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When compliance related training competes for space alongside in-house programs and end user training materials, these four online learning platforms could help your business stay competitive. In this article, we look at how psychological theories of learning can help to optimise workplace training.

The end game for any training programme is to deliver a clearly defined set of instructional data, intended to bring about a change in behaviour within a relatively short period of time. The focus should be narrow and the objective, specific. If the breadth of the individual or team’s growth requires more than that; a development plan and strategy such as mentoring, coaching or a formalised qualification can help to fit the bill. But for organisations who are upskilling their teams, building a clear training path for departments which keeps on top of compliance related training and essential workplace skills can be challenging enough. Having a system which delivers concise and appropriate modules, on budget and with good utility, could be a real game changer.

Where do we start?

As a Business Psychologist, the first place I begin with clients is by establishing what type of learning is required: are we training for knowledge, skills or attitude? Based on that outcome, the next step would be to select the theory of learning which would best support the knowledge, skill or attitude in the training context. Possibly the most frequently used theory of learning in the workplace is social learning theory (Bandura, 1971). Bandura defined social learning theory as the means by which we transfer knowledge, skills and behaviours from role model to observer. It applies across a number of social domains and, in the workplace this method can have varied outcomes on workplace cultures depending on the role model’s delivery, attitude and skill level.

So, how can I tell if I’m getting value from my current training program?

If we really want to get scientific about training, we need to measure the outcomes by clearly defining exactly what it is that individual needs to learn and then transfer into their role. This is where formalising a business training programme can be especially effective, as it sets a standard of learning in companionship with the learning theory. It will also allow you to measure the costs per module with your accountant or Chief Finance Officer to evaluate the utility. When designed alongside in-house subject matter experts, training can be systematically deployed as new employees join, or existing employees grow with their role. Online systems can help to deliver training at a time to suit teams whilst delivering trackable training outcomes.

The platforms…

For businesses who are still mapping their own training pathways, online platforms can provide a valuable half-way house until larger, bespoke training designs become necessary, so here are four platforms worthy of further research:

  • Lynda.com – For general training modules across a selection of workplace topics, Lynda.com, offered by parent company LinkedIn provides a wealth of video based tutorials and courses including soft skills training, customer service, marketing, IT and finance.
  • Udemy for Business delivers a predefined training platform with subscriptions starting at 5 employees and up. It covers a wide range of workplace functions and delivers training outcome tracking within the user dashboard.
  • In2itive are a UK based training platform who take learning to the next level, allowing organisations to customise their training platform and include training modules for clients or end users of their products.
  • Willow DNA are also based in the UK and deliver a customisable Learning Management System which can also be integrated with Apprenticeships.

Food for thought? We hope so!

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