Best practices for training and development software

With so many priorities in your organization, using a training management software can take the back seat. Here are best practices to get you started.

December 23, 2020

Chances are, if you're looking for a policy management system, you work for an organization that requires special training for most of its employees. Although the pandemic has changed how we work, the need for training hasn’t diminished. More than ever, people need training and professional development. That means using training and development software to reach all your employees and let them receive training remotely.

Here are a few important statistics about the need for training at your organization.

In this article, we'll help you understand why training and development software can help your organization streamline your training, keep results of all training and testing, and still ensure you're providing a full training experience to everyone in the organization. We'll also show you how training operations management software can help you track everyone's training and testing results, which you can tie into your accreditation requirements.

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Training and development best practices

Training and development are more than just reading from a binder full of policies or watching the same training video you've shown for the last 18 years. It's about providing the latest information, newest policies, and recent developments in your field. It's about getting information from subject matter experts and delivering it in an interesting, yet educational, manner.

Without this, employees won't be able to do their jobs well and could share wrong information with each other, all of which can lead to costly mistakes.

Practical training can improve an employee's skills and performance and increase their overall job satisfaction, which leads to greater retention and lower onboarding costs. But it needs to be a continual, ongoing effort, not a once-a-year event, so that regular development can occur.

Here are a few best practices to consider when you launch your training and development software.

Set up a training team

Before you even implement a training operations management software program, establish a training team that's dedicated to knowing how to work with your software. They'll be responsible for running the program, managing the documentation, and the training itself.

If you can't put together a team, choose one person responsible for managing all your training efforts and have them be a point of contact with your training software provider.

Make sure leadership is on board

Not only is training and development software a significant expenditure, but the demand for regular continual training needs to come from upper management to ensure that everyone will comply. So make sure that your C-level executives have bought into the entire plan.

Make sure they understand the problem and in what ways the current training system isn't as effective. Ensure they understand the cost, energy, and time that will go into selecting and managing the training solution. And show how the software can benefit the organization.

Identify the problems you want to solve – ALL the problems

Don't just buy a training and development software package because you think you're supposed to, or because it will solve a few of your problems. Make sure you know which problems you're actually going to solve and figure out how much they cost you.

Maybe you're using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of who has completed their different training modules, but people aren't sending their test scores to you. Or you have binders full of documents with signed forms, and it takes several minutes just to find a person's records. Or you're paying a lot of money to have subject matter experts fly in to deliver regular training. Or maybe you're still working off of sign-in sheets and videos.

There's no magic bullet that will fix every issue, but you may find that training management software can streamline your training system, which gives you time to focus on other important matters.

Track everything in one system

Use one system to track all your training requirements and testing results and tie it in with any accreditation requirements. Keeping everything in a single location ensures that all the information is easy to find and share with other stakeholders.

You'll also have to figure out what to do with your old training records. Should you archive them or import them into the new system? If you already have a cloud-based document management system, it should be easier to figure out because you can just upload all the data as needed until you have to pull it into the new system.

Track course completions

As employees complete online courses and seminars, even outside CEUs, you'll want a solution that will keep track of all completed courses, seminars, and training, both online and offline. This way, you have the information all kept in one location.

You'll need to be able to look up a full profile of your employees’ training history to make sure everyone is up to par when it comes to licensure and certification.

Track all test results

Similarly, you'll want to store all your employees' tests and results in your online training management solution. To that end, you'll need software that can let you administer and handle all your testing, or at least a third-party testing solution that will integrate with your training software.

This will let you easily associate an employee's test results with their ongoing training as well as any certification and licensing requirements they have to fulfill. You'll also be able to see trends and patterns on questions that employees commonly missed, which can help you spot holes in your training curriculum.

Prepare for expiring certifications and licenses

Your training and development software can even help with accreditation and licensing compliance. Good training management software can keep track of when certifications and licenses expire and alert the employee, as well as the supervisors or training managers.

Plus, you should keep track of all continuing education and training credits within your system, so you can easily plug those into your accreditation management solution.

Receive employee feedback on tests and training

If you want to know whether your training program is effective, you can always look at test results. Still, you should also measure whether a particular trainer or the curriculum was effective. Your training and development software should also be able to conduct surveys and ask for feedback.

Make sure your software lets you evaluate the different training modules and classes, conduct surveys, and keep the results with your various courses. This way, you can identify trends and patterns and adjust and improve your training accordingly.

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Best practices for implementing training and development software

If you've read this far, you already understand why you should keep all your data in one cloud-based location that's accessible by authorized personnel. So here are a few best practices to actually implement your training software.

Sync your groups and permissions with your organizational structure

Online training systems work best when the users/groups match your organizational structure. This way, supervisors can assign training and view reports by team or department, as can their managers.

Software like PowerDMS can sync with Active Directory, which ensures that employees and groups have the appropriate permissions across all your software solutions, rather than setting it for each piece of software or even each employee.

Link policy, training, and tests together

Training and compliance go hand-in-hand, so you need to train to your policies and procedures. That means keeping the language consistent between all platforms. That will not only save you time, but it will help you keep your information up to date.

Plus, you can tie in your employees' acknowledgment of policies, associated training, and test results, keeping them up to date and in a single location. It also means changes made to one area will sync across the board in other packages and portals.

Keep all courses in the same system

Find training and development software that will let you host your own training and bring all the content into the system – PowerPoint, videos, audio recordings, case studies, and even tests and results.

Keeping everything in one place makes it easier for everyone – employees will always know where to go since it will be the same for all training and assessments.

Schedule, request, and sign-up for offline courses

When we return to public gatherings, and your employees start attending conferences again, they'll have a chance to begin attending courses and conferences in the real world. You'll want training software that will let you have sign-up sheets, training requests, and scheduling. This should match up with their completion and certification.

Run tracking reports to monitor organizational progress

Training reports can be one of the most effective tools you have, and it's so much easier when all the data is in a single location. You can see who has completed (or not) the various training and testing modules, aggregate test results, and see if you're meeting the milestones that are set for completion of your various accreditation requirements.

Ready to be the best?

There are numerous benefits to a cloud-based training and development software solution. You can streamline your accreditation compliance; help remote and out-of-office employees complete their training; and bring a complex collection of training modules for a variety of departments and functions, as well as their testing requirements, all into one structure.

There may not be one perfect solution that will solve every issue in your organization. Still, if you keep these best practices and benefits in mind, you'll find the one that can handle most of your problems and improve your organization's overall training program.

Learn more about the most important topics related to training management software.

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