Virtual training

Why Your Learning and Development Strategy Needs Virtual Training Labs

Jeremy Hess

Jun 24, 2020 - 3 min read
learning and development virtual labs

Did you know that the global expenditure for organizational training is approximately USD $370 billion? It’s clear that businesses are scrambling to upgrade their learning and development (L&D) programs for more experienced employees and business partners.

But is the investment really working out? A report from Gartner tells us that many employees lack the skills and knowledge to perform their duties properly. How can we improve our L&D to raise the confidence and performance of the workforce?

What Needs to Change

There are many theories describing why current L&D investment fails to provide tangible benefits to the companies. While training and development is certainly necessary for employees to stay up-to-date with organizational activities, it’s the implementation of the training programs that is at fault.

Learning For Purpose Rather Than “For Show”

Many businesses approach training and development like an item on a checklist. Rather than selecting subject matter that is immediately relevant to an employee’s workflow, they choose uniform topics that bear little use.

Choose learning objectives that apply to the real-world situations that your employees will be facing while working at your company.

Ensuring Knowledge Retention

On average, we forget about 3/4ths of what we learn in just 6 days. L&D program organizers must understand that the best way to retain knowledge is to expose yourself to the material in regular intervals, such as every few days. This “spaced out” methodology raises retention to 80%.

Remember that experience is the best teacher. Always prioritize interactive learning materials over plain manuals. Online learning solutions like software training labs can help in this regard.

Making It a Group Effort

Peer-to-peer learning is an incredibly effective tool for promoting an impactful training session. Over half of employees ask a coworker when they need help on the job.

Consider implementing peer learning workshops or encourage employees to connect with colleagues to share skills.

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Designing Your Training Program

The ADDIE model is a common framework for human resource professionals to build their own training programs.

  • Analyze the needs of the business and determine what topics are of the highest priority.
  • Design the course content around your learning objectives.
  • Develop drafts of the content while ensuring you are sticking to the objectives of the company.
  • Implement the training program by delivering the material and making performance assessments.
  • Evaluate your progress and determine whether the program has met the business’s objectives.

Developing business-grade L&D is not a linear process. Expect to go through these steps multiple times in different orders to make sure it stays in-line with business expectations.

Utilizing Technology

A significant change that recent technology has enabled businesses to use is virtual labs for training and development. These Internet-based courses have a variety of advantages over traditional classroom methods:

  • Accessibility. There’s no need to reorganize employee and instructor schedules, as course material is available at any location and at any time.
  • Flexibility. Users can focus on their own individual needs in a virtual environment. There is no need to change the pace of the course, as participants who need more time on a section can continue studying it as needed.
  • Scalability. Instead of buying and maintaining additional workstations for more employees as a business grows, online courses can accommodate any number of participants. Anybody with an Internet connection has access to the material.
  • Cost. Your service provider handles all the hardware and software maintenance, so you don’t have to. Combined with the flexibility of virtual IT labs, this reduced cost puts virtual training in high demand for many organizations.
  • Interactivity. If you’re looking for IT knowledge, virtual labs can generate simulated environments where users can exercise their knowledge without impacting the company’s actual systems.
  • Safety. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever for participants to take classes without being in the same room. Virtual labs grant an opportunity for businesses to stay competitive even during the pandemic.

Online courses nowadays are more than just PowerPoints or YouTube videos. They can incorporate peer-to-peer interactions, voice or video chats with instructors, and multimedia elements. They’re also incredibly flexible, allowing employees to learn at their own pace from any location.

CloudShare Can Help

Looking for more information regarding how online training labs can enhance your learning and development initiatives? Get in touch with us to learn more.