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Laying the Foundation: Effective Learning Outcomes to Drive Dealer Development

Organizational Need for Learning as a Strategy

When a large corporation has multiple divisions and products, providing consistently high-quality learning opportunities for dealers can be a big lift. Differing managerial styles, multi-faceted company structures, and evolving expectations can create challenges in assuring senior managers that dealer development investments are meeting expectations. Having worked with this client for a few years, we had a front-row seat to the challenge. This client needed consistency in their foundational, company-wide approach to training materials. Too often, dealers reported disappointment that the trainings did not deliver as advertised. The trainings were often too difficult and sometimes too basic for the targeted learners. Others identified trainings where a topic was promoted in the training description, but the training session addressed the topic with little or no depth. Addressing these concerns was critical to ensuring continued dealer participation and engagement in trainings. Having expert dealers in the field was a big part of this company’s brand.

Our Solution to Build Capacity

Vivayic designed a rapid-development evaluation process to quickly identify current gaps in their learning design processes. The review uncovered an issue at the foundation of learning design: lack of clear and meaningful learning outcomes. We worked alongside the company’s senior learning designers to identify and commit to a common model and consistent approach to writing and using learning outcomes and course learning objectives. We designed and built an internal, e-learning course that described and modeled the development of quality learning outcomes and course learning objectives. We helped the team identify an evaluation tool that could be used by learning designers — internal or contracted — to review learning outcomes and course learning objectives prior to the development and release of a training.

Additionally, we tested this solution by inviting the team to evaluate courses we had previously developed for the client. This “learning by doing” approach ensured deep alignment among learning leaders on the importance and the key characteristics of learning outcomes to drive design of training programs.

If engagement in training decreased, the customer’s brand experience would soon suffer.

Results that Matter

Upon completion, the internal training was rolled out to all content creators and instructional designers within the organization. A change management plan helped reinforce the need to improve practice. The implementation team regularly sampled training materials to determine if learning outcomes and course learning objectives were improved. Content creators and instructional designers reported increased confidence in their ability to prepare good trainings. Evaluations from participants in resulting training programs reported an increase in the percentage of learners that believed the training met their expectations — a key indicator of quality outcomes.

Most importantly, the client regained the confidence of key dealers that the dealer development program was a worthy investment of their time and effort. Continued commitment to development was the best path to maintaining the competitive advantage of having the most trusted and expert dealers in the field.

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