How to Overcome Instructor-led Training Challenges

 
Instructor-led training (ILT) is probably the most well-known and commonly used training resource for today’s businesses, even with the increasing popularity of e-learning. For many organizations, ILT is becoming a mission-critical function, even when the organization doesn’t appear related to training and instruction—at least at a glance. 

ILT represents as much as 66% of corporate training and development, even higher in high-consequence industries (e.g., healthcare, pharmaceutical, finance, utilities).

While absolutely critical to training efforts, ILT comes with its own set of hurdles that need to be kept in mind during implementation. Before getting into the challenges and how to tackle them, let’s learn a little more about exactly what instructor-led training is.

What Is Instructor-led Training?

Instructor-led training is when an instructor facilitates a training session or course, as opposed to an online course without a facilitator or a self-paced course. The trainer may either instruct a group or individuals, in person or online. The defining characteristic is that the instructor is on-site and the one facilitating and running the course.

In most cases where ILT is utilized, it’s done to reinforce an organization’s mission. Examples include:

  • When a company that makes a product offers training on its own products, that training is essential for the most effective product usage.
  • If a company produces health or medical devices, it’s imperative they provide proper on-site product training. This is both for the safety of patients and also to continue the growth of the company itself.
  • In the case of education technology companies, teachers need to be fluent in the proper implementation of their products not only to ensure student use but also to see better results in the classroom itself.
  • For nonprofits offering ILT, especially for professional development and growth, their end goal is to improve the world around them.

Challenges and Solutions to Instructor-led Training

Instructor-led training is a valuable tool for ongoing learning and development, but there are obstacles to keep in mind. Here are some of the common challenges with ILT, as well as solutions to tackle them.

Challenge #1: Managing Instructor Skills and Availability

Spreadsheets are the most commonly used way to track and manage training information—but unfortunately, they’re not efficient or accurate enough to manage training at scale. Spreadsheets are difficult to share with a large team, and even more difficult to update as circumstances change. Without a live-updating database behind the spreadsheet, any changes must be communicated by email, phone, or a meeting, then manually entered into the spreadsheet. 

This situation is even more challenging for organizations with a mobile workforce that includes contractors, part-timers, volunteers, or interns. 

The flow of so much unreliable data inevitably results in confusion and frequent backtracking or error correction. This means a slowdown in day-to-day operations, particularly if your instructors operate on a part-time basis or move between different locations.

Solution: Real-Time Data Sharing

Mobile workforce management platforms offer a wide range of benefits for onsite learning. By using a mobile workforce management solution, mobile trainers can keep their availability updated in real-time through a mobile app. They can also update any new skills or certifications they’ve earned. And if these organizations use HR management software, CRM software, or other system of record, mobile workforce management platforms have integration capability to ensure that this data remains trustworthy and synchronized.

This makes it easier for schedulers and coordinators to be aware of available, qualified instructors at any time. In addition, it saves hours of time by skipping a lengthy series of emails and phone calls, giving instructors more time to spend with trainees.

Challenge #2: Scheduling Qualified Instructors for the Right Training Session

Instructor-led training requires spending significant time and money. That makes it even more important to pair the best-suited instructor with the right client at the right time. 

This requires taking various factors into account: distance/travel time, qualifications, availability, and more. Perhaps the most qualified instructor is also the farthest away. Maybe there’s a nearby, qualified instructor, but they are not available at the right time. Distance is a very important consideration, too, as it not only affects scheduling but also could greatly alter the cost when things like gas and transit time—and even possibly food and lodging for instructors who need to travel—are factored in.

Solution: All Schedules Managed in One Platform

With a mobile workforce management platform, coordinators can look in one place to find the best-suited candidate for instructor-led training based on location, availability, and qualifications for a particular client’s needs. Everything is updated continuously and seamlessly, and there’s no extra step to transfer information from a spreadsheet or other scheduling system. 

The instructor walks into the session feeling confident, knowing they have all the details of who they will be training and when. The scheduler and coordinator also rest easy, knowing they have assigned the right person to the right session at the right time (without making dozens of phone calls back and forth). 

Challenge #3: Capturing Training Event Data After Delivery

Once an onsite training session is over, there’s still a lot of information to process for invoicing and payroll purposes, as well as follow-up resources. When was the training? Where was it held? What information was discussed? Who was the instructor, and how many attendees were there? Did they receive follow-up information so they can reinforce their training later on? It’s vital that this information is not only available, but also timely and accurate.

Solution: An Accurate Billing, No-Paperwork Platform

A mobile workforce management platform eliminates mountains of paperwork and streamlines administrative processes to avoid future delays. At the same time, an effective mobile workforce management solution serves as a database to house and maintain billing information so invoices can be sent more quickly and accurately, trainers can be paid faster, and logistics—such as revenue, contracts, efficiencies, etc.—can be tracked in the process.

Challenge #4: Meeting Customer Needs

Among the many benefits of instructor-led training is that it’s considerably more personal than sending someone online to a series of e-learning courses. With instructor-led training, there are more personalized interactions and more efficient transfer of knowledge from the trainer to the attendees. Instructors must be knowledgeable about the course material, of course, but also about their audience and the questions they’re likely to have. 

Solution: A Platform That Empowers and Prepares Trainers

Instructors can take advantage of mobile workforce management to access all of the necessary data about a training event and the customer who hired them to do it. From the courses offered to any additional materials or information that may be pertinent to that particular event, a trainer can easily pull up the information on a mobile app and be completely informed in minutes. This allows instructors to walk into their sessions feeling more prepared to answer industry-specific or role-specific questions about the material. 

Case Studies: Instructor-led Training

Here are some real-world examples of how mobile workforce management enables better instructor-led training: 

Case study #1: Achieve3000

After a decade in business and with over 250 implementation managers to keep track of, Achieve3000 realized their homegrown customer relationship management (CRM) system could no longer handle their needs. They needed something that not only could continue to grow with the company, but also didn’t require the constant manual updating that their old CRM did. A mobile workforce management system brought all of Achieve3000’s data into one scalable and user-friendly source—it provides scheduling, certification information, and trainer availability, all with a better overall user experience. 

Case study #2: American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is one of the oldest and largest humanitarian organizations in the United States, offering 60,000 health and safety courses. With 1,250 mobile instructors teaching over 530,000 people a year, the American Red Cross had a staggering amount of information to track and access. Such a large organization needed a new and robust solution to its CRM shortcomings. They decided to integrate mobile workforce management with their Salesforce CRM to have all of their data in one easy-to-use system that was available to everyone who needed it.  This cut scheduling times by 43% and reduced scheduling costs by 30%.

Case study #3: I-CAR 

Created in 1979, I-CAR is a nonprofit organization created to help those in the auto collision industry by developing courses and providing accurate information on auto collision repair. Their goal is to provide everyone in the industry with the information and experience needed to perform complete, safe, and quality auto repairs. With the help of a mobile workforce management solution, I-CAR now is more prepared than ever to make that goal a reality.

Mobile Workforce Management to the Rescue

There are many challenges to implementing instructor-led training. There is a ton of information that needs to be tracked—from scheduling to travel time to trainers’ skillsets. Then there’s all the data required for billing and invoicing after training is done. It all comes down to finding the right trainer for the right client at the right time.

Skedulo offers a mobile workforce management platform that can streamline instructor-led training and save your organization time and money. Book your free demo to see Skedulo in action!