How to Make Your Training Program Stand Out Against Competitors

Here are five ways to make your training program stand out in the current landscape and equip individuals with valuable career currency.

Training Magazine
Portrait of a young businesswoman using a laptop at her desk in a modern office

Advanced by COVID-19, the world of work has undergone a drastic digital transformation in the last year. This transition has created a vast market for organizations in search of individuals with the latest skills and competencies. As the world shifts to a more modernized, digital landscape, business leaders need to find new ways to stand out amongst competitors in order to attract and retain the best talent. To set themselves apart, they must adapt to these ongoing changes and formulate methods to stay relevant. One way to do that is to offer engaging, effective training opportunities that employees can capitalize on for the duration of their careers.

Here are five ways to make your training program stand out in the current landscape and equip individuals with valuable career currency:

  1. Identify and train current, in-demand skills.

Every industry has its own unique (and often changing) in-demand skills. For example, CompTIA Emerging Technology Community releases its annual Emerging Technology Top 10 list each year, including technologies predicted to have the biggest impact on society in the twelve months. Focusing on the most in-demand skills in your industry allows your training program to excel learners into new roles, widening their options for growth and making them more valuable to your organization.

  1. Show that you value transferable skills.

    Not every in-demand skill is technical or tactical. Human skills such as time management, collaboration, and agility continue to be relevant across many contexts. The past year has shown that some of these skills have even greater importance in remote work. It can be tempting to believe human skills are difficult to teach and verify, but that’s not the case. Courses and learning programs exist for everything from collaboration to emotional intelligence. And, digital credentials can add that layer of substance for those who are looking for candidates.

  1. Recognize learning with digital credentials.

Skills-based hiring is currently at an all-time high, which means professionals can no longer simply list skills they are well-versed in but, instead, need a way to substantiate their capabilities. Hiring managers today look for these verifiable skill sets through credentials and certifications to authenticate the proficiencies candidates may list on their resumes. With this in mind, data-driven digital credentials play an important role in today’s job market. They are no longer a “nice-to-have” component of learning and must be included as a core element of your training program.

  1. Support employees’ unique achievements.

One of the most effective and proven ways to increase retention and recruitment is by fostering an environment dedicated to supporting and celebrating employee achievement – something that may look very different for each person on your team. Today, growth opportunities mean more to many employees than office perks. With so many businesses struggling to fill open positions, employers who provide training opportunities signal a commitment to career pathways and growth for their people. Celebrating milestone achievements throughout your training program can increase results among current employees; as those milestones become public, the milestones also ensure more success in recruiting top talent.

  1. Champion motivation and engagement.

Engagement is key to attracting new talent or leveling up your current workforce and keeping them motivated throughout your training program. Providing quality content is essential, but that alone doesn’t ensure success. Especially now, as the majority of training courses are performed online, it’s more important than ever for learners to be motivated and engaged to progress through your training program. You can increase engagement and motivation with your training programs by making course content creative, acknowledging learners’ efforts, and setting clear goals. 

Offering courses is not enough in today’s competitive market for attracting and retaining quality talent; learning and development need to be a core focus of your organization. Discerning learners want to make sure their investment of time in professional learning and development is going to provide a return. Astute organizations make it easy for individuals to understand the value of what they’ve mastered, put those new skills to work, and translate these earned achievements into wins that benefit the employee and the organization for years to come. Since hiring and recruiting talent is more competitive than ever, knowing that today’s workforce values learning opportunities over office perks, you can establish a competitive edge by providing a top-notch training program that engages, motivates, and validates learners’ efforts. By integrating these five tips, your training program will stand out in a competitive landscape.

Susan provides program design guidance to Credly partners across a range of industries and contexts. She has taught graduate courses and authored books in instructional design, technology tools, universal design for learning and general pedagogy related to online teaching and learning. Susan earned her Doctorate in Adult Education, her Master's in College Student Personnel and is a certified Credentialing Specialist.