The Importance of Corporate Training Within Businesses

Learn the importance of incorporating a solid corporate training and development strategy within your organisation.

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Large or small, and regardless of industry or sector, it could be argued that every business depends on its people performing their tasks proficiently. Ensuring that reality can be a source of consternation and difficulty for organisations.

Thankfully, there are many ways to go about equipping and upskilling employees, from helping them do their jobs better over time to providing personal and professional development opportunities that help them grow as people and teammates. This process usually takes the form of corporate training. Incorporating a solid corporate training and development strategy can take your business or corporation to the next level and significantly improve your business.

What Is Corporate Training?

Corporate training can be defined as a “system of activities designed to educate employees.” It can cover a huge range of topics and applications. For some organisations, corporate training takes the form of important standardised and organisation-wide information.

This could be intrinsic and proprietary - for example, teaching the values and priorities of the organization itself - or range across broad general subjects including inclusion or diversity training, personal development, leadership, sexual harassment and abuse protocols, or workplace safety training.

Some forms of corporate training are position- or department-specific, and some are delivered to the organisation as a whole. Some involve movement, practice, staging areas, physical activity, or drills. Some can be accomplished in a small classroom, by departments, or individually on a computer.

Given this broad span, several formats and strategies exist to deliver appropriate corporate training that can cater to your organisation’s particular needs.

How Does an Organisation Design a Corporate Training Program?

There are many different delivery methods and tools that can be employed to build a corporate training strategy. Depending on your organisation’s needs, you may mix and match more than one of the following elements to create a program for your organisation.

Option One: Curriculum

An “out of the box” curriculum strategy serves some organisations well. If your company simply needs to deliver a core series of standardised training subjects to make sure you have your bases covered from a legal standpoint, training modules can be purchased or licensed to meet these requirements. These are often delivered online via a Learning Management System (LMS) or a similar platform.

Benefits of using a pre-packaged curriculum include ease of use and low cost compared to other methods. If you don’t need anything proprietary and simply need to ensure that your employees complete a required diversity refresher course once a year, licensing an existing curriculum can be the easiest way to incorporate the training you need into your business.

Option Two: Mentoring

An alternative to using a curriculum is setting up a mentoring program within your company. This strategy keeps your training program in-house and can serve organisations that have very specific information needs or involve roles or processes that are more easily taught in a personal, one-on-one format. Mentoring programs typically pair senior- and junior-level individuals within the same department or role type to allow the senior employee to impart their knowledge or teach the junior employee during normal operations.

Mentoring might be employed just for certain skill sets or job types, such as leadership skills training delivered by senior executives for those who are in management tracks or have been hired into junior executive roles. Mentoring could be applied more comprehensively, such as mentoring programs that pair experienced sales reps with new hires for a period of time to teach them the job and help them get their bearings before managing accounts on their own. It can even extend into long-term apprenticeships of various forms, often useful in trade businesses or for many types of skilled labour or craftsmanship.

It’s all-important to estimate what resources will be required to maintain effective mentoring programs. While establishing a mentoring program rarely costs your organisation large monetary resources out of pocket (a unique feature as compared to the other options included here), spending effort and energy teaching a mentee will cost senior-level employees time and productivity. It’s important to factor this into your considerations. It can be advantageous to test a mentoring program with a small subset or in one department first. This will reveal how it actually translates into decreased productivity, to make sure the program is sustainable long-term.

Option Three: External Programming

Making use of external programming takes providing corporate training for your team in a different direction. When canned courses aren’t adequate for your training needs and your organisation isn’t equipped to execute a mentoring program, training courses delivered by external entities can often provide an effective alternative. This is especially useful in cases where your employees are required by external bodies to keep up certain professional development certifications or engage in continuing professional education of some kind.

Professionals including educators, commercial drivers, accountants, medical personnel, engineers and many more are regularly required to complete professional development hours or training at intervals during their career. External providers that specialise in those training areas or are sufficiently accredited to offer them are often the best way to help your employees accomplish this.

Option Four: Contracting

Contracting professional development services can be another effective strategy for providing corporate training. Hiring experts to deliver sessions, workshops, training modules, or courses on your premises can be an effective choice, especially for types of training that need to be in-person and on-site. If you have specialised equipment or facilities, bringing experts to your employees to conduct training and development sessions can ensure that your employees are capable and confident enough to work with your equipment and perform their responsibilities well.

Hiring consultants can also be an apt strategy if you need team building, decision-making, or organisational change support that should happen in-house. Similarly, contracting trainers is an effective option if your work requires mandatory training sessions of any kind - rather than assigning your employees to attend something on their own time or at a separate location, it can be more effective to bring the training to your employees.

Option Five: Hiring

Finally, hiring a corporate trainer(s) can provide an alternative to all of the above. If your company requires training delivered in large volumes, employs a large workforce, needs specialised or tailored training programs, or has a high employee turnover rate, the most effective training option might be to hire one or more internal corporate trainers and internalise your corporate training strategy.

Though hiring a corporate trainer could incur a higher cost than some of the alternatives above for small training needs, it can quickly become the most cost-effective option if your company or organisation will need a large volume of training delivery or specialised training for your workforce.

Important Safeguards and Considerations for Corporate Training

When designing a corporate training strategy, it’s important to be aware of factors that need to be considered or included in the process. Corporate governance concerns and requirements affect different industries, sectors, geographical locations, and types of organisations uniquely. Legal restrictions and expectations for what kinds of training should be delivered vary considerably and should be consulted before developing a training program. Industry standards, external governance bodies, and state or federal legislation resources should help guide your corporate training efforts.

A well-designed corporate training plan can certainly help your company meet standard operating or legal requirements but, more so, can be an effective way to train, develop, and equip your workforce to perform at the top of their potential. It is a fundamental asset that will propel your company or organisation forward.

Author Bio

Abby Thompson has worked as a young adult education consultant for the past six years. Her passion is to teach future generations about diversity, equity, and inclusion and the impact they can have on business success.

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