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How to Know When to Update Your Training

Unfortunately, most people have had at least one experience with terrible training. My first experience happened while I was training for my first job as a hostess at a local chain restaurant. As I sat through videos featuring a bartender with feathered hair describing dated menu options– I remember thinking “How is this even useful anymore?”

When training is unengaging and irrelevant, users mindlessly rush through it with little interest. And worse, when compliance training is outdated, it can put a company at higher levels of operational and financial risk. So, how to you know when it’s time to update your training? Try reviewing your curricula from a content and engagement perspective.

When reviewing training from a content perspective, you should first make sure the content is up-to-date. After all, the purpose of training is to teach, and without accurate and relevant information, it’s impossible for the learner to derive any real benefit from it.

Some types of training that require more frequent updates include:

  • Compliance training (policies and regulations update annually – or more frequently)
  • Technology platform/systems training (technology has constant updates)
  • Product/service training ( offerings are ever-evolving)

After the training has been reviewed for content, it’s time for it to be reviewed from an engagement perspective— meaning the form and function should be considered.

As coined by architect Louis Sullivan, “Form always follows function.”

This means that the look and feel of an object should relate to its intended function or purpose. Obviously, the exact purpose of the training varies depending on the group. Taking a deep look at the type of people being trained, the materials being covered, and even the amount of time available to each learner is necessary to gauge whether the form is following the function of the training.

A few questions you might ask yourself when reviewing content from an engagement perspective include:

Does this training fit into the schedule of the learner?

A sales person who is constantly on the road will have different learning needs than a 16-year-old girl training to be a hostess. So, options like microlearning as opposed to traditional training should be considered.

Does the training motivate the employee in some way?

The potential for career advancement, badges, certifications, and recognition are all good motivating factors depending on the learner.

Is the training visually appealing and does it look relevant?

With attention spans at an all-time low and technological distractions at an all-time high, it’s important that your training is able to pull the learner in. Even if the content is accurate, training that looks old and outdated will lose the attention of learners. Well thought out design, animations, motion graphic videos, and infographics work wonders in spicing up generally dull curricula.

Reviewing training from both a content and engagement perspective allows you to ask the right questions regarding learner preferences and relevance, which increases the likelihood the materials will be remembered and applied later on. For more information or advice on how to determine an appropriate training strategy, contact us by clicking here. For ideas on incorporating more engaging elements into your learning connect with our SDIx team.

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