis found that the effectiveness of specific training delivery methods often varied considerably depending on the skill or task being trained (e.g.,cognitive skills, interpersonal skills) and the criteria used to evaluate training (e.g., learning, behavior).
Active learning consists of three core training design elements—exploratory learning, error-encouragement framing, and emotion control—that interact with individual differences (e.g., cognitive ability, goal orientation) to influence cognitive, motivational, and emotional self-regulatory processes during learning and, as a result,impact both proximal (e.g., skill acquisition) and distal (e.g.,generalization) training outcomes.
There is increased reliance on technology-based training and informal learning within organizations which has led to more learner-centered training. It has given trainees unprecedented control over their learning.
3. Quality of Corporate Trainers associated with the partner
The most important aspect of choosing a corporate training partner is the quality of Corporate Trainers associated with them.
We are often asked what are the qualities of a good corporate trainer. We have listed down few essential characteristics which are often seen in highly effective corporate trainers.
Technical expertise: The trainer should have high product, service or domain knowledge. It is the most basic expectation out of a good corporate trainer.
Communication and Public Speaking skills: This is also one of the most basic desirable qualities in a corporate trainer. He/she must be able to transfer knowledge and skills or transform beliefs through the ability to exchange thoughts, words and ideas in a simple and easy way to ensure increase in understanding in the learners/participants.
An effective trainer is the one with above average communication skills.
The trainer is also required to face large audience and participants. He or she needs to know the art of public speaking. The ability to deliver the content without losing confidence and courage. The ability to use stories, metaphors and questions to keep the participants or audience engaged.
Professional Attitude: It is important that a trainer carries a professional attitude in his/her approach. He/she should be punctual, appropriately dressed, smiling, approachable, willing to listen without interruption, respond to questions in a humble way without being judgmental of participants or learners.
As a trainer, at times one may find trainees who may know more than the trainer. He/she must also be willing to take and receive feedback without being reactive. A professional trainer acknowledges this and tries to learn from everyone with humility.
Sense of humour: This may not be a must but makes a trainer more effective as humour causes release of stress busting hormones like endorphins.
Without humour, trainings become boring. A trainer with good sense of humour can keep the sessions lively by occasionally cracking a joke or relating a topic to a funny situation. However he/she should not act or behave like a joker with only entertainment value.
4. Performance Support for transfer of learning and skills back at workplace
Corporate training partners need to keep this in mind that not all learning from Instructor Led Training (ILT) or e-learning will get transferred back at workplace.
The participants need to be supported to ensure that they are motivated and encouraged to transfer back their learning. To ensure that this happens, they need to keep few principles in mind and also apply this in their training processes.
The most important workplace related factors that influence the effectiveness of training include the immediate manager and peer support; the amount of time and opportunity given to participants to apply their new skills, and the challenges and constraints they face on the job; organizational policies and practices; the broader organizational climate and culture in which they work; and previous work and training experiences they have encountered.
Birdi et al. conducted a study of 1,700 manufacturing employees. They examined formal and informal, as well as voluntary and required developmental experiences and discovered that employees who received greater management support were more likely to participate in voluntary developmental activities.
Hurtz and Williams (2009) gathered data from four organizations across two time periods. They reported that participation in developmental activities was greater when participants/employees were aware of available learning opportunities, and perceived support for employee development, particularly from “important people.”
The corporate training partners thus need to involve the managers of participants during the needs assessment, pre-design of training and design stages of the training process .
They can even share the likely contents or design to ensure buy-in of the managers. The training partner could share that without the support of the managers, participants will not transfer their learning back at workplace. The time they spent in training will otherwise go wasted.
Questions that managers of the participants could ask to help participants
Managers could help the participants to transfer learning in their job/role by asking these three basic questions to the participants:
Q.1. What are the objectives with which you you want to participate in this training?
Q.2. What are the three to five important learning points you learnt that you will apply in your job/role after this training?
Q.3. What support do you need from my side to ensure that you apply the learning in your job/ role?
Q.4. When can we review your application of learning after 1 week/month?
5. Measurement and Evaluation of Training
Most of the trainings or seminars are evaluated on how good the trainer/seminar leader was in delivery and on the training environment and food. It is commonly known as Level 1 (Reaction Level) evaluation on the Kirkpatrick framework.
However to measure successful transfer of learning , which is Level 2 (Learning level) measure learning (or transfer) in terms of decision accuracy and skilled performance . One strategy for showing training benefits was to look at the impact of training on a standardized assessment related to the job.
For example, Barthol and Zeigler examined the effectiveness of a 20-week supervisory training program on production, safety, budgeting, and human relations topics that had been given to 210 first- and second-line supervisors. The researchers compared group means on parallel forms of a previously validated assessment of knowledge of supervisory practices and found a significant increase in posttest scores.
Trainings should be measured and evaluated for their impact on individual, team, business performance indicators. It is Level 3 ( Behaviour/Performance and Level 4 (Business Impact)
Van Iddekinge et al. (2009), for example, examined the effects of selection and training programs on customer service indicators and financial performance in 861 fast-food restaurants on a monthly basis for one year. Latent growth curve modeling was used to examine the effects of changes in the use of training on change in the performance indicators.
They reported that use of training was both directly related to financial performance and indirectly related through improved customer service.
Thus it is very critical that the corporate training partners necessarily move up the level of evaluation of training effectiveness and the HR team is made aware of it as lot of investment goes in trainings.
Check for actual corporate experience of the training partner, their trainers.
Review the design and contents for some originality and real-time experience in their contents or is it copied from a book or web based contents .
Look for testimonials and cases of impact on individual, team and business performance or culture metrics and not just trainer ratings.
You may also check for certifications to verify what they claim. The training industry is still very unorganized so anyone can claim to be a training expert or a corporate training partner.
There is no fixed thumb-rule as it depends on the branding, quality and seniority of speakers, trainers and partners with relevant experience.
We have found varied training fees in the range from minimum INR 2500 per day to INR 500,000-1,000,000 per day.
However the current average training fees charged to corporate of varied sizes is between INR 15,000 to 35,000 per day. This could vary depending on the demand of a particular trainer, seniority level of participants or complexity of training, location, performance support post training etc.
We claim to be different based on what our clients have consistently shared. Our clients found us curious in our questions to precisely diagnose the performance, culture and capability issues. We have been upfront in setting expectations on what is possible to achieve and what is not as certain capability development or culture change cannot happen with 1 or 2 days of coaching or training .
We provide consistent online support post delivery of interventions. We also measure and evaluate the change at every level based on the metrics we set at the beginning. We are passionate about transforming performance and bringing visible Change.
We usually recommend evaluation of impact atleast upto performance change or behavioral change which is L3 level of the most famous Kirkpatrick model of evaluation. Most organizations are content with Reaction or Trainers feedback evaluation (L1)only.
Almost in all our interventions, we insist on Learning (L2) and Behavior Impact Evaluation. In certain large scale interventions , we have provided Cost-Benefits evaluation framework too as some of the components related to salary of senior managers were confidential to be shared outside.
So far we have provided consulting on how to do cost-benefits evaluation by providing the framework template.
Connect with us on +91-8999025247 for consultation and enquiries