The Benefits of Optional, Elective-Based Training At the Workplace

Training Assignments and Optional Elective TrainingIf you administer a learning management system (LMS) at your workplace, or even if you’re just thinking about getting one, you may be focused on mandatory training assignments.

And that makes sense. There’s a lot of training that you’ll want to be 100% sure your employees complete: job-based training about their current position at your workplace, mandatory safety and compliance training — You can probably add more items to the list yourself.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider. We make a series of learning management systems, many libraries of e-learning courses for workforce training, apps for mobile learning and performance support, and more. Contact us to ask some questions and set up a demo. 

You may also be interested in the free guides below:

But What About Elective Training?

With all that focus on mandatory training assignments, it can be easy to lose track of the value of making elective training available on an optional basis. What are some reasons to make optional elective training available to your workers, you ask? We’ll list a few below.

The 70/20/10 Rule of Workforce Development

Many learning & development experts believe that workforce learning happens in the following ratios:

  • 70%-Learning that occurs directly on the job/during job experiences
  • 20%-Social learning/learning from communicating with coworkers
  • 10%-Formal, assigned learning

It’s not important to get caught up in the exact numbers, and I’ve never seen real data that supports the numbers. But what is important is a lot of learning happens outside formal, assigned learning. Given that, making your training library a searchable, reference library for workers only makes sense. It’s not the entire solution, but it gets you moving in the right direction.

Your Workers Are Adult Learners-And Adult Learners Are Self-Guided Learners

Research into how people learn shows us that adult learners like to be in charge of their learning. They want to make decisions about what they learn and when they learn it. Making elective training available for your workers is one way you can create a workforce learning program that addresses this desire.

Let Your Workers Train “Up” for the Next Job Position

Many times, employees have their eyes set on the next job in the pecking order. Or the next several jobs. Consider a brand new hire at a manufacturing facility. She may currently hold the entry-level job that all new hires are put into, but she’s probably excited to move up the ladder, filling other positions that come with more challenges, responsibilities, respect, rewards, and a bigger paycheck.

You can assign mandatory training to that new hire to make sure she knows how to do her current job, but you can also make elective training available so she can train up for the next positions on her line of progression. This works well for her, and it also works well for you–as one of your goals is probably to get new workers up to speed and into more critical job roles in a short time.

Help Your Employees Cross-Train to Fill Multiple Job Positions

Many of our customers have to train their employees to fill multiple job roles instead of just one. For example, many paper converting facilities require their workers to know how to operate all of the machines in a converting line.

One way to get employees cross-trained quickly is to make mandatory training assignments and then make other training related to other, related jobs available on an elective basis.

This will help your employees become more useful to your workplace, which is to their advantage and which helps you too. And it will make it easier for you to cross-train workers to fill all the jobs at your site.

Turn Your Training Library Into an Easy-to-Access Reference Library

By making elective training available to your workers on an optional basis, you can turn parts of your training library–or the whole thing–into a workplace reference library. This is great for a few reasons, including:

  • Helping workers know how their job fits into the ‘big picture” at work
  • Making training available to workers on a “just in time” basis when they need to view it at the workplace
  • Making training available in the field as a job aid (or work support) to reduce the need for rote memorization
  • Making training in the form of manuals, SOPs, and troubleshooting guides available to maintenance workers in the field
  • Better fitting the 70/20/10 model, as explained above

How Can Convergence Training Help You Make Elective Training Available To Your Workers?

The Convergence Training learning management systems (LMSs) allow LMS administrators to make mandatory training assignments as well as make elective training available to workers on an optional basis.

And not only that, the Convergence Mobile app lets your workers retrieve, view, refer to, and complete training on a mobile device right in the field–it can be as easy as scanning a barcode on a machine or in a work area to summon up the correct training materials.

Need more information? Contact us and let us know how we can help you.

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Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. Jeff has worked in education/training for more than twenty years and in safety training for more than ten. You can follow Jeff at LinkedIn as well.

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