How To Create A Training Curriculum In 3 Stress-Free Steps (Even When Outsourcing)

Creating a training curriculum can be an arduous, costly task. In addition to building the training program itself, you also have to convince your C-suite stakeholders that training is a worthwhile investment for the company and will help the organization reach their business goals.

Luckily, you don’t need to make the world’s most elaborate training curriculum to create a successful program. You can choose to either build your own in-house custom training curriculum, or you can outsource training by using online training materials through an eLearning platform.

Whichever you choose to do, it’s important to focus on these three easy steps to find the best training curriculum for your company:

Step 1: Identify Your Training Needs

It is imperative that you first identify all of the goals of your training program before building or selecting a training curriculum. You will need to define what each member of your audience group needs to know, and why they need it, before committing any time or money to developing any curriculum content.
How To Create A Training Curriculum In 3 Stress-Free Steps (Even When Outsourcing)
If you are building an in-house training curriculum, start by thinking about all the skills and knowledge that make up what is considered “good performance” in your company. Brainstorm as many as you can, and then categorize them into broad themes, like “teamwork,” “communication,” or “initiative.” Don’t forget to include softer skills, too, like “work ethic” or “attitude.” Include everything you think is important for your employees to know or be able to do at any point in their career.

For example, after interviewing all their supervisors and managers, an HR team might decide that their organization is struggling with teamwork and communication. This could be due to a number of issues, including inexperienced employees who don’t know how to work collaboratively or employees who feel like they’re not part of the team because they don’t speak up enough during meetings.

They might create a list that looks like this: 

  • Teamwork: How to work collaboratively and productively in a team setting. 
  • Communication: Effective listening skills, non-verbal communication skills, how to constructively provide feedback, or how to disagree diplomatically with others.
  • Initiative: The importance of taking initiative at work and using it when appropriate (e.g., volunteering for projects outside of one’s job description).
Each business unit will have a different list, based on the needs of those employees and areas they need to be trained in. The goal is to evaluate current training needs and come up with a list of what needs to be addressed in the curriculum.

If you are outsourcing your training curriculum, make sure to still go through this process of identifying these needs. Many companies are turning to e-learning agencies as a first step in their training programs. Some offer platforms with friendly interfaces that are easy to use, and they provide courses in various subjects. With courses designed by industry experts, you’re able to train your entire staff without going through the expense of hiring a trainer or losing time searching for the right course online.

Many companies are turning to e-learning agencies as a first step in their training programs.
It’s important for the head of any company to realize that there are more benefits to training than just improving your employees’ skills. Training not only makes your company more productive, but you can also use it as a vehicle for retaining employees or recruiting new ones.

Training employees is the first step to meeting any business goal. When you start by figuring out what the training needs are, you can communicate to your C-Suite how the training curriculum will address those needs and help make employees more efficient and effective at their jobs.

Step 2: Create A Timeline for your Training Curriculum

After determining the training needs for your company, the next step is to come up with a timeline on how to deliver the curriculum. The timeline will depend on if you want the training to coincide with an event or an organizational change. For example, launching a new product line or organizational restructuring may determine when the curriculum is launched, as employees should ideally be trained before major changes go into effect.

There are some other factors to consider when creating a timeline for your training curriculum:

  • Consider subject matter that may require more time to learn, such as brand-new technologies or changing current practices or procedures.
  • Determine when management wants you to finish your project or if there is a deadline to complete the training curriculum.
  • Account for how much knowledge people currently have about each subject before moving on to other topics. For example, if they haven’t been trained on current practices and procedures it may not be wise to simply jump into that topic without first teaching them about how processes had previously been done prior to changes being made.
If you are developing your own in-house training, you can have total control over the timeline. After considering these factors above, come up with a timeline that makes sense and schedule it into the calendar of those who are participating, so they are aware it’s coming up. If you are outsourcing your training curriculum, you may not have as many options of when to offer the training. If it is a live training curriculum offered in real-time, there may only be a few dates to choose from. Other online trainings are offered on-demand and can be accessed at any time through a Learning Management System.

Whether you are building your own in-house company training, or outsourcing it from an eLearning training platform, make sure you review the factors listed above to ensure the timing is right.

Step 3: Build or Choose your Training Curriculum

You’ve completed steps one and two, so you now have a clear idea of your training needs and a timeline for your training curriculum to be rolled out. If you are building an in-house training curriculum, it is now time to plan out what you want to teach specific employees at your organization about those topics.

It takes time and money to build something from scratch, so there are a few ways that you can make the process a bit easier.

Working with a leading elearning agency will take less time. It will also provide scope for a huge amount of added creativity and best practice to be included in your curriculum build.
  • Find a company with a well-known, successful training program in your field. Look for their training materials online, and then create a copy of it by substituting your information. Your information is based on the training needs you previously determined, and what specific things your employees need to learn.
  • Develop a teaching strategy, which includes how material will be delivered, who will deliver the material, how often it will be delivered, and how it will be delivered.
  • Present your training program topics in an outline format, and then write an article or bullet points to put content into each section of your outline. The outline can also be used to present your ideas to the C-suite leadership team for approval on the project.
  • Select a consistent theme by thinking about how people will learn most effectively. You can try out different ideas using various formats such as traditional textbooks, online courses, instructor-led courses, group discussion workshops, short presentations, or videos.

Convincing Senior Leadership to Invest in your Training Curriculum

We’ve gone through the three steps to creating a training curriculum, whether you are building it in-house or outsourcing it through an eLearning agency. Now, the last thing to do is convince your C-suite that it is worth the investment.

Senior leadership is often busy and may not have the time to go through the nuts and bolts of a training curriculum. It is your job to convince them that it is worth it and needs to be a priority. Since you followed our three easy steps, you are now familiar with the training needs of your employees, you have developed a training timeline based on important factors, and you have developed or chosen an appropriate training curriculum.

You can use this information to discuss the benefits of your training curriculum with the C-suite. Here’s how you do it:

  • Discuss the target audience for your training curriculum and your program will target those needs. Since you have previously determined training needs, you can review the list you created with the C-suite.
  • Review the training timeline that you have determined, based on key dates and important company initiatives. The C-suite will be impressed that you have considered these things and chosen an appropriate time to initiate the training curriculum.
  • Show the C-suite the training materials. If you choose to outsource your training curriculum to an online e-earning program, you can show them what you selected, review its contents and costs. If you are building a custom in-house training curriculum, walk them through the outline and what it will cover and give an estimate of what it will cost to create.

You will now be well-positioned to convince the C-suite of why this is a valuable investment for the company.
Walking through this three-step process allows you to consider and think deeply about the training needs, the timeline for training, and the actual curriculum you are going to use. You will now be well-positioned to convince the C-suite of why this is a valuable investment for the company. These three easy steps will help train employees to better perform in their jobs and help the company meet their business goals.

Action Points

Developing a training curriculum from scratch is a huge process that should involve stakeholders from all parts of the business. Ensure you gain commitment and buy-in from the beginning with C-suite involvement and sign-off. An early-stage round-table meeting with all core business function heads will then determine appetite, resource levels and overall need per section and provide you with enough information to make the decision on whether to outsource part of the project, go alone, or even whether to go ahead at all.

This is the third of 8 articles from the eBook eLearning 101 - How To Create The Perfect Curriculum For Your Company.

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This article was first published on eLearning Industry.