So, why do you invest time in training your company’s workforce? And, for that matter, why does your organization commit dollars to training initiatives?

Those answers seem obvious, don’t they? “Our people will acquire the skills necessary for improved performance and that will result in a better bottom line for our company?’

In a perfect world, those answers are completely valid. ‘nuff said.

But, it’s not a perfect world and those answers both depend on a single qualifier: “IF.”

All training is not equal. All courseware titles are not equal in scope or production design. All trainees do not come to you from a single learning culture.

Many studies have proven that traditional “lecture/reading/testing” training programs no longer give the payback in skills acquisition and ROI that they once did. For individuals born after 1960, their learning culture has become a TV-learning culture. That is why, beginning with interactive laser videodisc and CD-ROM, multi-sensory learning became the surest way to a training payback.

Today, we are evolving into an e-Learning training environment. But, hold on a moment!

Far too many of the e-Learning programs available have taken us backwards into the “reading/testing” world. In their zest to make a quick buck, far too many producers have taken the route of PowerPoint adaptation and written procedure adaptation to the e-Learning environment. The much more effective multi-sensory approach has disappeared from these cheap e-Learning offerings.

The consequences are great. Skills are no longer being acquired as readily. The bottom line contribution of training has shrunk. And all because we have forgotten to insist on a continuum in the multi-sensory approach to learning. An approach that first triumphed in the days of interactive laser videodisc and continued to reap great rewards as we transitioned into CD-ROM

We should all stand up and insist that those training initiatives that actually contribute are the ones that incorporate multi-sensory production — and we must summarily reject those adapted PowerPoint and written procedures that never belonged in an e-Learning environment in the first place.

And if we don’t, but continue to buy converted PowerPoint and written procedures, we are wasting our organization’s money; depriving our workers seeking opportunity; and, cheating our company from acquiring those additional skills that they need to become more efficient and more profitable. If that type of pseudo training is incorporated into your e-Learning initiatives — then why bother!!!

So, “yes,” effective training can significantly increase skills and contribute mightily to the bottom line — but only “IF” we demand a multi-sensory approach to our e-Learning initiatives and purchases.

And that, my friends, is a very big “IF!”

More on Friday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning