A lot of effort goes into choosing and delivering applicable corporate training topics at consulting firms and Fortune 1000 companies. Consulting firms in particular are known for their outstanding training programs, giving fresh new employees the in-depth skills boost (hello Excel and PowerPoint) they need before they start their jobs.
But across industries, what are the top 10 most commonly requested corporate training topics? Good news, we break it down below! This article will be a great resource if you fit into any of the following categories:
- You are a student and wondering what kind of training you will (or should) receive when you start your career.
- You are currently working and think you may be missing out on certain skills training, but can’t put your finger on what.
- You are a manager or leader looking for training topics you should be prioritizing next.
Let’s get right to the topics for training sessions!
10 Most Requested Corporate Training Topics
Leadership development is, pun intended, the leader amongst the pack of most requested corporate training topics. Companies – at least the smart ones – are always in search of the next generation leaders to develop. Whether you’re an entry-level analyst, a manager, or in the C-suite, you can become a more effective leader.
Furthermore, leadership is a skill essential in all industries and at all times. This means that there are leadership best practices that can be applied across most all environments. There are plenty of books and case studies on leadership successes and failures. However, in our experience, the best type of leadership development comes from simulated exercises (short of trial by fire).
Like leadership ability, you won’t get far in any function or industry without the ability to clearly communicate. In fact, our most popular training – on the Pyramid Principle – is geared completely toward increasing teams’ clarity of communication.
Good communication training covers various mediums – presentations, update meetings, email, and more. It also makes sure to delineate between communicating with superiors, peers, and direct reports. Regardless of the medium or audience, what’s most important is ensuring that you make one point clearly, and drive the conversation to next steps.
The best communication training happens in-person, with plenty of simulated exercises used to drive best practices home.
In any organization, there is conflict. In contrast to popular opinion, conflict is healthy. We like to say that “conflict brings clarity”. You know exactly where other key stakeholders stand on a certain issue, what they care most about, and what it’s going to take to get everyone on the same page.
In fact, one of the big benefits of the Pyramid Principle is that it invites conflict by stating the takeaway right up front. Why wait until the end of a conversation to get to the hard stuff? Deal with it first, and then perhaps you don’t even have to talk about anything else.
However, understanding how to have a dialogue in the midst of disagreement or conflict is key. This is where skills like active listening and asking good questions are paramount.
Conflict resolution is therefore a corporate training topic that should not be discounted. Good conflict resolution training involves role-play, a primer on recognizing harmful reflexes, and mediation scripts that can be employed across mediums.
There is a heavy emphasis placed on IQ in the corporate world. Yet, EQ (your Emotional Quotient) is just as, if not more, indicative of career success. And EQ has been gaining importance in companies all around the world.
Without emotional intelligence, sales teams are rendered ineffective, consultants are fired, and organizational cultures disintegrate from the inside out? At the end of the day, success is defined by the ability to build partnerships and consensus to move forward in a common direction. Understanding what drives people and how to motivate them is crucial.
The biggest benefit of emotional intelligence training is giving people common language to understand and regulate their own emotions, as well as understand the motivations of others. We’ve found StrengthsFinder and the Enneagram particularly helpful tools in this regard.
Presenting well is often associated with public speaking, but it’s much more than that. Effective presentation is all about communicating to persuade, and driving action on whatever you have determined is the priority. Knowing how to create a pretty slide is fine, but if the content isn’t compelling and the delivery isn’t clear, no one will care about your slide design.
We’ve already mentioned the Pyramid Principle, but other core presentation skills include MECE and the Pareto Principle. A training that doesn’t include these concepts is incomplete. Furthermore, effective presentation training includes a focus on body language and other non-verbal communication cues.
Learn more about our in-person training sessions, or check out our off-the-shelf courses in the banner below.
Understanding Relational & Group Dynamics
Unless your work involves some intense hermit-like behaviors, teamwork will be important to your career no matter where you go. Being able to understand how teams function and what motivates each individual to pursue excellence is what makes leaders take the step from good to great.
Anyone who has worked in any kind of corporate environment knows how a toxic, political, or overly hierarchical culture can lead to disaster. Even with the most talented employees, without a strong and healthy group environment, people begin to silo themselves. That is why understanding relational and group dynamics is such an important training topic for any organization.
Honestly, while teamwork-related training sessions can be helpful, nothing is as helpful as leaders building a culture of camaraderie and collaboration.
Time Management & Productivity
No matter their title, your focus should be less on getting the most out of your people, and more on getting the best out of them.
This kind of training goes beyond the latest tips to achieve zero inbox or build to-do lists – notice how these tips are all over the internet, but don’t really help solve the problem? In a world where time is more valuable than ever, how do you help your teams prioritize what is most important?
One of the ways to increase the productivity of your teams is by setting clear expectations – what part of their work product drives the most benefit for the company? We’ve found that, generally, ~20% of an individual’s work leads to ~80% of the benefit. Identify this segment, and incentivize your people to train their efforts there.
In this context, influence could also be termed “the ability to persuade.” The ability to influence (i.e. sell, persuade) is the key job description for partners in consulting firms. If you don’t learn this, you won’t make partner (or groom future partners).
There are those who are natural-born leaders – people just want to follow them. For the rest of us common folk, learning how to influence is a learned skill. It’s also never too early in your career to work on improving your ability to influence others. Though you may not be responsible for winning projects and landing clients, being able to influence your colleagues will make life at work much easier, and position you for promotion.
Individuals who have the most influence are those who are solution-driven. The more efficient you can be in your data analysis (MECE), the more you can bring potential solutions to your peers/superiors (Pyramid Principle), and the more you can prioritize what is most important (Pareto Principle), the more influence you will gain.
Industries don’t exist without customers. There is one responsibility that the McDonalds CEO and McDonalds cashier have in common: serving stakeholders well and with a smile.
Especially in a strong economic climate, individual and corporate clients base purchase decisions on more than just price. They choose their partnerships based on service and convenience.
Good customer service training involves lots of simulated scenarios, with prompt feedback and repeated iterations allowing employees to internalize feedback quickly.
Last, but certainly not least on our list of top corporate training topics, is business ethics. There is no need to look any farther than WeWork for an example of how unethical leadership corrupts a company culture.
Again, the best way to train for business ethics isn’t really to train for it. What is most effective is an organization – from top to bottom – making it clear that integrity is more important than public opinion, shareholder pressure, or financial performance.
Bill Marriott once said, “Our people know we love them because we train them.” The best way for any organization to improve its performance and increase its retention is by offering professional development opportunities to its employees. We hope this list of the most requested corporate training topics gives you inspiration. As always, reach out with specific questions about how we can help your organization.