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Is online training right for your team?

If you're unsure if online training is right for you and your tea, Ryan and Jude have all the answers in Ep. 5 of The CoLab Podcast!

8 Feb 2021 by Rocco Brudno

G’day Mates!

Welcome to the CoLab podcast. My name is Ryan Macpherson, CEO and Co-Founder of Coassemble, the online training platform revolutionizing how teams train. For this episode, I’m joined by fellow Co-Founder and CPO of Coassemble, Jude Novak. Today Jude and I are going to talk about how to know if online training is right for your team, how to begin your solution search, and understanding what you need to look for in a solution. Let’s dive in, shall we?

About the CoLab Podcast

The CoLab Podcast is the best business training advice from experts in the field on sharing knowledge and growing teams successfully at scale. In each episode, host Ryan Macpherson will chat with guests about entrepreneurship, strategy, management, leadership, and the value of elevating the employee experience. Ryan will also share his insights on proven methods & strategies that helped teams grow.

To listen to the full episode, click the link below to hear CoLab wherever you enjoy podcasts most.

What you’ll learn in today’s episode

Many teams are learning how to share knowledge and grow effectively at scale. Though the topics and guests will be different, we’ll always be looking through that lens to create a powerful employee experience. In today’s episode, we’ll dive into:

  • When is online training right for your team?
  • Understanding what your team needs from a solution
  • Where to find consumer data on solutions
  • And more!

Strap in, it’s gonna be a great episode!

When is online training right for your team?

Being able to understand when you need a training solution means looking at several factors.

For many businesses, it’s growth that pushes the need for a scalable training process. For thousands of teams in 2020, it was adapting to the transition to remote work. And for some organizations, it’s the moment when you recognize providing consistent training across the team is essential.

Listen to what Ryan thinks is a common point most companies reach before realizing they need a training solution.

“So I think it comes back to, why are we doing this, why are we actually thinking about online training, and what has been the trigger for me to start thinking about that? And you mentioned, size can be one of those reasons. So, we've really gotten to a point now where we can't do face-to-face training, both efficiently or cost-effectively or taking too much time out of the business.”

Ryan Macpherson

This is the most common point a company realizes they need to adapt their processes. SaaS startups especially face this issue because of their rapid growth. So having a scalable growth solution is critical to prevent plateauing. Enter online training.

If you need a solution that can bridge knowledge gaps, make expert quality content accessible, and optimize processes, online training can help. By leveraging rapid authoring tools, online training platforms can make effective training available to anyone.

What to consider when searching for a training solution

It can feel daunting to search for a training solution, especially if you have little or no experience with training. Some things Ryan encourages Coassemble customers and all of our listeners to consider during their search include:

  • Who is going to own the actual “training” creation and delivery? If you’re doing everything yourself, making sure a solution is user friendly is critical.
  • Will you or the person creating and delivering the training have the capacity/time to do so? If not, is this something you can carve out time for or will it need to be a new function for the organization?
  • What is the budget you have to allocate for a solution? If not, are there solutions that can scale with your funding?
  • What is the ultimate goal of scaling your training?

Considering each of these questions can frame what you’ll want to look for in an online training platform. Ryan adds the quote below on how to tie everything together to know if you need online training.

"If they [admins] think about ‘is the training that we're doing today or the lack of training that we're doing today, really resulting in a lack of performance in my business?’ And if that is the case, then I think it's a good time to start thinking about, not just online training, but ensuring that you've got a training mechanism in your business..."

Ryan Macpherson

How to take these questions to find a solution

Most often, when you look through all of that with the consideration of online training, you reach two questions:

  • Is how the method you typically share knowledge with your team effective enough to achieve your desired results? Or is it missing the mark and needs to be improved?
  • How can you accomplish your desired training outcomes in the most efficient, engaging, and fun way possible?

Understanding what isn’t working now can guide your future solution choice. Are you sharing content across too many platforms? Finding a tool that can gather everything into one place is crucial. Are you having difficulty engaging with your team by training via PDF manuals? You’ll want something that includes interactivity.

Streamlining knowledge sharing is exactly what an online training platform is built to accomplish. It reduces training costs and resources required to create and deliver while increasing efficiency and engagement. Online training best practices have grown to include a variety of engagement methods including gamification. This keeps your team entertained while they learn.

Training has always been seen and used as a process adjacent to another business function, i.e. onboarding or review. With online training platforms, training has become agile to encourage team development and growth as part of their workday.

How to know what your team needs

Ryan says it all comes back to the learner to understand what your team needs. If you focus on how training can benefit the end-user (your staff), you can create a focused training program.

  • For learners, it’s how to disseminate information that translates into a skill or understanding.
  • For educators, it’s the best strategy to deliver that information, but also how to assess what stage of competency a learner is at.

Ryan says it all comes back to the learner to understand what your team needs. If you focus on how training can benefit the end-user (your staff), you can create a focused training program.

Authenticity is also important to include when you’re evaluating your team’s needs. If they feel like the training is just a static, surgical delivery of information, they might not engage as well.

You have to find a solution that allows you to capture the culture of your business and connect with your employees. That’s an important reason why many organizations look to employee experience to evolve their training programs.

Accessibility is the final piece to look for in an online training solution. Blended learning applies the methodology of delivering training in a way that’s convenient for your team. Whether employees away from their desks or prefer to train during workouts or commutes, mobile training should be a priority.

If you already had training in place, but have your information scattered across multiple platforms, this can block access. Some common options we've seen in the past are:

  • Google Drive for policies
  • YouTube for sales enablement
  • Slack for product technical support

This style can quickly become a nightmare for your team to get training when they need it. Gathering all of your knowledge and resources into one platform enables your team to have greater and easier access.

💡 Pro Tip: if you want to find how to create an effective training process that focuses on your team, you’re in luck! We literally wrote the book on the Learn First Training Model and think you’ll be able to take away plenty to get started.

Where can you go to find online training platforms?

Ryan talks with Jude a little about how finding the right solution can be a different journey for everyone. For himself as the CEO of a SaaS business, Ryan begins asking whether he would even have time to search for a solution or if he would delegate that to one of his employees. If he is the one looking, review sites like Capterra, G2 crowd, or even eLearning Industry might help.

But the best way for anyone to find a solution is to look through consumer reviews. Finding out what professionals in similar spaces to your own do to accomplish their training goals can provide insights. The power of referrals carries more weight than Google searches and gives you an idea of what a solution can look like for your team.

On the other side, Ryan discusses with Jude what that process could be like for a team lead or an operations manager. Both would still benefit from reviews, but they also might obtain information from blogs or podcasts they follow. But they also need to do some research before they can obtain buy-in from stakeholders. So often, these roles will spend more time searching and qualifying a solution than a CEO can so they’re able to present the best option to their team.

One of the biggest challenges smaller companies growing rapidly face is understanding where to start. Jude and Ryan’s advice? Think big, start small.

If you have the goal of expanding revenue with your training, start with sales enablement to increase conversions. Starting with incremental changes can lead to sustainable business growth.

So think about the big picture, but start with a small change to begin your online training process.

Subscribe for more episodes

The CoLab Podcast is a monthly series that will include guests as well as Ryan providing expert knowledge on sharing knowledge, employee experience, online training, and growing teams successfully at scale. To stay up to date, click subscribe wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts to receive the latest episodes.

Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

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