4 Benefits Of A Custom Training Program
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Custom training content may seem like a luxury, but it’s a bargain compared to a program that doesn’t fit the organization’s needs.
There are four essential reasons to consider customizing your training program’s content.
- Custom training content addresses an organization’s specific business challenges.
- Custom training content is a time-efficient way to close the gap between where your learners are and where they need to be.
- A custom blended learning program can help cater to a wide variety of learning styles.
- Custom training maximizes the return on investment (ROI) through higher knowledge retention.
Have you ever seen a shirt in a store and bought it only to find that it didn’t fit as well as you thought it would?
Sometimes, using off-the-shelf training is like buying that shirt; the program looked great when you first saw it, but after bringing it into your organization, you realize it isn’t helping your organization reach its goals.
Custom training creates an opportunity for a perfect fit every time.
In this article, we’ll dive into what a custom training program is, how it differs from off-the-shelf content, and the four benefits of a custom training program.
What Is A Custom Training Program?
A custom training program meets the specific business needs of an organization with one-of-a-kind training content. An effective custom training program has targeted learning objectives and a clear plan for how the program will be structured and delivered to meet learning goals.
With a custom training program, learning and development (L&D) professionals can control the content and the context in which it’s presented to learners. Controlling content means that an organization can create content that meets specific organizational learning goals and use key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify what employees need to be successful.
Controlling the context in which it’s delivered means ensuring the way the content is produced meets your organization’s needs. There are many ways that training delivery that can be customized, including:
Custom training delivery can be personalized based on the desired skills, schedules, and learning needs of employees. In some cases, the training delivery is the aspect of training that needs the most customization.
Custom Training Content vs. Off-The-Shelf Training Content
Customized training materials are often more effective than off-the-shelf content because they can be more learner-centric. Sometimes an off-the-shelf training program is exactly what an organization may need for foundational training, but a customized training solution is better suited for a program that meets an organization’s specific training needs.
A significant benefit to custom learning programs is that they present content and activities within the context of real-life environments and scenarios specific to an organization. For example, a warehouse employee can work through a custom interactive 360° VR module that features the real-life warehouse floor and tools. In contrast, an off-the-shelf training program would feature more generalized content, like a typical warehouse floor setting with standard items an employee would engage with.
By depicting an accurate workplace environment with real-world sounds and objects, the employee can easily relate their training to their daily job, creating a quicker implementation of the skills learned in training. Customized content can give your training program a more catered experience that better prepares learners to face on-the-job challenges and succeed.
4 Reasons To Consider Custom Training Content
Custom training content ensures that your organization’s specific business challenges are addressed.
Custom training can help ensure an organization effectively meets its learning goals by creating learning objectives based on business goals. The two best ways to create relevant content for corporate learners are to customize it with role-specific skills the learner needs to know and use real-world examples. The more a learner recognizes themself in the example, the easier it is for them to understand how to apply the lesson while on-the-job.
According to training expert Malcolm Knowles, adults learn best when they can see the relevance of learning and how to apply the information they’ve learned. Employees learn best when their learning is relevant to achieving success in their roles. A key aspect of adult learning is connectivity, meaning adults learn by connecting new information to prior knowledge.
Custom training content is a time-efficient way to close the gap between where your learners are and where they need to be.
Custom training is an effective way to close knowledge gaps and focus content on the specific skills and competencies required for success in an individual’s job, team, or department. Once an organization determines its business goals, they define learning objectives by identifying the gaps between where they are now and where they need to be.
Performance learning goals usually reflect business goals and help a learner identify what skills are most important to learn and how to apply what they’ve learned to their role. Then, training can be customized based on the degree of proficiency required. This could involve a high-level eLearning activity that teaches technical skill training, or maybe the solution is an immersive virtual reality (VR) activity that trains learners on safety protocols.
Read More: How To Make eLearning More Learner-Centric
A custom blended learning program can help cater to a wide variety of learning styles.
A well-designed custom training is often structured so that it can be delivered in multiple formats. This is important for organizations because it caters to the different learning needs of all employees. Custom training can help to accomplish the following:
- Maximize the learning experience for each employee
- Ensure that messages are consistent throughout the organization
- Connect various training efforts, regardless of the different learning styles employees may have
For example, imagine an organization needs to train all of its hourly employees, but some work in a call center and others on a production floor. What may make the training content accessible for the worker in the call center may not be an optimal delivery for the employee on the production floor. The solution could be a custom video learning program that instructs call center employees on proper Q&A procedures. In contrast, the production floor employee may use a VR program to train them on the correct usage of complex equipment.
Custom training maximizes the return on investment (ROI) through higher knowledge retention.
To maximize the ROI of custom training, you need to prioritize when and how you use it. Through prioritizing when and how your training program is used at your organization, you can ensure that your investment was worth it. For example, it makes more sense to invest in customized safety training than required industry-wide compliance training.
Onboarding should be fully customized to represent your organization. Employee onboarding should always be customized to maximize the opportunity to impact job readiness, which in turn can impact new employees’ job satisfaction and retention. For other training needs like safety, technical, and soft-skills, programs that blend customized and non-customized elements can be a cost-effective substitute to fully customized content.
Are You Ready To Create A Custom Training Program?
Creating a custom training program that meets your organization’s training goals may seem daunting. We hope you better understand the benefits of a custom learning solution and decide if it’s the right fit for your organization.