Picture this: You’re a training manager at a mid- to large-sized organization that’s recently lost its competitive edge. You know part of the problem is employee training. The staff is overworked and uninterested in missing “valuable” work time sitting in another workshop or training event. You know what you should be doing, but how can you convince management? You recognize that investing in training and development is necessary if your organization wants to retain employees and secure its position as an industry leader, but inevitably you know the m-word will be mentioned. METRICS. How do you plan on measuring the effectiveness of your new and improved (and costly) training program?
Mindflash has recently released a new analytics tool for online training. The cloud-based software, powered by GoodData, will provide trainers with insightful information such as material comprehension and course satisfaction. By arming oneself with this data, trainers can better gauge student needs and tailor the course while training is happening, not afterward. Reports can be easily generated as they are needed.
Mindflash offers its employee and customer training solutions to more than 1,000 clients via an online platform. One of those clients is Efinancial, a life insurance company. We spoke with Andy Wiggins, Retail Sales Manager, about his company’s experience with Mindflash and the organization’s training needs.
Can you provide a brief overview of Efinancial’s training program?
Our training falls into three areas (new hires, reps becoming agents, ongoing training for tenured agents). Previously we conducted most of our training via PowerPoints, which I would administer myself in a classroom setting. Since our business [life insurance] requires a lot of knowledge about products, regulations, underwriting, etc. this resulted in a lot of time spent doing presentations in a classroom setting.
What’s been your experience working with Mindflash?
Mindflash has helped us take quite a bit of this training, and distribute it to the trainees to complete on their own time. Just upload the PowerPoint, give your course a title, and distribute to as many trainees as your plan allows. Essentially it’s like having two of me! While they’re completing their required coursework I can continue with curriculum development, and hands on training with my direct reports. Basically, Mindflash allows me to do more than I otherwise could have done.
How do you currently measure the effectiveness of your training program?
In addition to distribution and presentation of the materials, we have also been able to better assess what the trainees learned from the presentation. How many trainers have to deal with trainees that are texting on their smart phone during a classroom presentation? How much did they retain? Were they listening? Now the agents have to prove they understand the material contained in the presentation by completing an assessment. I just add a quiz to the training module, and set a minimum score the trainee must achieve in order to receive a completion certificate. If the trainee fails to complete the quiz with the required score I can re-invite them to the module. There’s even a setting that allows them to retake the module as many times as it takes to pass without having the trainer re-invite them.
Another benefit is that we can track what modules trainees have been invited to, and completed. In the past if an employee was out of compliance in some way they loved to say “I was never trained on that.” One solution was to keep a log of every course completed by every trainee. Of course that generates a lot of administrative work that takes away from what us trainers do best: training. Mindflash allows me to make sure that each employee has completed their required training. I’m not going to lie…it feels good to come back and say, “Yeah, you were trained on that!”
Let’s talk about your overall satisfaction using Mindflash tools. Are you happy?
The staff at Mindflash has been extremely helpful any time I’ve had inquiries regarding the software. They’re very responsive, and ready to help at a moment’s notice. They’re never satisfied with the status quo, which any user can tell by the regular improvements and additions to the site.
So what effect has Mindflash had—more training, better assessment, and standardization of training each trainee receives.