Top 5 Training and Development Challenges

Busy training and development managers face a range of challenges in creating and delivering high-caliber content in an on-demand world. A Lionbridge survey of T&D executives identified the top 5 training and development challenges in corporate learning. Here are the issues and tips for addressing them:

1. Improving learning effectiveness

 “Quality is defined by what participants learn and can do after training,” notes Ann Gretter, CEO of HEi, a training company in the Washington, DC, area. “Selecting or developing training that is closely aligned with improvement of job performance is crucial to realizing a return on training investment, and a cost-effective training delivery medium that works well for the target audience is equally important.” Doing both requires some up-front analysis:

  • Articulate learning outcomes you want participants to realize
  • Understand the context in which the trainee will perform
  • Recommend a delivery method–classroom, web-conference, web-based, simulation, etc.– that best accomplishes the desired learning outcomes

2. Expanding library of content and training programs

Changing skill requirements and new delivery methods can make it difficult to keep up with demand for corporate learning assets. That’s why Gretter suggests having an educated instructional systems designer on your team or at your service. A qualified ISD can procure existing or develop new content and training programs to keep your global workforce primed for maximum performance. “The instructional designer is as important to the development of good training as your subject matter expert,” she says. “Be sure to include an ISD with practical and cost-effective training development experience.”

3. Delivering consistent service across a global organization

“Analysis of the target audience, the nature of the training content, and whether the training is focused on knowing or doing are some of the criteria to consider when selecting training for a global workforce,” Gretter notes. This ensures that the content is correctly translated and that concepts are appropriately captured regardless of language and cultural differences. Localized web-based or web conference training is the best medium to reach a geographically dispersed target audience.

4. Reducing development cycle times

Getting new programs up and running quickly doesn’t have to be so hard. Select a professional translation company with capabilities for quick and easy file exchange, a reputation for predictable and fast delivery, and an established process for change orders. Work with them to develop internal practices so you can create a workflow that improves velocity. According to our poll, T&D managers identify potential vendors through direct contact (59%), industry associations (41.3%), industry-specific social networks and communities (34.5%) and trade shows and conferences (34.2%).

5. Increasing product knowledge amongst employees

If employees don’t understand how to use training products and technology, or if they aren’t familiar with them, the learning won’t stick. “Use tools that they are already comfortable with to develop training,” Gretter counsels. “For example, for several of our clients, that tool is PowerPoint. So we ensure that the training development tool is compatible with PowerPoint.” Speaking of familiarity, don’t overlook the value of making learning content available on mobile devices. For new products and technology, be sure to walk employees through the process of signing in, using, and signing out.

Training and development challenges don’t have to get you down. Use these tips to overcome common obstacles and improve the way your organization learns and performs.