One of the main catalysts behind positive work culture is opportunity to learn and grow, according to the 2022 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, and employees who feel their skills aren’t put to good use are 10 times more likely to look for a new job.
Thankfully, corporate learning programs can not only provide your employees space to learn and grow but also help with reskilling efforts and internal promotions. These programs also go a long way toward creating a culture of appreciation and collaboration—something that’s especially important in fast-paced industries like healthcare.
But how should you start a corporate learning program? And what’s the best program for your employees? We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of corporate training programs, including which ones can bring the most value to your workplace and how to boost engagement with interactive training.
What is a corporate training program?
Corporate training programs help workplaces nurture their employees and cultivate a highly skilled, extremely versatile workforce. A huge part of learning and development (L&D) initiatives, corporate training programs can teach employees new skills or enhance existing skills.
Gallup found that only 49% of employees working to level up their career are “very confident” they can reach their final career goal at their current workplace. Corporate learning programs can help your business retain talent through upskilling and development in a wide range of topics, including leadership development, project management, communication, and unconscious bias training.
If your company is remote or if your employees spend only part of the week in the office, corporate training programs can still be implemented. While traditional in-person training still takes place, businesses can also incorporate virtual learning sessions to create a culture focused on growth.
What are the benefits of corporate training programs?
The benefits of corporate training programs are compounding, meaning you’ll continue to see positive results over time. Here are some of the ways these programs can help level up your workforce and business.
- Increase retention. Make sure your top talent wants to stay, improving your ROI.
- Boost employee happiness. New opportunities to upskill and possibly even get promoted to a new role can keep your workforce engaged.
- Target performance metrics. Corporate training programs can be designed to target specific performance metrics, such as sales or customer satisfaction.
- Empower new leaders. Fill new openings in management and your executive team internally
- Motivate teams. New skills and opportunities can help motivate your employees and improve morale.
- Improve communication and collaboration. Help employees develop the skills they need to communicate and collaborate effectively.
- Boost confidence. Employees who feel confident in their abilities are more likely to take (healthy) risks and try new things.
How has corporate training evolved?
Corporate training has evolved into a more personalized and engaging experience. Here are some of the ways corporate training has changed over the years:
- From in-person to online: Online learning is a great alternative to in-person employee training courses as it allows employees to learn at their own pace and from anywhere in the world while remaining connected through video conferencing software.
- From instructor-led to self-paced: Self-paced learning allows your employees to learn at their own pace and on their own time.
- From passive to active: Your employees will be invited to participate in activities and exercises that help them learn and retain information.
- From compliance-based to performance-based: Rather than just focusing on teaching employees the rules, corporate training expanded to focus on ways to help employees improve their performance on the job.
- From reactive to proactive: Proactive corporate learning programs help employees develop the skills they need to stay ahead of the curve.
Need help engaging your pharmaceutical workforce?
Find out how you can use Poll Everywhere to check in with your audience and have a real conversation with them. Check out our free training guide with learnings from training leaders at major pharmaceutical firms.
17 corporate learning programs every employee should have access to
1. Onboarding training
Your training program starts on your new employees’ day one, and onboarding may be one of the most important trainings you or your human resources department can provide.
According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, one in three new hires leave within the first 90 days, and the top reason is a role not meeting their expectations.
2. Leadership training
Leadership training helps employees become effective leaders by developing skills like communication, problem solving, and decision making.
All of these skills can then create a better environment for both employees and customers, such as patients, thanks to the implementation of new best practices and open communication.
3. Diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI) training
Help your employees understand the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace, as well as how to promote these values in their own work. DEI training benefits companies by fostering diversity and inclusion, and typically focus on cultural sensitivity, gender and BIPOC equality, and creating a psychologically safe environment for all.
Companies with a desire to take DEI one step further can also incorporate equitable opportunities for all—including employee development opportunities.
4. Project management training
Understanding project management not only upskills future managers but also helps individual contributors to understand their role in a project and make decisions accordingly.
Planning, scheduling, and budgeting are all critical skills for managing projects effectively, as are stakeholder management, goal setting, and communication. Each of these skills can be applied during project management as well as elsewhere throughout each employee's career, making project management training incredibly valuable.
5. Conflict resolution training
Conflict resolution helps employees develop the skills they need to resolve conflicts effectively, such as understanding different perspectives, identifying the root cause, and finding a solution that’s acceptable to all.
Improving conflict resolution skills can lead to more collaborative and effective teams, which in turn can benefit your company’s bottom line.
6. Negotiation training
By teaching your employees the art of negotiation, you help them learn to understand the other party's interests, build rapport, and know when to make concessions. Negotiation training can also lead to more effective decision making, as it trains employees to avoid their personal bias from making it difficult for them to think clearly.
Negotiation training can help salespeople meet their client’s needs while simultaneously meeting their company goals. For example, a sales rep may try to upsell their client on a new personalized investment plan, but the client isn’t sure the cost is within their budget. The salesperson can use their rapport with the client and their understanding of the client’s business and their team’s sales goals to think clearly about a compromise that would meet both parties’ needs.
Negotiation training can also help employees:
- Ask for a certain budget for a new project
- Request a new role for their team
- Discuss costs with vendors and suppliers
7. Time management training
Teaches employees how to set priorities, delegate tasks, and avoid distractions. And don’t skip your managers when it comes to this training—in 2020 Gallup reported that 42% of managers reported having multiple competing priorities.
With good time management training, your employees learn how to set priorities and realistic goals, as well as achieve work-life balance and reduce stress.
8. Stress management training
Are your employees stressed out? Is your workplace naturally stressful? Teach your teams to manage stress with relaxation techniques, time management, and problem-solving.
This can improve your employees’ resilience when faced with urgent tasks, like managing a last-minute client request.
9. Emotional intelligence training
Emotions can play a huge role at work, especially in workplaces like the ER where others’ health and lives are at stake. This type of training focuses on skills needed to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.
A high emotional intelligence makes a great leader, and this training can equip future leaders with the skills they need to become more self-aware and empathetic toward those they work with.
10. Unconscious bias training
Critical for both customer-facing and non-customer-facing employees, this training makes your workforce aware of their own unconscious biases and how those biases can impact their decision making.
Unconscious bias training is almost a necessity for healthcare companies, as bias contributes to inequality in health and the level of care provided. Bias can even lead to providers’ uncertainty in their diagnoses.
11. Team communication training
There’s no team without communication. Teaching employees the skills they need to communicate effectively with each other, such as active listening, emotional intelligence, and feedback leads to better conflict resolution and effective collaboration.
Team communication training can also benefit any team-building initiatives your company has planned, as it enables teams to learn to work together more efficiently.
12. Decision-making training
Making effective decisions is sometimes easier said than done, and this training teaches employees how to gather information, evaluate alternatives, and make a final decision.
This makes decision-making training especially useful for managers, who may struggle to delegate tasks and understand the risks associated with certain decisions made for their team.
13. Intercultural communication training
Global workforces especially need to teach their employees how to communicate effectively with people from different cultures. Communication skills included in this type of training include understanding cultural differences and avoiding stereotypes.
Successful intercultural communication training helps teams navigate cultural differences, leading to a more productive and effective workforce.
The British Council lists a few different ways this type of training can prepare employees for working with a diverse group of peers:
- Learning to observe and listen in order to identify cultural communication preferences.
- Identifying common words and tones coworkers use when communicating.
- Noting whether coworkers prefer direct or indirect communications.
- Understanding whether coworkers are comfortable asking questions or saying no.
14. Presentation training
Help your employees give effective presentations by learning how to organize content, use visuals, and deliver their message. Effective presentation training also teaches employees key tactics for public speaking, such as how to engage an audience, handle questions, and confidently deliver their message.
15. Compliance training
Compliance training helps your employees understand and comply with the laws and regulations that apply to their work, such as HIPAA or the Dodd-Frank Act. This type of training may be legally mandated for your new employees, as it can reduce risk, improve workplace safety, and ensure your company meets any regulatory standards.
16. Remote work training
If your employees are new to working from home, this type of training teaches skills such as setting up a home office, managing time, and communicating with colleagues. Your remote work training can also cover skills like how to communicate asynchronously, video conferencing best practices, and building online relationships with coworkers.
17. Sales training
Similar to negotiation training, this helps employees develop the skills they need to close sales effectively, such as understanding the customer's needs, building rapport, and overcoming objections.
This type of training is usually aimed at new sales employees, but your entire sales team may need a refresher, especially if your playbook, clients, or other strategic methods have recently changed.
How can you make corporate learning programs fun and engaging?
No one wants to sit through yet another boring presentation. To get the most out of your corporate learning program, implement these tips to boost employee engagement:
- Use interactive activities and games, like including a poll or multiple-choice quiz. You don’t have to do this by hand, either, as tools like Poll Everywhere make it easy to add interactive elements to your training.
- Make the content relevant to the employees' work—a dynamic word cloud can not only gather feedback from attendees but also show them you’re listening to their specific needs.
- Provide opportunities for employees to practice what they've learned and start working toward their next career goal.
- Make the learning environment fun and comfortable. Provide refreshments, offer regular breaks, and spruce up that faded PowerPoint presentation with custom-branded activities.
- Give employees positive reinforcement for their learning by publicly recognizing their accomplishments or providing them with mentorship opportunities. You could even provide additional resources to help them continue their journey, such as tuition reimbursement, time off for conferences, or networking opportunities.
Need help making your training more engaging?
See how real-life companies use Poll Everywhere to keep communication open and capture their audience’s attention. From medical training with Solheim Enterprises to the State of the Valley conference in San Jose, California, Poll Everywhere amplifies the learning experience and helps instructors teach even the most technical concepts.
Additional tips to engage your trainees
Some additional ways you can make your corporate training program more effective include:
- Make sure your training is aligned with overarching company goals.
- Use a variety of teaching methods to keep employees engaged, such as discussions, workshops, mentoring, and self-directed learning.
- Provide opportunities for employees to ask questions and get feedback throughout.
- Make the training accessible to all employees, regardless of their learning style or level of experience.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the training—you could directly survey trainees—and make changes based on feedback and data.
FAQs about corporate development programs
How do you give corporate training?
How you give corporate training depends mainly on the needs of your company and employees. You’ll also want to consider your budget, the number of people attending your training, and the type of content you’ll cover.
That said, here are some popular methods you can consider:
- In-person training: With this traditional method, employees attend classes or workshops led by a trainer.
- Online training: This type of training can be self-paced or instructor-led, and most often requires video conferencing tools or a computer or mobile device that can stream webinars.
- Blended learning: This is a combination of in-person and online training. Employees may attend part of the training, such as workshops, in person and then tackle the rest of the training online.
- Mobile learning: This type of training is delivered through a mobile device and can be used on the go. This can be a useful format for employees who travel often, such as salespeople.
- Microlearning: These short-form training sessions can typically be completed in 10 minutes or less, making them an excellent choice for busy team members.
Which training program is the best?
There’s no one best training program, as multiple factors affect where you should focus your efforts. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which training program to implement first:
- What type of training is needed? Would your employees benefit most from training on a specific skill or task or training on a more generalized topic?
- What training format works best? When deciding between in-person training, online training, or a blended approach, consider the size of the team.
- What’s your training budget? How much money has the company allotted for training? Are there more cost-effective programs or methods you can use?
- What are your employees' learning styles? Some may be visual learners while others prefer hands-on instruction. You may want to poll your workforce beforehand to get a better idea of which learning style will be most effective. If preferences are split, it may be wise to include different learning methods in your training to ensure everyone understands the curriculum.
- What skills or topics do your employees need training on first? If you’re aiming for a more cohesive team environment, for example, you may want to focus on communication training or unconscious bias training to start.
What’s the difference between a corporate training program and a corporate learning program?
While both of these terms are used interchangeably and can both lead to happier, more skilled employees, there is a difference between corporate learning and corporate training programs.
Corporate training program
This is typically designed to help your employees bridge a skills gap and develop the knowledge they need to do their jobs effectively.
These training sessions tend to use more traditional teaching methods like workshops and lectures, and employees are evaluated afterward to see if they’ve learned the skill or not.
Corporate learning program
This is usually a more general approach to employee development that helps employees learn new skill sets and grow in their careers. Corporate learning programs typically use more modern teaching methods like e-learning and gamification, and after training employees are evaluated based on whether their job performance or career development has improved.
One of the best ways to evaluate the success of your corporate learning program is to use the Kirkpatrick Evaluation model. It gathers insights and feedback through four different levels of evaluation:
- Level 1: Reaction: This assessment should take place immediately after employees complete their learning program and should gauge their impressions of the program and whether they found it useful.
- Level 2: Learning: Quizzes and interviews can help you understand whether employees learned the knowledge and skills covered in your training.
- Level 3: Behavior: This evaluation can be repeated over time to see if your employees’ behavior changed as a result of the learning program, as well as if the change is short-term or long-term.
- Level 4: Results: At the last level, training can be evaluated to understand the full ROI and how the training impacted company success. This level can be difficult to measure, however, and likely needs to be analyzed over time.
Make your corporate learning programs engaging with Poll Everywhere
Corporate learning programs are an incredible tool for improving employee happiness and productivity. These types of programs shouldn’t be overlooked, as they tend to have a positive ROI.
For your employees to get the most out of your corporate learning programs, consider using a tool like Poll Everywhere, which allows you to add interactive elements to your presentation. Poll Everywhere is a great way to invite trainees to submit questions throughout the training and provide immediate feedback on the training with word clouds.
Additionally, Poll Everywhere includes tools to help your training program manager understand how effective the program is. Multiple choice questionnaires can be used during the presentation to engage employees and gauge whether they understand the curriculum. You can also gather data together in a report that helps instructors understand what worked and what didn’t.
Poll Everywhere takes your training to the next level, making it more effective and helping your employees become more skilled. Schedule a (free) demo today to see it in action.