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Written by Howard Price

Why training must be engaging to be effective

Every organization wants its employees to have the latest skills but ingraining those skills – no matter how much money is spent on training – isn’t always easy, and failing to do so can be detrimental to the organization’s success.

Simply put, training must be engaging for the employee. If it isn’t, organizations won’t benefit from the latest skills, employees won’t feel that they’re being invested in or that they are growing in their roles, and businesses won’t see a return on their investment in training.

Fundamentally, engagement is the key to effective training, which is why we follow three key steps that guarantee effective, lasting training for every employee.

Getting the topic right

Every training module is fueled by customer insights – for example, if we hear that customers are having difficulty with local sourcing or managing inflation, we will create modules, or more in-depth content, on these topics. By taking these insights into account, as well as market research, skill levels, portfolio gaps and more, we develop modular courses that really meet the needs of our customers and learners.

Beyond this, the plans themselves are created and developed by specialist procurement and supply chain experts that have real-world, directly applicable experience. All of this is delivered through our intuitive, user-friendly platform that tracks learners’ engagement and ongoing progress.

Engaging learning formats

Our primary learning format is high-impact eLearning, which we use to deliver core training on all key topics in our vast range of procurement competencies and supply chain competencies. This learning is then reinforced via our many other learning formats. For example, learners can partake in expert review sessions, whereby an experienced professional presents a problem scenario for learners to solve. They can then develop their own solutions in their own time, before comparing it with the expert’s approach. Learners can also benefit from microlearning via short, engaging videos, and much, much more.

Our wide range of formats engage every learner throughout the training process, whatever their preferred way of learning and include:

  • High impact eLearning
  • Simulations
  • Expert reviews
  • Microlearning
  • Application-based tasks
  • Gamification
  • Exam assessments
  • Webinar toolkits

Providing a learning journey

No two people learn in the same way, or at the same pace; some absorb information better through visuals, some through writing and others through verbal discussions or physical activities. And people learn best when they enjoy it, so we allow learners to work through at their own pace, in a language of their choice.

We start with a learner assessment that reviews the current knowledge against a set of established procurement competency and supply chain competency benchmarks, creating a path from current to desired skills – all tailored to their role and individual needs. Our technology will then assign their personalized learning journey, enabling them to begin their training immediately.

Training that sticks

To ensure learners engage with their learning journey, we ensure that every new concept is introduced with a clear example, directly applicable to the challenges they face in their role. We never present purely theoretical concepts without showing them in practice. This is all part of the learning science we employ, also known as cognitive load theory. It is, as the name suggests, used to reduce learners’ cognitive load so they remain engaged and able to absorb and retain new information for longer, instead of feeling overwhelmed or struggling with concepts that are underexplained.

The benefit is that learners aren’t left wondering or having to return to the training again at a later stage to clarify their understanding. This helps meet one of our goals, which is for the training to be implemented back at work as soon as possible. We also make a rule of explaining no more than nine new concepts at any given time.

We reinforce all concepts and spoken explanations with clear visuals, and the audio and visuals are always synchronized to present the same information. In doing so, the content being presented to learners can be absorbed through multiple senses.

Only by focusing on engagement and building training plans around it can organizations and their employees effectively learn, retain, and practice the latest skills needed to accelerate performance – both at an individual and a business level. Training that ignores the critical aspect of learner engagement risks wasting time and money on learning that simply won’t stick.

If you’re considering our supply chain training and procurement certification and want to learn more about effective training strategies or how we can help engage your team to learn new skills, please get in touch.

Howard Price Head of Procurement Academy Skill Dynamics