By Jan Niehaus
Not everyone jumps at training “opportunities.” Savvy training professionals market the services they provide. The list below identifies the marketing ideas that will be most effective at increasing participation and easiest to implement. Thanks to Maria Chilcote, The Training Clinic co-owner, who contributed to this list during and after “Target, Bond, Go Get ‘Em! Marketing Training in Your Organization,” a Training Magazine webinar presented in November 2017.
- Attend regular department and management meetings.
- Lunch with employees from different branches/functions every week.
- Shadow employees to learn operations and strengthen relationships.
- Help with trade shows and counter days.
- Welcome new hires.
- Form affinity groups of employees with like interests, e.g., environment, finance, biking.
- Participate in professional and industry organizations.
Partner with Management
- Brainstorm links between strategic corporate objectives and training programs.
- Secure a place on meeting agendas to report training accomplishments.
- Include managers in course design to build buy-in and ensure on-target content.
- Recruit managers to introduce or facilitate sections of courses.
- Coach managers on how to reinforce employees’ classroom learning.
- Cultivate training champions companywide.
- Host luncheons to thank SMEs and training champions.
Toot Your Own Horn
- Create training brand, logo, tagline, graphics.
- Publish trainee and manager testimonials re: training benefits.
- Provide both quantitative and qualitative success metrics.
- Encourage trainees to blog and post re: training and performance gains.
- Implement training awards programs.
- Create training “annual report.”
- Include training info in recruiting and onboarding materials.
Use Print Media
- Distribute posters and flyers in break rooms, elevators, bathrooms, copy rooms, etc.
- Congratulate graduates in employee and customer newsletters.
- Publish course catalog for employees without regular computer access.
- Write news releases re: employee certifications, accreditations, honors.
- Help marketing department publish articles in industry magazines and local newspapers.
- Create badges/pins/stickers for trainees, e.g., “Ask me what I learned today.”
Create Digital Media
- Post training announcements, testimonials, photos, etc. on company website, LMS, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.
- Operate live feeds of training events for remote employees.
- Send follow-up emails to course graduates with tips for applying learning.
- Draft encouraging/congratulatory voice and email messages for managers to send employees.
- Produce videos of trainees’ success stories and teasers for upcoming courses.
- Create self-assessments to help employees select courses.
- Publish tip of the week/month re: MS Outlook, time management, etc., identifying related courses, websites, publications.
Host Lunch & Learns
- Play TEDx or educational videos and facilitate employee discussion.
- With manufacturers, devise reinforcement activities to follow product training.
- Facilitate employee presentations on topics of expertise/interest, e.g., recycling, public transportation, popular business books.
- Host informal, pop-up “clinics” on Excel, email management, etc.
- Invite civic leaders to discusses activities (e.g., downtown renovation, homelessness) and how employees can get involved.
- Invite community college faculty to describe work-related (e.g., business administration) and personal development (e.g., financial planning) courses.
Niehaus, LEED GA, is an instructional designer and writerand the president and founder of Communication by Design (communicationbydesign.net). Reach her at 314-644-4135 or Jan@CommunicationByDesign.net.