“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”–John F. Kennedy.
Training and development play an essential role in the fast-paced and ever-changing corporate world. As organisations continue to expand their business in emerging markets, they will have to face fierce competition from the local players competing for the same space.
With workplace strategies and methods continuing to develop and improve, employees and employers need to streamline themselves. This is mainly to accommodate themselves to the changing scenario in terms of skills, knowledge, values and abilities.
One of the most effective ways to do this is through training. Exposing the employees to the right kind of training helps businesses increase the workplace potential multifold.
These days companies are moving beyond the short term approach and are looking to retain their workers. Although upskilling the employees is a long term investment, when they are offered these opportunities, employee retention and engagement also goes up.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused total disruption in the regular working of companies. However, as people were forced to work from their homes, several companies found that training and development helped boost the employees’ performance and reliability.
What is corporate training?
Corporate training is the process of educating the employees and transferring knowledge within an organisation.
This type of training aims to develop employees for their current jobs and also moulds them to hold bigger responsibilities in the future.
With corporate training, the workforce can learn about the company’s specific tools, processes and systems.
Well-designed corporate training could catalyse employees’ growth, ultimately resulting in the overall success of your organisation. Workers also feel that training is an integral part of their life. In a survey done by LinkedIn, it was found that 94% of employees would stick to the company if it invested in their learning needs.
Completing corporate training gives the knowledge and tools for the employees to support a company’s business objectives.
Subjects covered in corporate trainings
Let us look closely at some of the subjects covered under a corporate training program.
1. Performance appraisals
This training program is specifically designed for managers to help them to make effective decisions during performance reviews of employees.
Performance appraisal training sessions can include simulations, group discussions, role plays etc. to help trainees make effective judgements during employee reviews.
2. Assertive skills training
This is a part of behavioural training that assists the employees to empower themselves. In addition, it helps the employees to maintain a healthy balance between aggression and assertiveness.
This is a key aspect of communication skill training that gives a person the capacity to defend themself without being aggressive. Assertive training helps to ensure that one gets the rightful reverence that they deserve from other people.
3. Communication skills training
Effective communication plays a crucial role in interpersonal relationships and successful team collaboration. Therefore, this training emphasises on the verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication.
This will enable the workers to understand first-hand how people accept their ideas. In addition, communication skills training also comes with many benefits such as increased problem-solving capacity, productivity and team building.
Staff will also be better equipped to communicate effectively through text in messages and emails.
4. Staff conflict management
Studies have shown that workplace conflicts drastically cut down productivity. If issues are not resolved at the right time, it will lead to poor performance and low satisfaction.
A training program for conflict resolution allows employees to take responsibility for their behaviour and fill their interpersonal skills gap. It also helps them recognise conflicts early on, before they become an issue.
5. Stress management
We live in a competitive work environment. Employees may often find it hard to cope with highly competitive workplaces.
Companies need to conduct stress management training programs for their employees so that it won’t worsen with time.
In addition, it is also essential for companies to nurture a healthy working environment as mere stress management training won’t suffice.
6. Presentation skills
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create hassles in the work environment, employees need to equip themselves with the necessary skills to create an impactful presentation.
Since there are frequent lockdowns, meetings and presentations occur through several online platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, Webex, etc.
Therefore, companies should implement training programs to teach employees how to make effective presentations inonline environments.
A well-structured presentation training program boosts employees’ confidence to represent the company in all online meetings.
7. Customer relationship management (CRM)
Happy customers are key to a successful business.
However, many people don’t know how to maintain customer relationships effectively, resulting in unnecessary conflicts and unhappy clients.
With CRM training, it is possible to ensure that the employees can effectively communicate and develop healthy relationships with clients.
8. Problem-solving skills
In a corporate work environment, employees and bosses have to deal with problems daily.
Problem-solving training enables the workers to get acquainted with a set of tools and practises that enable them to analyse and effectively solve the issues in the workplace.
Managers not trained on these often keep procrastinating because they lack a structured approach in resolving issues.
Training programs that are designed to enhance problem-solving skills also help employees to work more effectively with customers, partners, coworkers and suppliers.
9. Team building skills
Teamwork and collaboration help find better solutions to problems, improve productivity, find mistakes more quickly and innovate faster.
Improving team effectiveness helps to enhance the performance and productivity of the organisation.
Team-building training helps managers develop skills to bring people closer and work to achieve a common goal.
10. Leadership skills
This training subject has multifold benefits. Leadership training not only instils leadership qualities in the employees but also provides an excellent way to retain them.
Offering leadership training programs help the employees be future-ready and show that the organisation wants to invest in their future.
Leadership skills training helps in the holistic development of the employees by improving their conflict resolution, team building, collaboration, goal setting, communication skills, interviewing, etc.
11. Project management skills
This is a skill that is required in every department of an organisation. Companies must, therefore, train all their employees at this skill at least once a year.
This training program helps all the employees to become more organised and deliver all the business goals effectively.
12. Supervisory skills
Efficacious supervision is vital to ensure that a company’s business goals are achieved. Supervisors need to balance business requirements with interpersonal skills to meet the demands of the stakeholders.
Supervisory training programs teach about achieving business goals with respect, accountability and trust. In addition, this program also helps to do a self-evaluation and practise the critical skills required to be a supervisor.
13. Talent management
Talent management helps to attract, develop, motivate and retain high-performance employees.
Talent management training helps HR personnel effectively identify high-performance employees from diverse talent pools and perform all the necessary steps to retain them.
Also read our guide on “What is talent management?”
Why is corporate training needed?
Corporate training is an inevitable part of any organisation to boost performance and strengthen employees.
Following are some notable benefits:
1. Helps learn new skills
One significant advantage of corporate training is that it helps the workers to stay up to date with the changes in the industry.
Take this as an example. We know that the entire world is shifting towards digitalisation. In such scenarios, it may be important to acquaint the employees with skills in the technologies involved.
In addition, learning new skills helps the employees to think freely and bring up new ideas that could positively impact their work.
2. Talent development
With regular training, it is possible to improve the scope and work responsibilities of the employees.
This will eventually help improve their current skills as well as pave the path for future talent development.
3. Developing soft skills
Soft skills are a critical determining factor of an employee’s long-term success. These help maintain a harmonious work relationship with superiors and coworkers.
Examples of soft skills include communication skills, emotional intelligence, adaptability, team management, etc.
4. Leadership development
Leadership and better decision-making abilities in employees are essential for the long term success of the organisation. This is because better decision-making can help improve the company’s efficiency, which in turn can lead to more profits.
5. Provides industry and technology updates
Corporate training helps the workforce to keep updated with the changes happening in the industry. This also helps to upskill the existing employees to handle more responsibilities and sophisticated tasks.
6. Boosts productivity
For any organisation, productivity plays a critical role. Well designed training programs help to achieve peak output.
Scientific studies have shown that corporate training helps improve employees’ productivity. It works by improving their management and decision-making skills and, at the same time, instilling confidence and innovative thinking in them.
7. Increased employee retention
Studies have shown that businesses that invest in employee training have lower employee attrition.
This training program also helps to impart a feeling to the employees that the company is genuinely concerned about them. It makes them feel that their job is essential for the growth and success of the company.
8. Increases cost-efficiency
Corporate training helps save a lot of additional costs incurred in hiring new employees. This is because instead of newly hiring it is always beneficial to scale up the existing employees using various training programs.
This will help avoid the extra financial burden caused due to allowing new salary packages, medical expenses, fringe benefits, etc., for the newly hired workforce.
Types of corporate training programs
Training programs are chosen based on their diversity, size, business goals, and other organisation specifics. Let us look at some of the common types of training programs.
1. Employee onboarding
This is one of the most common training programmes found in almost all companies. Employee onboarding training is conducted after newly hired employees come to the organisation and is continued until they can work independently.
This type of training helps the employees quickly adapt to the company’s process and be more productive.
There are two main types of onboarding training programs:
- Specific training for a particular role- The aim of this type of training is to develop the necessary knowledge and skills for the role that the newly hired has been chosen for.
- General training for the newly hired- This type of training is simply aimed to impart essential information about the company, its mission, values and history. In addition, the participants are also given information regarding the regulations and policies of the company.
2. Compliance training
Compliance means to conform to regulations, specifications and rules. This type of training is part of the new hire onboarding program.
It is the process of training the employees regarding the company policy, laws and regulations that apply to their responsibility and the company they work for.
The compliance training program helps avoid problems that might creep in between employers and employees in the office.
There are two significant types of compliance training:
- Corporate compliance- Covers policies and procedures of the industry and any local laws that are applicable.
- Regulatory compliance- Covers the rules within an organisation that has to be mandatorily followed.
3. Soft skills training
Soft Skills are precious for the workplace environment and interpersonal communications. Studies have often shown that people with soft skills tend to complete tasks that other employees cannot.
- Communications skills
- People skills
- Social skills
- Personality skills
- Career attributes
Mastering soft skills will help employees harmoniously deal with customers, colleagues, and clients while dealing with messy situations in the workplace.
In addition, it can positively influence the company’s success and increase ROI.
4. Hard skill training
Hard skills are the unique “technical skills” required to complete a particular task in the company. As you might have rightly guessed, hard skills are industry-specific and require some technical abilities or specialised knowledge.
Some of the hard skills include programming knowledge, income tax accounting, engineering knowledge etc.
Thus, in short, this training is the core of employee development as it helps the workforce improve their skills to be better professionals.
For example, a cyber security expert needs to be constantly updated regarding the advancements in networking technology. Likewise, a technician dealing with IC engines needs the training to deal with hybrid engines.
Hard skill training is necessary for the employees to stay up to date with the latest developments.
5. Technology training/new product knowledge
Product knowledge is necessary to equip the team members to confidently speak with the customers regarding the uses, features and benefits of a particular product.
This training is equally helpful for new hires and existing employees to update their knowledge of its products and services.
This training is also conducted to educate the employees when the company launches a new product.
How to organise corporate training programs for employees?
Each company is unique in its function and operations. Therefore, before planning a training, the organisers have to look at the specific requirement and check whether the training meets the learner at their point of need.
There are four main types of corporate training options for a company. Let us take a look at these.
1. Classroom-based training
This is perhaps old school, but its effectiveness is still praiseworthy. Companies still favour classroom-based training mainly due to its effectiveness and ease.
A 2018 study found that 32% of companies use it for one-third of their training.
- Participants are familiar with this form of training
- No need for additional infrastructure
- Supports a wide range of training sessions
- Easy to deliver
- Requires a dedicated space for the instructor
- No guarantee of the quality
- No guarantee of the amount of learning experience it can offer
- The cost incurred per participant is high
2. Virtual training programs
As the name suggests, technological advancement in the 21st century has introduced us to the world of virtual reality. Here, there is no need for the instructor or the participant in virtual training programs to be in one room.
Instead, participants can log in from the comfort of their homes or other remote locations and attend the training sessions. This platform also allows the trainer to show videos and interact with the participants.
- It can be recorded and watched later.
- No need for a dedicated training space.
- Participants need not be directly present to attend the session.
- It saves the travel cost.
- Supports a wide range of activities.
- Users might feel isolated.
- Requires technical knowhow.
- Technical problems can occur.
- Trainers need to be knowledgeable to use the technology.
- The initial investment is high.
- Requires a stable internet connection with enough bandwidth.
3. Online training
The employees can attend the training programs using their smartphones or laptops in online technology. It also acts as a virtual classroom in which the learners can participate from the office/home, or anywhere they like.
The online learning program can have learning products such as videos, learning activities, discussion boards, etc.
The supporting study materials can be uploaded in videos and pdf documents allowing the user to download and learn.
- Most sought-after learning method in recent years.
- Can accommodate any number of users.
- It can be accessed across the globe.
- It gives priority to the learner.
- It provides a unique learning experience to all the participants.
- Users may feel isolated from their fellow participants.
- Lack of face to face interaction.
- It might not be preferable to some users.
- We need to have a stable internet connection.
- It takes a longer time to develop.
4. Hybrid learning
This is a relatively new concept in which traditional classroom-based learning is coupled with online learning. Hybrid learning is designed in such a way that the pros of both of the teaching methodologies are taken, eliminating the cons.
- Helps to improve user engagement.
- Increased accessibility.
- Boost up the learning process.
- Improves engagement.
- Provides excellent opportunities for knowledge sharing.
- Requires technological infrastructure.
- Learners who are not technologically knowledgeable may find it challenging.
- Learners sometimes won’t make use of the classroom opportunities.
Corporate training, Hong Kong
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has given a setback for businesses in Hong Kong, the economy is on a fast track to recovery.
In 2021, several new startups were established, ranging from information technology, e-commerce, supply chain management, logistics, financial technology and professional services.
In addition, several multinational companies have already opted to expand their business in Hong. Kong. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to play hard. Hiring skilled workers, on the other hand, will incur additional costs.
The most cost-effective thing you can do is implement corporate training for your company in Hong Kong. This will help scale up the existing workers and cut down hiring to a very minimal extent.
The last decade has completely redefined how businesses work. People no longer have to rush to offices. Instead, they work from their homes and interact with coworkers who live across the globe.
In such a changing scenario, corporate training is necessary to ensure that your company is staying ahead of the competition. On the other hand, if you choose to stick to the old and traditional methods, there is a high probability that you will lose your business to your competitors.
Co-founder and Director of Learning and Development
David Simpson, originally from Northern Ireland and with a background in psychology, has significantly impacted the learning and development landscape in Asia. In 2002, he co-founded Team Building Asia, one of Asia’s most successful team building companies, and he has been stimulating innovation in corporate training ever since. Co-founder of Growth Academy Asia, David challenges teams to reach their highest potential through experiential, interactive and immersive workshops with a meaningful business outcome.