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  • Writer's pictureRob Wright

Training vs. Skill Building: The Gap You Didn't Know Your Organization Had

The typical training story for a new product or campaign rollout goes something like this:

The project is a little time crunched - everything's coming together at the last moment. Just in time, the team produces a webinar/eLearning/class. After training, we ask learners to answer a series of multiple choice questions to check their knowledge. The project goes live. Then leaders hope for the best, and move on to the next project.

But a recent Bright case study indicates that the traditional approach to training delivery for new products or campaigns falls woefully short of building the customer service or sales skills that organizations are actually looking for.

The Scenario

In response to declining sales caused by the recent COVID pandemic, a customer put 100 sales agents through a hybrid learning experience that included both traditional learning assets (e.g., videos, job aids, and knowledge assessments) as well as simulation-based learning where learners had to record themselves and/or practice writing responses to common customer objections.

The result is a powerful testimony to the difference between training and skill building.

As expected, 100% of the agents passed the traditional training portion. But only 20% passed the skills-based assessment on the first try.

The gap between traditional training and true skill building

The simulation effort went well beyond having team members pair up for role play. Learners used Bright's immersive learning platform to send submissions to a subject matter expert, and then after receiving a rating and personalized coach feedback, had to 'keep practicing' until they successfully managed the customer objection.

It took learners an average of 3 tries over the course of 2 weeks to master the skill and get the full team to the desired skill level.

The Takeaway: Training is Just the Beginning

In our experience, this is typical. And it means that when most organizations are wrapping up their training program, and reviewing completion numbers and learner satisfaction surveys, they should really be gearing up for the harder work of practice, coaching, and reinforcement.

In this case, only 20% of learners picked up the desired skill from taking training alone.

What's the number at your organization?

How many watch the webinar, and then master the skill first try? In the absence of targeted practice and coaching, the experience for most employees is to work out the kinks slowly on live customers and leads, with occasional input from a manager. Or worse yet, to carry on thinking they've 'got it' when really they don't. Both alternatives represent an avoidable negative impact to your brand, pipeline, and customer experience.

There's a better way.

Emerging trends in learning technology are empowering organizations to approach training differently, and to capture skills data (not just training completion numbers) as an ROI measure on the value of learning. Beyond training delivery, we're also correlating simulation performance data with actual performance data as a way to predict organizational readiness and future company performance. It's a different mindset that put learning at the leading edge of innovation and continuous improvement efforts.

If you'd like to learn how you can use simulations to build skill + deliver training remotely better than you ever did live, reach out! We'd love to help.


Discover what Bright can do for your business.

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