Look up any article about workplace productivity. You’ll quickly find that the most common recommendation for improving productivity is providing good training. But how do we ensure that the Training team itself is productive? And how do we ensure that it can scale up training to meet the needs of the business?
Training teams are constantly asked to increase their output – training more learners as the business grows. But often, the only solution for increasing training output is increasing headcount. That can work for a time – but it’s unsustainable. Larger teams become less efficient, more unwieldy, and more expensive.
Ideally, Training teams could increase their own productivity per employee, the same way they work to boost the productivity of other teams. But doing so needs to go beyond simply asking employees to work harder.
Most teams already work at or near the amount of effort they can sustainably provide. One of the best ways to increase resilience is by prioritizing employee effort efficiently. Focusing on the highest-value projects requires a high level of prioritization, supported by a strong software infrastructure. The result, however, can be a massive increase in capacity without needing to expend more resources or bring on more staff.
The Pareto Principle Applied to Training Management
The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 Rule, isn’t anything new. The rule-of-thumb across all industries and applications is simple. 80% of the effects are the result of 20% of the causes. Conversely, the other 80% of causes only produce 20% of the effects.
Apply that rule to training management, and consider what kinds of tasks fall into each category.
For example, learner communications. Every learner needs to receive a confirmation email when they enroll in a course. But manually sending that email only generates an small amount of value compared to the whole scope of training operations – you prevent one learner from becoming confused.
This kind of task is common and necessary, but repetitive. It’s important to keep learners informed, but doing so manually with each learner quickly creates a huge administrative burden. That can result in your team spending all or most of their time engaged on this kind of task – repeatedly doing the same low-value work because while it needs to get done, it isn’t being done efficiently.
Compare that to a task like detailed strategic planning. Forecasting future training needs is a complex task requiring advanced data analytics skills and tools. But completing that task allows the team to allocate all of their resources more efficiently. With enough time to prepare, maybe the team can obtain additional certifications for existing instructors instead of needing to urgently hire new staff with the proper qualifications. Or perhaps the team can predict a resource shortage and get a head start on mitigating it. The long-term gains vastly outweigh the up-front investment in making the forecast.
In general, the highest-value tasks within the training function involve analyzing and applying insights from training data. That’s because this kind of work can identify inefficiencies and opportunities, and make future work more efficient.
Boosting employee productivity is a matter of refocusing as much effort as possible onto those highest-value tasks. Automate simpler tasks where possible. Adopt effective training management software to support employees in accomplishing more complex tasks. The key is making sure that employees are working on the right thing – and that they have the right tools for the job.
Automating Tasks with Administrate’s Training Management System
Key to increasing productivity is ensuring that employees are not doing work that a computer can easily handle. Skilled training professionals can be creative, innovative, and collaborative – but not when they’re sending identical emails all day.
Of course, “easily handle” is a relative term. Some automation solutions are poorly-optimized. They can require so much setup and maintenance that it would have been better to simply do the task manually. Training technology needs to be efficient and easy to use for it to actually save any effort.
That’s why Administrate’s training management software was designed from the ground up to provide user-friendly and comprehensive automation tools. Administrate’s trigger logic system connects all aspects of the training function. That means you can specify any condition to trigger any action, tailored to your specific needs.
If you want to have a report automatically generated and emailed to relevant stakeholders each month, Administrate can do that. If you want to automatically send course materials to instructors and learners based on the course schedule, Administrate can do that too. And all of this can be done without any need for custom coding or scripts – it’s built-in functionality.
Training management software that automates these basic tasks frees up employees to focus on higher-value work. That boosts training’s productivity without needing to add staff or put employees at risk for burnout.
Software Infrastructure for Data-Driven Training Management
As previously stated, the highest-value tasks that you could have employees focus on mostly revolve around data analysis. Utilizing data can identify inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement throughout your operations. In particular, projecting and planning for future conditions can help prepare the entire team to utilize resources more efficiently. That can include resources like time and effort, not just budget.
These high-value data tasks will probably never occupy a majority of your team’s time. But prioritizing these tasks helps optimize employee efforts. However, these tasks are harder than simple repetitive ones – and employees will need extra organizational support to consistently deliver.
Unfortunately, most training technology stacks seem designed to block, rather than enable, this kind of data analysis. Disconnected systems, each holding a fragment of your data, make comprehensive data analysis a nightmare. Just getting the data you need becomes a long process of manually extracting and synching data sets.
It’s like asking an athlete to run a marathon in flip-flops. All the expertise in the world means nothing if you have the wrong tools for the job.
What your team needs is software that provides infrastructure support. That means connecting, coordinating, and delivering all of your data, and all of your software systems, into a single place. Administrate is purpose-built to connect disconnected systems and serve as a single central repository for your data and operations. And with an advanced, no-code reporting engine, accessing and utilizing that data is simple and streamlined.
Of course, ensuring that employee productivity is both high and sustainable is only one part of scaling up training. Applying the Pareto Principle to refocus employee effort is a good start. But there are many ways Training teams can improve their scalability.
For more data-driven insight into increasing the resilience of the training function, take a look at our guide to Reclaiming Your Learning Technology Infrastructure. It contains deep insights and recommendations for improving your team’s relationship with your learning tech and empowering employees with the right tools..