This post was originally published by Steph Martin on lessonly.com.
We need a training program! We need training! Have you ever heard this? In my former roles as a Product Manager and a Learning & Performance Consultant, this idea came up frequently. The conversation that followed always revolved around the following questions:
- Do we need eLearning content?
- What about instructor-led training?
- Maybe we should use a blended learning approach?
- Who will be the training administrators and facilitators?
- How will we track student (aka employee) completions and comprehension?
- What will be included in the content and what will it look like?
What I didn’t realize during these discussions was that we often forgot to talk about the technology that would support our training program. Upon reflection, maybe it’s because when we think of an employee training program or training, we don’t necessarily think of technology. We might think of a binder on our first day or a classroom-style lecture—but I find it ironic that in a world of “high-tech”, training and technology are not thought of together. Why is that? Why aren’t we celebrating and talking about the game-changing technology that’s used to support training and learning? We use the latest technology all the time: our phones, smart watches, laptops, CRMs, sales outreach tools, TVs, etc. In my experience, some of the reasons that technology is not top of mind when we thinking of corporate training is a lack of convenience, time, and awareness. Here are a few examples I’ve encountered:
- “It’s faster to build a slick PowerPoint deck to meet our deadline. Plus, we don’t trust the HR or Training departments to create content. We know our content better than they do.”
- “Building eLearning content will take too long. Our training team has limited capacity right now. Also, our current Learning Management Systems (LMS) can’t help us with the role plays and engaging exercises that we can accomplish during in-person sessions.”
- “We don’t need to use a training management system, we’re just training a specific team to update them on recent changes—it’s not an organization-wide training effort.”
I’m convinced that there’s a better way—and it starts with better technology.
There are various schools of thought about what makes an effective training program. Most are consistent in their suggestions—do a deep dive analysis, outline learning objectives, measure results, and more. These are essential—but we need more. I recently read an article by Arte Nathan entitled 7 Steps for Better Training and Development Programs. It highlighted a step called “Keep Innovating”. This is a truly important step. The call to “Keep Innovating” refers to the idea that training has evolved from slide projectors, white board, and hard copy handouts to PowerPoint presentations, graphic workbooks, and digital editing. A lot of organizations use these tools today. But in my opinion, we have the opportunity to go far beyond these tools—and a forward-thinking learning management system can help us do it.
In business today, I often hear leaders ask each other, “What software are you using for x?” or “What does your tech stack look like?” These questions have become so important because they deeply impact our effectiveness at work—our efficiency, engagement, business outcomes, and so much more. Remember, training is not a one-time event. Whether designing a full training program, on-demand training, or just a quick update on process or policy, these learning opportunities can greatly impact your team.
All this to say—it only makes sense that the technology being used for your training program should be part of the broader conversation when talking about training and knowledge sharing. Technology shouldn’t be an afterthought in your training strategy—it can be the engine that powers better training for years to come. So, the next time the conversation around training comes up, make sure you ask: What technology are we using to fuel our training programs?
Lessonly is powerfully simple training software that helps teams learn, practice, and Do Better Work. Forward-thinking companies across the globe use Lessonly to build onboarding and ongoing training that fuels employee growth and business progress. Learn more, and demo Lessonly today.