Corporate Training Choices Explained

There are many types of corporate training.  People often ask what type of training is best. While on the surface, it may seem that there is a reasonable response, the program is more problematic.  Each type of training has inherent strengths and weaknesses.  Sometimes the question of which type of training is best is correctly answered by the identification with an assessment of the needs-based purpose for the training.

With each of the following training systems, I have provided a brief explanation and a summary of the pros and cons for each.

Manual (self-training): The presentation of material, hopefully organized, is generally given to a staff member to basically self train.  A summary of this training system are:

Strengths:

  • Cheap & Easy

Weaknesses:

  • Inability to measure learning.
  • Requires self-imposed focus
  • Little interaction

On-the-Job Training (OJT): Generally used by many corporations for training.  It is a mix of manual training, combined with direct oversight by a mix of management and experienced staff. 

Strengths:

  • Cheap & Easy
  • Direct oversight
  • Built in mentoring

Weaknesses:

  • Not uniform training
  • Lowers productivity of the trainer during the ramp-up cycle
  • Subjective metrics

Computer Based Training (CBT): This has been previously thought of as a ‘holy-grail’ of a system.  The preparation and presentation of material, delivered to the student/staff for presentation and preparation of material and concepts.  The student takes the delivered CD-ROM disks and can participate in the training in geographically dispersed staff.

Strengths:

  • Access to uniform training
  • Access to world-class trainers
  • Flexible delivery and presentation
  • Measured delivery in easy to absorb slices of material

Weaknesses:

  • Limited learning metrics
  • Inability to measure participation
  • Limited interaction
  • Quickly outdated material
  • Expensive production

Web Based Training (eLearning): This is a system of training that greatly expands the process of presentation of training.  It is delivered via a Learning Management System, that contains numerous courses.  The student is capable of interacting with the system via any web browser.

Strengths:

  • Access to uniform training
  • Access to world class trainers
  • Felixable delivery & presentation
  • Measured delivery in easy to absorb material segments
  • Measurable metrics on both pre and post delivery
  • Instantly updated material, eliminating outdated or discarded
    concepts/information
  • Ability to create certification programs which can elevate the education
    cycle

Weaknesses:

  • Limited interaction with staff
  • Limited interaction among staff

On-site Seminars by Consultant: This system generally is done for specialty job categories. The rapid development of this type of program insures a swift implementation of this type of training.  It is delivered by outside trainers in internal corporate facilities.

Strengths:

  • Rapid Curriculum development
  • High interaction with students/staff
  • Highly specialized training with specific doctrine skillfulness
  • Non-biased delivery of material
  • Student participation is higher and staff experiences shared
  • Allows for face-time and un-interrupted communication amount staff

Weaknesses:

  • Cost of the Consultants
  • Cost of Equipment
  • Cost of traveling
  • Difficult to coordinate staff attendance
  • Disruption of schedules
  • Limited metrics
  • Day long classes, causing limited attention and absorption of material

On-site Seminars by Internal Staff: This method of training has been greatly employed by companies both large and small. It is generally conducted by internal staff in a corporate facility.

Strengths:

  • Rapid Curriculum development
  • High interaction with students/staff
  • Highly specialized training
  • Student participation is higher and experienced shared
  • Allows for face-time and un-interrupted communication amount staff
  • Student participation is higher and staff experiences shared
  • Allows for face-time and un-interrupted communication amount staff

Weaknesses:

  • Cost of traveling
  • Cost of equipment
  • Difficult to coordinate staff attendance
  • Disruption of schedules
  • Biased delivery of curriculum
  • Limited metrics
  • Day long classes, causing limited attention and absorption of material

Off-site Courses at Training Centers: Generally thought of as a system of training that is centrally located for all attendees.  Training Centers are correctly prepared with both equipment and trainers for most

Strengths:

  • High interaction with students/staff
  • Highly specialized training
  • Student participation is higher and experienced shared
  • Allows for face-time and un-interrupted communication amount staff
  • Allows for face-time and un-interrupted communication amount staff

Weaknesses:

  • Cost of traveling
  • Disruption of schedules
  • Day long classes, causing limited attention and absorption of material

Webinars:  These are seminars conducted via a web browser. These courses are a combination of audio, video and other multi-media presentation. Allows for feedback and guest participation. They allow for highly targeted delivery and participation by attendees.

Strengths:

  • High interaction with students/staff
  • Highly specialized training
  • Student participation is higher and measurable
  • Allows for both internal and consultant presentation
  • Recordable and re-deliverable to extended staff
  • Limited disruption of schedules

Weaknesses:

  • Loss of face-to-face interaction by staff
  • Limited metrics gauging participation and knowledge of students/staff

Seminars: These are high profile celebrity seminars. They are presented by professional speakers or executives.  They are primarily off-site at convention centers or large training centers.

Strengths:

  • Celebrity presenters
  • Easy to appraise
  • Student participation is higher and staff experiences shared
  • Allows for out-of-the-box presentation of ideas.

Weaknesses:

  • Cost of traveling
  • Disruption of schedules
  • Day long classes, causing limited attention and absorption of material
  • Un-measurable assessments of presentation

While all of these educational systems have attributes that appeal to different objectives, it is my opinion that a mix of many of these systems is generally most effective. Irrespective of what a company seeks to train its staff on, the essential ability to unceasing feedback will direct which mix of programs they employ.  For me, a balanced mix of CBT and eLearning, along with webinars and class-room training, provide the highest return on staff training.

Copyright 2012 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.

Bryant Nielson – Managing Director of CapitalWave Inc.– offers 25+ years of training and talent management for executives, business owners, and top performing sales executives in taking the leap from the ordinary to extraordinary. Bryant is a entrepreneur, trainer, and strategic training adviser for many organizations. Bryant’s business career has been based on his results-oriented style of empowering the individual.

Learn more about Bryant at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryantnielson

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes.

For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive.

Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City.

He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should ‘engage and inspire’ students to greater productivity and performance.

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