You’ve finally done it—after taking the time, energy, and hard-earned money to create an effective training process for your team, you’re finally ready to start growing their knowledge and skillset. There’s just one problem—your dynamically growing team has varying periods of time available to train/needs for when that training is delivered. How can you ensure your team training is delivered in a timely manner? With powerful training delivery tools like Unlocked Learning, you’ll be able to share knowledge with your team where and when it matters most.
By exploring contextual relevance, you can pinpoint exactly where and when your team benefits most of receiving training. Contextually relevant training means, rather than delivering training and hoping your team’s retention rates are high enough to carry the knowledge to the application—you deliver training in-the-flow of work when they need it most. This means training that is provided in the moment, say for example:
- Delivering communication guidelines to new employees joining a Slack channel.
- Sending sales reps the latest product updates when they log into HubSpot.
- Sharing training links with coworkers struggling to progress on a project.
There is a multitude of applications for delivering training to your team when they need it most. Online training platforms can help you send the training, but only you can analyze the best time your team’s training can be delivered.
We’ve outlined some great examples below that can help you:
- Understand the importance of contextual relevant training.
- How to analyze the best way to deliver just-in-time training.
- What are the benefits for your team.
- How continuous training will increase your team’s talent and retention.
There are some incredible methods being used to do all of this and more, and it starts with learning the best practices. Our team worked hard to bring the facts to you, so you can provide your team with the best training experience possible. Now then, let’s begin!
What is just in time training?
If you’ve ever used one of the older versions of Microsoft Word, then you’ve already experienced a version of Just in time training. And that version came in the form of Clippy.
That’s right! This little buddy may have been the most annoying part of writing in the early 2000s, but it also served as a great training tool. Just in time training or JIT for short, is seeing a common pain point your team has and delivering helpful knowledge in that moment. Just like when you would try and format a word doc and Clippy would point you to the toolbar you could use to do so.
However, unlike Clippy, your training delivery doesn’t need to be out of place or interrupt the flow of work for your team. And—it can be far more effective. Looking back at the very first form of a JIT process, we actually see that Toyota (yup, that Toyota) created the very first successful iteration of the JIT process.
Trying to explore ways to optimize their production process and remove/decrease wasteful practices, Toyota began implementing the Kanban method. And in doing so, they realize that by carefully measuring and producing the exact number of parts needed to build a car, based on cars needed to be delivered to dealerships, they could increase productivity. By perfecting this process, they created the JIT system of production. This system creates the following process:
- When an order is received, production instructions must be issued to the beginning of the production line.
- The assembly line must be stocked with the required number of necessary parts so that any kind of order can be fulfilled.
- The assembly line must replace the parts used by retrieving the same number of parts from the parts-producing process (the preceding process).
- The preceding process must be stocked with parts necessary to produce only the numbers of parts that are needed to replenish the next process.
This system creates a series of checkpoints, where exactly what is needed is provided for that step, and is preceded and followed by the same level of contextual relevance. Nothing is wasted, and the delivery is only in the moment of need to satisfy a specific application or use. And best of all, it makes a system where the previous and next steps have access to what they need to progress.
By applying this same methodology to your training, you’ll be able to:
- Create training that provides a solution to a specific need.
- Know exactly when that training needs to be delivered to be most effective.
- Understand what processes follow the training to produce the best outcome.
- Provide a library of training resources that can be readily accessed at the moment of need for an employee or team.
And training is actually one of the most powerful ways a JIT process can be applied because it directly benefits the learners involved. The learner, by the way, is something we’re very adamant about being the focus of your training. If you want to see why your training audience matters, check out the blog post we mention in the section below. It has all our expert advice on why focusing on your team when building and delivering training improves the experience.
So by applying this approach, you’ll be able to create a powerful training process they’ll love and use to excel within their roles. Now let’s look at how you can deliver training in the moment with a powerful all in one training platform too like Unlocked Learning.
How to deliver contextually relevant training
The most engaging and effective way to deliver training is to make it as shareable as possible. Rather than having to directly enroll learners and hope everyone registers and completes the training, Unlocked Learning takes a different approach. Creating shareable enrollment links that direct learners right into a course allow you to socially deliver training with your team. Why does this work well with contextual relevance? Let’s look at an example.
You and a teammate are both in product development at a SaaS company. Your team has begun a new project, but it’s something your teammate is unfamiliar with doing. Rather than letting them flounder, you share a training link that helps them understand what to do and they absolutely crush the project.
That’s one example of how delivering just in time training can accelerate training while pinpointing exactly when it’s needed most. Some great ways to find moments like this are:
- Looking at common pain points that your team has in their day-to-day work.
- Looking at role-specific training that can be delivered on a regular basis.
- Common knowledge gaps with your team.
- Any projects where an employee may be stuck or need a refresher course.
Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list, but rather a set of ideas for you to start analyzing delivery points for JIT training. You also should consider having JIT training totally accessible for your team anywhere, anytime, and they’re aware of its existence. This means, when they’re having an issue, they know they can quickly access to understand how to solve a problem on the fly. This ensures maximum knowledge retention at the point of application rather than delivering training weeks or months before its need.
Up until now, traditional training methods have been akin to making your team take dozens of pop quizzes a day. Instead, why not let their work become an open book exam you know they’ll ace (A.K.A. increased productivity at work)? The knowledge is there and creating a space readily accessible that puts the training
Another great way to discover where contextually relevant training can be delivered is asking your team. They already know their day-to-day best and usually know which team members need what knowledge to excel in their role. It also helps your team develop a stronger relationship. Social learning like this is exactly why it’s important to understand what your training audience needs to grow stronger. Our blog post below has all the details on how to figure out exactly what your training audience needs most.
Unlocked Learning pro tip: Why your audience matters
The benefits of delivering training in the moment
If you spend so much time and effort into how your training is delivered, you probably want to know why it’s worth it, right? Well, consider this: if your business provides great customer experience, your business does well. But to provide great customer experience, you need:
- A great business model.
- A powerful deliverable that customers want and need.
- And a team that delivers on the first two and keeps your customers and you happy!
If you want to make sure your team is able to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive advantage, then you want a great employee experience.
As recently as 2018, companies began seeing the benefits of improving their employee experience. It’s not hard to see why—check out the stats below:
- Companies on average lose more than 20% of their productivity due to “operational drag” according to the Harvard Business Review. Essentially, systems and processes that hinder teams from achieving their best (think about training that’s not accessible when they need it most).
- IBM reported that by increasing team skills by ⅓ will increase the likelihood of stakeholders meeting objects by 90%! This is because a team with higher quality skill sets are able to achieve success more often and more efficiently.
- In that same IBM report, “70-80% of managers believe effective training is CRITICAL to project success and meeting deadlines.” If you’re delivering training when it’s not needed, you’re risking the chance of low knowledge retention, making it difficult to attribute training with revenue growth. JIT training is the most effective way to share knowledge to ensure desired outcomes.
- An article by Forbes reports that “experiential organizations had more than 4 times the average profit and more than 2 times the average revenue.” Experiential orgs refers to companies that deliver powerful employee experiences. By training employees regularly and when they need it most, you’re guaranteeing improved retention and employee experiences.
Those are some big numbers to consider with delivering training that’s effectively and timely. Contextually relevant training also ensures that your team has access to training on their own terms. With an online training platform that has features offered like Unlocked Training, you can also create triggers for training delivery. These online training delivery tools allow you to schedule training, or have it delivered when an employee begins a new task. You can almost automate the training process in this way while empowering your team to grow at their own pace.
How continuous learning improves your employee experience
One of the biggest factors that dictate employee retention for a company is whether role progression and continuous learning are offered. We’ve found in our research with customers that offering the ability to progress within a role and access new knowledge positively impacted employee retention. Not only that, but the cost of replacing a new employee can cost almost 20% of their yearly income! If that number scares you, that’s understandable—but we also have an easy solution for you. Consider how you can deliver continuous learning to your team on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
Monthly continuous learning
This type of training can be a mix of readily available knowledge teams can access and monthly refresher training. Think about splitting your content into these categories and sending a newsletter to your team with helpful tips for their role and a refresh on the practices they use every day. Your team might all know how to enter ticket requests to I.T., but we’re willing to bet not all of them are doing it right. Any knowledge you think could be helpful to refresh is going to be welcomed and show you’re interested in keeping your team at a high level of success and growth.
Quarterly continuous learning
This is where you want to start getting deep with your recurring training process. Think about the objectives your team had at the beginning of the quarter and how they finished. What training would help them grow from the previous quarter, or improve on mistakes they might have made. Lastly, what new information is available that they should learn about? Maybe you have a new product update or new process they should familiarize themselves with. You have lots of room to get creative here. And whatever you may have missed the first round can easily be improved on the following. Think in terms of constant improvement rather than a one-and-done style of training. Your team will thank you for that later.
Annual continuous learning.
Yearly reviews don’t have to be all criticism. In fact, a yearly training session can help your team see how far they’ve grown in twelve months. This also helps employees remember training knowledge they may have forgotten but still find valuable.
Annual continuous learning can be a mix of a year in review, to cover the big topics you created training about. It can also be a great way to kick-off delivering new training resources for your team to access. This helps them remember or learn about the knowledge available to them and where to find it. Lastly, annual training can help you understand how long knowledge retention lasts with your team as well as how effective your training is over a year. This is why we typically recommend beginning with assessment and then training to see exactly what your team needs for the new year.
Contextually relevant training, when delivered in a moment of need, can be the most effective way for your team to grow. Leveraging training tools like Unlocked Learning can make this process easy and engaging for your team. Once you start delivering just in time training, you’ll be able to measure the results and improve the process. You could even automate your training, giving both you and your team more time to focus on the important things—growing stronger and growing more productive.
Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing some exciting content weekly on Unlocked Learning and its benefits including:
- Why your audience matters.
- Why content can be both rapidly created and engaging.
- How traceability provides you with the best insight into training performance.