REVAMP YOUR TRAINING 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

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1 REVAMP YOUR 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM BY STEVE O BRIAN, VICE PRESIDENT, CHRONUS CORPORATION WITH KAREN DU FOUR DES CHAMPS, & DEVELOPMENT EXPERT, AUTHOR, SPEAKER, AND CONSULTANT

2 PROGRAM SUCCESS STARTS HERE Knowledge retention. Return on investment. Proven business results. When it comes to training, these words are what every topperforming company is worrying about. Training has such a high impact upon employee performance, but it can also be expensive and ineffective. With such high stakes, companies are turning to blended learning solutions to ensure that employees are gaining important skills and also applying them through continual, reinforced learning environments. Applicable for learning initiatives such as new hire training, sales training, compliance-based training, or improving an existing program, blended learning is an effective approach to learning because it was developed around the latest research on how adult brains absorb and process information. As stated in Bersin s High Impact Learning Practices, People retain only 10 percent of what they read, 50 percent of what they learn through discussion but 75 percent or more from on-the-job experiences. By combining all of these forms of learning in a way that maximizes knowledge retention, blended learning ensures that your training dollars don t go to waste. In addition, showing your employees that their training is important to you is the first step in creating a learning culture, where employees willingly share skills and knowledge and are invested in improving their own development. One of our subject matter expert partners is Karen du Four des Champs, a training expert and consultant who s driven successful training programs at Fortune 500 companies across North America. We ve combined our guidance with hers to walk you through the steps you ll take to decide whether blended learning is right for you, as well as the tips you ll need for setting up a successful program. 7 7 STEPS TO DEVELOPING A BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM 3 1 Host a discovery phase 2 Identify end goals & metrics 4 Design your program Identify your tools 5 Enroll & promote 6 Learn & apply results 7 Measure results & calculate ROI 2 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

3 REVAMP YOUR 1 HOST A DISCOVERY PHASE First, think about your current training program and why you re trying to change it. Many times, people have different ideas for the training in the first place. Karen explained, Sometimes leaders aren t always on the same page for what s needed. And sometimes training fails because the wrong problem is identified and addressed. Once you ve determined what needs to be changed, ask yourself: What s going to be different following the implementation of your blended learning solutions? Communication is key during this point, so hold a discussion with the training stakeholder to identify the problem they re trying to solve. Often, managers will come to you requesting training without truly analyzing how their team s performance will be different after implementing the training. Managers might also ask for training even though it s not always the right solution. To help you get started, we ve included a questionnaire to help you determine what is needed and whether blended learning is even the right approach. It will get you thinking about the problems you re facing and the business results you hope to see. What will your employees do differently and how will their performance look after the training? 3 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

4 2 IDENTIFY END GOALS & METRICS After you ve determined that a blended learning program is right for you, it s imperative to identify specific goals and metrics. This will give your learning program a defined focus, as well as a way to measure program success and establish an ROI. Companies that see the best results constantly measure through pre- and post-assessments, reporting, surveys, on-the-job observations, and other metrics to ensure they re implementing the right solutions to their problems. The table below provides some examples: END GOAL EXAMPLES Improve time to proficiency for new hires METRICS EXAMPLES Completion of Workplace Safety Orientation within 3 days of hire rose from 52% to 95% compliance Ensure compliance with new standards Improve skill competency Retain and transfer knowledge 100% of employees scored 80% or higher on post-assessment tests Sales increased 85% after the implementation of blended training Manager documented employee modeling new-role clarity 4 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

5 3 DESIGN YOUR PROGRAM Karen likes to start this process by determining the barriers to learning. These could be security issues that prevent you from using innovative technology or not having the resources to integrate video programs and webinars into a comprehensive training plan. Other times, the same content needs to be delivered across many geographical locations and to different cultures. In addition to training, you may want to consider adding a mentoring or coaching program to your program. Using a variety of methods ensures longer term learning that lasts. Up front, recognize that your program needs to be impactful for all of your learners and work your blended training approach around meeting that need. Here are two types of blended learning programs that have proved successful for Chronus customers: One piece of advice from us: start with a pilot program. A pilot program gives your trial run a chance to check in with key stakeholders for validity. It also provides you an opportunity to see whether your end goals and metrics are achievable. However, be sure you re running the program with a team that accurately represents the team that needs training. Choosing a top-performing team for the pilot will skew your data and doesn t make your trial run effective at working out any bugs or issues before the wider rollout. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL APPROACH A: Interweave formal and informal training Complex roles where the trainers are subject matter experts Bulding knowledge in layers is key CLASS 1 HANDS-ON CLASS 2 & APPLY HANDS-ON & APPLY APPROACH B: Serialize formal and informal training For roles where building a foundation before application is needed CLASS 1 HANDS-ON & APPLY FORMAL INFORMAL 5 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

6 4 IDENTIFY YOUR TOOLS Although a LMS system can be very valuable, especially for formal learning, it s probably not enough. To create a true blended learning program, you ll need software that takes and tracks learning beyond the classroom environment. Training management software enables you to create a personalized training program for each participant after the classroom experience to ensure long-lasting learning. This type of software program also offers streamlined program administration and strong reporting to help you understand the areas of your program that are working and which parts may need improvement. 70% OF LEARNING IN ORGANIZATIONS OCCURS OUTSIDE OF FORMAL PROGRAMS. (BERSIN, 2014) Measure & track development 6 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

7 REVAMP YOUR 5 ENROLL & PROMOTE Now that you ve planned your blended learning training program and ironed out the kinks with a pilot program, it s time to start promoting it. Training programs work best if there s strong leadership backing it and it s integrated into your performance management expectations to ensure accountability. Here s one thing you shouldn t do: don t expect the program to catch on by itself. You ll need momentum from executives and key stakeholders to drive excitement throughout the company. Work with your communications team to promote your training initiative to get even more word of mouth. Karen likes to talk about one company that did just that. PROMOTIONAL TACTICS 1 Pilot your program Their team created video snippets of the compliance training and strategically placed them where employees commonly gathered, including the elevators. This reinforced the company s expectations and employee knowledge retention. 2 3 Inform key stakeholders & team leaders Generate excitement with a broad announcement informational 4 Hold sessions 5 Stagger onboarding for word of mouth successes 6 Monitor and publicize them 7 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

8 REVAMP YOUR 8 6 LEARN & APPLY RESULTS By now you ve analyzed your training needs, designed a blended learning program, written it, run a pilot program, and promoted it. But don t stop there. It s important to monitor your progress and continually fine-tune your program to ensure the best results. Software often makes this easier because it can analyze which programs, trainers, coaches, or locations are performing well and can direct your attention to much-needed areas. With software that showcases improved tracking and testing, you ll be able to learn what works for your employees and continually improve their overall learning experience. track ent developm plans REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

9 REVAMP YOUR 7 MEASURE RESULTS & CALCULATE ROI Another way to ensure that your program is doing well? Analyze the ROI. If you ve set clearly defined, desired metrics at the outset of your program, it s simply a matter of analyzing results. It s easy to say things like, But everyone seems happier/more knowledgeable. But as Karen says, Unless you can prove through data that your programs have achieved results beyond level one [based on the Kirkpatricks model] and are making an impact that drives business results, they aren t worth your time or your employees time. Analyzing the data can be time consuming. However, there are several software options that provide built-in metrics and can send surveys to help with data gathering all of which helps you with acquiring the data to indicate the results of delivered learning 9 learning and achieved business results. This will provide you with what you need to evaluate levels four and five of the Kirkpatrick model as you analyze the outcomes of your program. To get you started, you can also check out our guide to calculating ROI online: The ROI of Mentoring, Coaching, and Other Employee Development Programs REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

10 A REAL-WORLD EXAMPLE Chronus Learn software helps customers become successful with blended learning programs. Here s one example of how a Chronus customer is providing a training experience that helps learners retain knowledge while improving employee engagement. STRATEGIC IN ACTION Medical Equipment Manufactures - Sales Training Goal: Accelerate time to performance by extending training beyond throughout the first year PHASE 1: BASICS Orientation Company culture, mission, and core values Intro to systems Core product and industry training PHASE 2: DEEP DIVE Seeking skills Pricing, promo programs Ride-alongs, job shadowing In-depth product training Peer-buddy assignments PHASE 3: APPLY Progress check-ins Progress assessments 1:1 access to experts as needed PHASE 4: FINE-TUNING Re-training where needed 1:1 sales coaching Performance assessment 9 MONTH PROGRAM 10 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

11 CONCLUSION Karen offers this advice about the most important thing to remember: It s not what do employees need to learn? Rather, it s what do they need to perform? or what do they need to learn to do differently? Frame the question around performance and business results, and it will shift your thinking to designing a strategic blended learning program that is not only effective, but will also have demonstrated ROI. We ve laid out the steps you ll need, and now it s time to get started. Start with the questionnaire provided at the end to begin thinking about the problems you re trying to solve and the learning solutions you ll need to address them. Soon you ll be on your way to success. ABOUT STEVE O BRIAN As Vice President of Chronus, a talent development software company, Steve O Brian has been instrumental in changing the way companies approach training, mentoring, and coaching. Deeply involved in software product creation, Steve shares his expertise through publishing numerous articles and videos on the learning and development world. ABOUT KAREN DU FOUR DES CHAMPS With more than three decades in the learning and development field, Karen brings passion to creating and sustaining high-performing teams and organizations with an ROI. Adept in diagnosing barriers to optimal performance and effectiveness, Karen has implemented people goals and organizational programs with Fortune 500 companies, and has worked with Bank of America, Microsoft, KPMG, and United Way. 11 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

12 ABOUT CHRONUS Chronus is a leading provider of talent and career development software for enterprise-scale organizations. Chronus empowers mentoring, coaching, and training initiatives by combining cloud-based software and program best practices to provide a complete talent development solution. Chronus solutions, include Chronus Mentor, Chronus Coach, and Chronus Learn, are used by more than 500,000 professionals worldwide at leading institutions including PNC Bank, Staples, MIT, and the American Diabetes Association. Chronus Learn software is an experiential-based solution that helps you to start, run, and manage blended learning training programs. This cloud-based solution includes everything that you need for immediate business impact: guided software, best practice workflows, content, and world-class support. With Chronus Mentor, you can create dynamic online mentoring programs that are easy to start, manage, and measure. Drive participant engagement and simplify program administration for a more productive mentoring experience. Chronus Coach software helps you start, manage, and measure all of your corporate coaching engagements. Flexible and scalable, Chronus Coach saves time, cost, and effort by automating day-to-day program management. Easily manage multiple programs from one single platform to improve the efficiency and productivity of all of your corporate coaching programs. For more information, visit Phone: (800) Phone: (425) Fax: (425) Web: Additional Resources: Ebook: The ROI of Mentoring, Coaching, and Other Employee Development Programs Whitepaper: How Coaching & Mentoring Can Drive Success in Your Organization Whitepaper: Five Benefits of a Workplace Mentoring Program MORE INFORMATION For more information on creating an employee career development program or to see how Chronus software can help, visit 12 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

13 DEVELOPING A STR ATEGIC EMPLOYEE LEARNING & PERFORMANCE PLAN WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? BUSINESS RESULTS: 1. Which current business effectiveness measurements are most important to you and why? 2. How do you think your team needs to change over the next 6 months? 12 months? 2 years? 3. If you had more people performing at that ideal level, what business impact would that have on your team? Your company as a whole? EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE: 4. What knowledge, skills, and resources do exemplary performers have that others don t? 5. Which Core Competencies have been identified? Measured? (If measured: How many on your team have scored Below expectations or Needs Immediate Improvement? How many are at a Consistently Exceeds level? Why do you think this is?) WHERE ARE YOUR GAPS IN PERFORMANCE? CURRENT BUSINESS RESULTS: 1. On a scale of #1 5, how would you assess your team s current productivity level? 2. How is the current performance level impacting your team/dept s bottom line? Impacting your company s bottom line? 3. Based on current performance levels, which outputs do you anticipate your team will achieve by this quarter s end? The 2014 fiscal year? 4. What were your specific outputs (deliverables) last year? How does that compare with your team s goals set for last year? This year? How does it compare to your company s overall goals? KNOWLEDGE / SKILLS / ABILITY: 5. On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the current morale of your team? Why do you think that is? 6. What knowledge, skills or ability does your team lack to complete their tasks? 7. How easily can your team members access the knowledge needed to perform at the desired level? How much depends on recall vs. quickly locating the information? 8. Could the team member do the job correctly if their performance bonus depended on it? (If the answer is yes, then it is not a training problem ) ACTUAL STATE OF EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE: 9. How do you currently measure employee performance for each of your team members? 10. What do these measurements tell you about current performance? 11. What must your team members do differently to achieve the desired business results for your team/dept? 12. What are your team members doing that they should not be doing? 13. If you could make one change to improve the process for your team members, what would that be? 14. What are some of the issues that get in the way when team members try to do a quality job and fall short of the mark? How often does this occur? How could this be fixed? 13 REVAMP YOUR : 7 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM

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