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5 Innovative Employee Training Techniques You Must Consider

How to infuse creativity into staff training for greater employee retention and company growth

You could be the founder of a SaaS startup, work as an L&D manager at a large enterprise, or be the Department Head in charge of numerous employees. However unique each of these roles and their respective duties are, there is one common liability binding each of these professions to the eLearning landscape.

These professionals are often charged with one of the most important responsibilities in any company: employee training.

It’s imperative that you, a leader in your field, recognize and treat employees as the most valuable asset of your company.

After all, it’s no secret that the better trained an employee is, the happier they are to perform their tasks. This eagerness translates into increased productivity and a higher revenue for the company. Win-win!

It’s also no secret that the costs associated with losing talent, including lost productivity, recruitment expenses, training investments, onboarding processes, and cultural impact are detrimental to the success of a growing company.

That’s why eLearning and its best practices are paramount topics for professionals hoping to achieve sustainable growth and industry recognition.

employee training methods

 

In fact, 23% of employees leave companies due to poor development opportunities and training.

This shows the true impact eLearning practices can have on employee engagement and performance, as documented by the National Research Business Institute.

One of my favorite examples for an excellent employee engagement practice is by L’Oréal.

No… not just because I love their hair products!

As a matter of fact, L’Oréal developed the world’s first employee onboarding app. Onboarding and educating new employees to better understand, decode and master their company culture, the app reaches 10,000 new hires each year and is available in 11 languages. New employees must complete real-life “missions”, which turn these teachings into an actual practice.

This, fellow blog readers, is what I like to call Creativity with a capital “C”.

Now, before you start asking your engineering department to create an internal app for the company, let’s digest what this example means for your unique situation and the possibilities for better employee training.

Not every creative staff training solution will be the perfect fit for your company. As we’ve discussed in a previous article, there are numerous benefits and limitations to eLearning solutions for staff training. Some techniques will work for your employee base, and others won’t.

However, this uncertainty gives you the freedom to innovate and experiment!

Embrace creative eLearning solutions, adopt visionary staff training techniques, and play around with stimulating employee training strategies until you find the perfect fit.

Below, I’ve described the 5 most innovative employee training methods you have to explore as you embark on a mission to provide the best employee experience possible.

1. Integrate Elements of Gamification into Employee Training

The most effective employee onboarding process is one that gets employees excited!

Make sure your employees are actively engaged from day one with gamified elements strategically scattered throughout the entire staff training process.  

Gaming for learning combines elements of fun, with instructional design, to create a training platform that will hold an employee’s attention and motivate them to actually finish a course.

By not letting employees progress until they complete a task, for example, gamification makes training entertaining with challenges and competition.

This can be as simple as a creating digital checklist. During employee onboarding, have new hires check off items as they accomplish them.

Tasks can be as basic as “complete tax documentation” or more involved like “complete 10 cold sales calls”.

Each task plays an integral role in the employee onboarding experience, and each is an element that can be “gamified” to elicit continued motivation.

After the employee completes each task, send out a congratulations email. Furnished with explosive confetti of course…

onboarding new hires for higher retention

 

Gamification in employee training lets new hires make mistakes and figure out the optimal strategies and solutions- without the pressure of performing perfectly.

Think back to my L’Oréal example, for instance. L’Oréal’s employee onboarding process encouraged new hires to perform tasks in real life, but only after ample practice in their app.

Super exciting stuff, I know, but hold up! Don’t start drawing inspiration from Nintendo just yet.

Gamification may integrate principles of play and positive competition into employee training, but what happens when an employee falls behind?

Some employees will experience more difficulty than others with a particular task and require extra time. This could result to decreased morale and employee engagement for that particular hire.

Which is exactly what you want to avoid!

With an emphasis placed on extrinsic motivation, gamified elements may not properly onboard employees with the go-getter mindset needed to correctly perform real duties.

Additionally, gamification is not applicable to every situation or training set. Sometimes, you have to let employees choose why and how they learn.

That’s why enlisting employee feedback is the next innovative technique you should explore for an optimal staff onboarding process.

2. Encourage a High Feedback Environment during Employee Training 

Whether you plan to onboard employees through online courses, group projects, or individual training, make feedback an essential step of each staff training session.

Not only will this require employees to participate more actively in their onboarding process role, but it will build the foundation for the relationship they form with their tasks and with your company.

 

Take the Finnish mobile gaming giant Supercell, for instance. With less than 300 employees, they still achieved a revenue of $2.3 billion in 2016. By building a company culture making employees the focal point of success and prioritizing employee engagement during onboarding, Supercell defined their own fruitful feedback environment.

In a recent interview on tech.eu, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen said “[The co-founders] talked about trying to run the company like a sports team. We believed the game developers, not the leaders, should be the superstars.”

Sticking true to this mantra, Supercell’s employees work in ‘cells’, or small teams of developers who build new mobile games and have full control over everything they do.

When a new hire joins a ‘cell’ they are immediately given responsibility, freedom of expression, and are encouraged to give feedback. Employee training may involve other eLearning methods, but this aspect of continuous employee feedback is essential to creating an empowered workforce.

Not only is it important that employees offer feedback throughout training sessions, it’s crucial that you provide feedback throughout the entire process, too.

Feedback is a tool for continued learning. Offering constructive criticism at critical points throughout the employee training will strengthen company goal alignment, improve relationships, enhance product and service improvements, and so much more.

This continued learning through feedback is key to your employees’ expertise, and to your company’s growth.

Emphasizing feedback is an innovative way to cater to the employee experience, and so is sharing customer success stories. Similar to feedback, insight from customers will train new hires to focus on what matters most.

3. Involve Customer Success in Employee Training

It’s common practice for companies to document customer success stories into case studies to market their products to future clients. But, you can also use these customer success stories as an innovative employee training method!

Involving customer success during the employee training process will share the customer experience with your new hires. They’ll gain first-hand insight into the current customer sentiment including doubts, fears, challenges, and triumphs.

destory silos for better employee engagement

 

“Understanding customer perspectives can make a big difference for most departments in your company that often don’t interact with customers,” writes Susan E. DeFranzo, marketer for SnapSurveys.

The issue described by Susan is one every company faces when managing customer experience silos. Sharing the customer success perspective during staff training can eliminate this silo.

What is a Customer Experience Silo, exactly?

You know it far too well. Sales is focused on closing customers, marketing needs to generate leads, and engineering is dealing with product updates.

These separations are clear cut and beneficial to the efficiency, accountability, and specialization of a firm. Employee training is specialized to meet these needs, and every onboarding process is unique.

However, it’s important you blur department divisions when training new hires to contribute to a unified data collection, company-wide vision alignment and universal handoff system.

Often times these silos foster poor morale, which negatively affect the overall employee experience.

To ensure your employees stay educated, highly motivated, and silo-free you may want to experiment with blended training methods- the next innovative technique!

4. Blend eLearning methods for Employee Training

Blended learning can deliver the right mix of massive open online courses, instructor led training, and gamification to build programs that match training strategies that meet your employees’ needs.

The phrase “blended learning” is often used to describe the way companies approach eLearning. By combining traditional classroom methods with independent study, you can create a hybrid teaching method better suited to meet the unique needs of your employee base.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Maybe not.

Blended learning lets you enjoy the benefits of each employee training method.

You can achieve extra efficiency from the employees who study at their own, faster pace. You’ll motivate and encourage employees to appreciate their work. You’ll draw out the creative ideas that only occur through collaboration.

blended elearning for staff training

 

Blended learning for employee training will give you the opportunity to develop learning personas. What’s more? You’ll discover how your employee base thrives.

Do your employees respond well to gamified tasks? Do they prefer individual online training programs? Are they more productive when working within a team?

Giving employees multiple types of experiences for staff training lets you track which methods actually lead to a better performance.

Remember, you should always get feedback from the employees. Show that you’re willing to innovate and improve the employee experience.

5. Use Interactive Guides for Employee Training 

Interactive guides are the newest technology enhancing human resource efforts and the employee training industry.

Proven to increase employee engagement, knowledge retention, and software adoption, any professional positioned in the eLearning landscape should experiment with interactive guides as a form of staff training.

Interactive guides are divided into chapters and superimposed directly on any kind of application. This way, new employees can be trained automatically within the software itself.

After completing the interactive guides, both new hires and existing employees have the power to recall or request specific walkthroughs to perform operations they are not familiar with.

This is because of our virtual assistant which remains present in the system. Employees can always revisit trainings if they don’t know how to perform a specific task in the software, thus eliminating a learning curve and the need for retraining.

elearning and staff training for reduced churn

 

Administrators can also make the interactive software guides mandatory, granting conditional access to chapters only after preliminary tasks are completed. This way, companies can create unique employee training programs on their software solutions.

You can now onboard employees for software adoption or product expertise with simple, step-by-step, interactive guides.

The employee is kept productive as they engage with the software and system. They aren’t working within a foreign platform (like video tutorials), but within the actual platform they’re being trained on.

Because interactive software guides allow companies to create their own navigation systems for employees, they are easily customized. This lets the employee complete training at their own pace.

Interactive guides require no extra effort for the company, and all costs associated to support found in other training solutions become obsolete.

Now that’s one innovative method for employee training if you ask me!

Final Thoughts

Properly training employees to perform their best is key to the success of any company.

Traditional employee training and onboarding processes can become monotonous, resulting in diminishing engagement and poorer results. But… you can make employee training sessions exciting with the help of a few creative techniques!

Beat the humdrum associated with staff training and excite your employees with my 5 innovative methods:

  1. Integrate Elements of Gamification
  2. Encourage a High Feedback Environment
  3. Involve Customer Success
  4. Blend eLearning Methods
  5. Use Interactive Software Guides

Looking for a way to get employees excited and engaged during training sessions? Seeking a revolutionary method that will onboard new hires directly within your software stack?

If you’re interested in creating experts out of your employees and would like to learn more about interactive software guides and how they can help you achieve company growth, schedule a free demo with Userlane today.

Written by Elyse Simek

Inbound Marketing Manager at Userlane. When she's not busy squealing at every pug that passes her on the sidewalk or making sure the men at her work keep the kitchen clean, she's studying up on the SaaS industry, customer success and inbound marketing. She's perfectly content with a few avocados in her purse and warm Floridian weather beating down her back. Fulfilling her role as the self-proclaimed coffee extraordinaire, you'll find her at a local coffee shop writing her next article.

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