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Top Corporate Training Programs to Prioritize in 2024

Top Corporate Training Programs to Prioritize in 2024

9 minute read | January 31, 2024
Monica J. White

Written by:
Monica J. White

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Technology and market dynamics are continually evolving at an unprecedented pace, meaning that employees need to learn new things at a faster rate than ever before. LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report found that since just 2015, skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25%. This figure is expected to rise to 50% by 2027, emphasizing how the only constant thing is change. 

A recent survey by Springboard for Business (SB4B) sheds light on the escalating concern surrounding skills gaps. Startlingly, 40% of corporate leaders acknowledge that the skills gap has worsened in the past year. Moreover, the SB4B Survey indicates that more than one-third of these leaders believe the shelf life of hard skills is currently under two years, emphasizing the urgency for proactive measures in skill development.

As a business leader, investing sufficient time and attention into training and developing your workforce is becoming increasingly important. Organizations that don’t implement robust strategies to upskill and reskill their workforces will be left with critical skill gaps, and, inevitably, risk lagging behind the competition.

Strategically upskilling and reskilling the workforce through carefully selected, always-on corporate training programs is the best way to future-proof your business. Such programs help individuals close existing skill gaps, helping the organization face the ever-shifting business landscape.

Read on to identify the types of corporate training that will elevate your workforce and evolve your business.

What Is Corporate Training?

Corporate training is a strategic, systematic process designed to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies of employees. These always-on training programs are provided by the company and are typically offered to individuals free of cost. They can cover a wide range of learning initiatives: from onboarding programs to soft-skills training and role-specific skills development opportunities. Corporate training includes programs that focus on:

  • Cognitive skills 
  • Compliance skills
  • Hard skills / reskilling
  • Data literacy
  • Leadership training
  • Onboarding and orientation

At its core, corporate training is an investment in the learning and development of an organization’s workforce. While its main goal is skill acquisition, it goes beyond that by cultivating a culture of continuous learning and improvement among employees. By incorporating various modalities like workshops, seminars, and mentorship programs, corporate training helps empower employees by equipping them with the skills needed to keep up with the evolving demands of their roles — and, as a result, keeping the organization competitive and ahead of the curve.

Types of Corporate Training To Prioritize

For corporate training to deliver the best results and the highest ROI, it’s crucial to identify the programs that will benefit the company most.

Cognitive Skills Training

Cognitive skills training refers to programs designed to enhance employees’ mental aptitude in areas such as critical and strategic thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, knowledge retention, and attention to detail. Rather than focusing directly on role-specific skills, these initiatives focus on improving cognitive functions essential to effectively adapting to the work environment’s changing demands.

Cognitive skills training programs strengthen individuals’ capacity to process information, analyze complex situations, and make informed decisions. Typically, these programs incorporate activities and exercises that stimulate and challenge the brain, helping employees train their intellectual agility and ability to react quickly. 

From an organization’s point of view, this form of training can be particularly useful for employees in roles that call upon their analytical, creative, and strategic skills. In fact, a Springboard for Business survey of over 500 business leaders found that strategic thinking is the most in-demand skill in the industry today.

Investing in this type of training can be a highly effective way to boost the overall cognitive ability of your organization’s workforce, resulting in productivity, adaptability, and problem-solving. In today’s knowledge-driven economy, the ability to think critically and reassess every step of the way is crucial for sustained success.

Hard Skills Training/Reskilling

New tech advancements are constantly reshaping the way we work. As a result, the shelf life of many skills is rapidly shrinking. According to HBR, the average half-life of a skill across all industries is under 5 years. In the tech industry, this figure is even more pronounced, dropping as low as 2.5 years. 

Hard skills training and reskilling is a proactive corporate training approach to prevent employee skill sets from fading into obsolescence and help fill any potential emerging critical skill gaps. 

This is achieved by equipping individuals with role-specific hard skills that prepare them for the evolving needs of their industry. For instance, project management and software engineering are two skills that are in demand across various industries and are both frequently incorporated into reskilling programs.

Empowering existing team members with improved skill sets, whether new skills or existing ones, can be beneficial in several ways. It enhances employee engagement, retention, and professional development and positions the company to thrive in a fast-paced, competitive business environment.

Data Literacy

Companies have been amassing swaths of data across every business function. Yet, only a select few workforce members have the skills to read, interpret, and analyze these data to turn them into actionable business strategies. Indeed, HBR found that despite 90% of business leaders considering data literacy essential to company success, only 25% of workers felt confident in their data skills.

In the current landscape, with growing volumes and complexities of data, equipping workers with the ability to make objective, data-driven decisions is critical for continued business success. 

Through targeted data literacy training, organizations can work toward cultivating a workforce that can effectively comprehend data, and leverage it to make strategic decisions. A course like Springboard’s Data-Driven Strategic Thinking can help make your workforce data-fluent. This results in enhancing the company’s decision-making skills at every level and fostering a culture of data-informed choices and innovation.

Leadership Training

As the business landscape continues to shift at breakneck speeds, executive and leadership training is an often-overlooked form of corporate training. Contrary to common belief, the need for leadership training isn’t exclusive to junior or mid-level management. Senior executives also stand to benefit from a strategic refresher on their leadership skills. However, it’s interesting to note that among junior employees, the most sought-after soft skill to develop was leadership/management skills, with 44% of surveyed individuals citing it as a skill they’d like to learn or sharpen.

When asked about the top skills needed by their companies, many executives in leadership positions cited project management. Skills that fall under that umbrella are essential for any individual to be able to execute initiatives that leverage data insights or AI advancements to drive innovation.

Leadership training plays a crucial role in ensuring that senior executives remain at the forefront of effective management practices, strategic thinking, and adaptive leadership. When selecting a suitable leadership training program, it’s key to make sure it goes beyond the foundation leadership principles — it must address the nuanced challenges that come with leading in a fast-paced, digitally-driven world. 

To truly foster a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, and adaptability, this ethos must come from the company’s leadership, clearly cementing the importance of ongoing leadership training for senior executives and junior and mid-level managers.

What To Look For in a Corporate Training Partner

The number of companies and business coaches that offer corporate training has risen directly to market needs. As such, picking the right option for your organization can be challenging, but there are a few key aspects to look out for when making your choice.

Training for In-Demand Skills

When it comes to effective employee upskilling and reskilling, oftentimes, less is more. Corporate training providers that grant access to libraries spanning hundreds, if not thousands, of different courses, tend to be far less effective than working with a specialized provider.

Generalized course libraries are known as “check-the-box” learning and development — and with good reason. These are the kinds of training programs that employees sit through without gaining much valuable knowledge. As a result, the measurable impact of these programs is minimal, and employee engagement is similarly low. These courses also typically have lower completion rates, sometimes below 30%.

Partnering with an organization offering a curated course portfolio is a better way to upskill your workforce. Such corporate training partners offer programs tailored to a modern business’s needs. The goal is to address critical skill gaps and invest in training that helps the organization keep up with the changing times.

Human-Led Training

Many corporations turn to e-learning to help their employees learn essential skills, but training modules that don’t involve any human interaction are drastically less effective than human-led programs. 

Setting an individual up with a passive course to complete puts pressure on the employee to self-regulate, seek answers if they’re not sure, and complete the course in the required timeframe without any assistance. As a result, employees may treat the training program as a puzzle to be solved and then put away rather than an opportunity to hone essential skills.

Adopting an employee-first approach is the key to successful upskilling. Programs like those offered by Springboard for Business that follow this principle tend to be far more successful than passive courses that are clicked through rather than engaged with.

Pick programs that feature instructor-led sessions, coaches who can address any concerns and keep the employees motivated, and industry mentors who provide invaluable hands-on knowledge of a specific topic.

Cohort-Based Learning

Choosing cohort-based learning instead of isolated training programs is a better option for most individuals. Employees who are left to complete courses on their own are less likely to succeed, bringing the completion rates down. 

Instead, group training programs promote a sense of community and support. Working their way through the material with a group of peers instills a feeling of belonging, cultivating company culture and deepening the shared understanding of its mission. 

Interactive, cohort-based training sessions can serve as a more engaging way to train workers, helping improve their learning experience and retention. Being able to interact with and learn alongside individuals who work at the same organization drives engagement and unity, and these things tend to last far longer than the training program itself.  

Real Business Projects

It’s important to seek out corporate training partners that place applied learning and integration of real business projects at the forefront of their curricula. This form of training achieves two goals: It helps employees successfully upskill and immediately ingrain their newly acquired skills, while immediately furthering key company objectives. 

Theory-based learning can provide a good foundation for individuals to understand the subject, but it can also be difficult to translate to real-world scenarios. However, the right course will integrate these projects into the learning experience. This allows employees to apply their newly acquired skills and advance a key business objective simultaneously.

Working on actual projects instead of mere foundations lets employees feel like their time is well spent — after all, they’re working on a pressing project. It’s a win-win that generates an instant ROI for employees’ individual professional development and business momentum at large.

Measurable Efficacy

The rules and laws of marketing say that every training program will be advertised as the best one that’s available. The reality is often different, but measurable efficacy helps differentiate between the ineffective courses and the ones that can have a real impact on your organization.

Before committing to any learning platform, gather data on participation rates, engagement, and completion rates. Aside from employee-side statistics, request information regarding important metrics, such as CSAT and NPS scores. This gives a better idea of the overarching impact a high-quality corporate training program can provide. Always pick a partner that can demonstrate exactly how they can help your business grow and compete. 

Springboard for Business boasts course completion rates that are 3X the industry average, ensuring that your investment pays off in the form of successful employee upskilling and reskilling. 

The success behind Springboard for Business stems largely from excellent, expert-made course content, high participant satisfaction rates, and all-around human support, including cohort-based learning, instructors, coaches, and mentors. This human-led approach translates to impactful learning and increased employee retention.

This post summarizes findings from Springboard for Business’s The State of the Workforce Skills Gap 2024.

Springboard surveyed over 1,000 corporate professionals working at companies with at least 5,000 employees to understand where their workforce transformation priorities lie, how skills gaps are thwarting progress, and what employees are most eager to learn.

To grab a free copy of the full report, click here.

Since you’re here…
Springboard for Business grows businesses by empowering leaders and their teams with the critical thinking, data, and technology skills central to the future of work. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, HP, JPMorgan Chase, and Visa have partnered with Springboard for Business to upskill and reskill employees around the world. Click here to learn more.

About Monica J. White

Monica is a journalist with a lifelong interest in technology, from PC hardware to software and programming. She first started writing over ten years ago and has made a career out of it. Now, her focus is centered around technology and explaining complex concepts to a broader audience.