For most companies, management training programs make up an important portion of their overall learning and development efforts (not to mention budgets). Yet many leaders, however, still believe the results from these programs and their return on investment could be better.
A recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article looked at one company that put significant resources into creating an immersive retreat dedicated to management training. Participants themselves described the training program as very powerful, yet when the time came to assess the success of the initiative a few years a later, those same employees responded that little had actually changed when all was said and done.
Based on their research from this lesson and others like it, the authors at HBR assert that businesses rarely achieve the desired results with live training activities alone.
It’s not usually the content of the management training program itself. Rather, it’s the ways in which companies deliver that training as well as how they support ongoing learning and development for managers that cause management training programs to fail.
Here are four common reasons why management training programs fall short:
1. Lack of flexibility. Your managers want to learn, but your training program may not be designed to engage them amidst busy schedules and competing priorities. Often training requires managers to put everything on hold to attend an on-site training event or to cram in a virtual training course before a deadline just to check it off the list. This lack of flexibility almost guarantees that your managers won’t be as attentive as they could be, potentially missing critical information that could help them perform better in their roles.
2. Drinking from the fire hose. In order to maximize available resources and minimize logistical expenses, it’s common for companies to offer intensive day(s)-long training programs. But the reality is that adult learners simply can’t absorb and remember that much information in that short amount of time, meaning even more than usual of what’s taught will be forgotten.
3. A once-and-done mentality. Revisiting concepts and reinforcing new skills is crucial to ensuring people will truly learn what they’re being trained on. But with limited resources and an audience that is almost always pressed for time, most management training programs include little if any follow-up to ensure new managers will really internalize your lessons.
4. Ineffective measurement. Trainers typically rely on surveys and feedback from attendees to assess the effectiveness of their content, materials, and delivery. Yet while surveys have their place, they seldom are able to reveal deep insights into where attendees are engaged, where they’re struggling, and where they’re simply bored. Finding a better means to measure engagement and effectiveness can help you improve your management training programs over time.
Of course, much of modern management training is cultural in nature and will be unique to each organization. However, for many organizations, there is a solution that can help to address each of the pitfalls noted above — without straining already limited budgets and resources.
Across organizations large and small, video is quickly finding a role in supporting and scaling all kinds of employee development initiatives. A video platform optimized for learning may be just the right tool to help enhance your management training programs and ensure your learning and development investments are delivering bigger results. Here’s how:
Video enables you to offer managers more flexible learning options. Bersin calls it “learning in the flow of work.” With video-supported training programs, managers can work training into their busy schedules when they aren’t distracted and revisit core concepts right when they need to put them into practice, so learning can become more active.
A video platform makes it easy for your trainers to do things like live stream in-person training events to those who can’t attend in person, as well as to capture in-class training sessions in their entirety for managers to watch (or re-watch) later. And it doesn’t require a team of AV or IT experts — Panopto’s video platform, for example, automatically detects connected cameras and microphones, making creating and streaming training videos as easy as pressing record.
Watch a training event for a software company that was recorded with Panopto:
Research shows that when it comes to adult learners, within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information presented in company training. Within 24 hours, they’ll have forgotten almost 70 percent, and within a week, almost 90 percent. It’s not that they don’t value what you’re teaching, it’s just simple human nature. Unless the details you’re sharing now will be practically applied several times over the next few days, the overwhelming likelihood is that your people won’t hold on to much more than the basic themes for very long.
Worrying about this “forgetting curve,” however, is missing the point. Because while it would be nice if your people could accurately recall every last moment of each of your lessons, the reality is you don’t need them to. You just need them to know the information exists — and where they can find it.
When you record all of your management training in videos and host them in a central, searchable video library, managers can quickly find and review the materials exactly as you presented them.
Panopto’s video platform includes SmartSearch, which indexes every word spoken and shown on-screen in your videos. This means employees can search your video library just like they would the web or an email, find the exact moment in a video a topic is addressed and jump to that part of the training to watch it exactly as it happened. It’s the easiest way to ensure everyone has access to the same information on-demand, and that no matter when they play it back, everyone will hear it presented in the same consistent way.
Best practices for effective management training require trainers or higher level managers to follow up after individual training activities to provide ongoing coaching and ensure the training sticks. Too often, however, budget limitations, scheduling conflicts, and logistical complications make this kind of continued learning all but impossible.
Video can be used to overcome many of the obstacles that might otherwise impede ongoing learning. With a video platform, trainers can quickly create and share short follow-up videos and even include in-video quizzes to help reinforce recent concepts. No rooms need to be scheduled and no travel has to be booked — managers can simply watch the follow-up training videos on-demand, pause and rewind at their convenience, and go at their own pace.
Video can also be used to provide coaching and feedback. Managers can record conversations with colleagues or subordinates, then send those videos to coaches for feedback. Coaches can then remotely provide specific feedback on tone, body language, and other communications best practices based on the video example. Panopto’s interactive video player, for example, enables coaches to provide timestamped feedback at specific moments inside the video, so the manager is truly able to assess, evaluate, and adjust their communication style accordingly.
When you include video in your management training regimen, you open up the opportunity to learn a lot more about what parts of your training courses really connect, and which might need some improving. Panopto’s video platform, for example, includes a robust video analytics suite that enables trainers and leaders to dive into the data that helps your training become more successful over time.
With detailed video analytics, trainers can see the parts of training videos that get viewed the most, and they can see where people aren’t spending their time. User-level analytics show exactly who is engaging with training videos and how much, and who isn’t. You can even view aggregate data on collections of videos or your entire training video library to quantify how frequently managers are engaging with your video-based training resources.
And if a learning management system (LMS) is the center for training and development at your organization, a SCORM-compatible video platform can even share video data directly with your LMS, making it easier than ever to monitor the progress of your new managers.
Panopto is an industry-leading video platform for businesses that makes recording, streaming, hosting, and sharing videos easy. Contact our team today for a free 30-day trial, and start putting video to work for your organization.