To create online employee training and development is simple and, as with all simple things, it is more difficult than one may initially think. The reason does not only lie in the development of the eLearning courses, but also in how they are received by learners.
Here are five factors to take into consideration when planning to improve employee engagement by creating online training courses.
Align training to career development
From a corporation’s perspective, each training course has to align with its business objectives. From a learner’s perspective, it has to tie well with their own career goals.
According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, 71% of respondents said they were likely to leave their company within the next two years because their leadership skills were not being fully developed. At the same time, professional development was their fifth top priority when evaluating job opportunities.
Conducting regular and rigorous training needs analyses, as well as implementing an effective talent management strategy is a win-win situation: it leads to developing and retaining high-potential employees, which then has a positive knock-on effect on the company’s branding.
Learning is a process, not an event. To reflect this in training, we have come up with the idea of learning paths, which are sets of multiple content items combined and they allow you to create online training that is simply better.
Both Facebook and Google are using learning paths in their online training academies, not to mention LinkedIn’s Lynda, which specializes in them.
There are three main reasons why these top companies have turned to them:
a) Each learner can find or create paths that match their personal goals
b) When in context, an extra value is added to each course
c) They offer meaningful insight into each learner’s behavior, which can then be further capitalized on.
Ask your middle management to create learning paths relevant to their teams. At the same time, give learners the option to create personalized paths according to their needs. To make things work seamlessly, there is only one prerequisite, which takes us to our next point.
Imagine being an employee who constantly seeks to develop new skills. You access your LMS from time to time, only to find out that you have already completed all the courses and learning paths relevant to your role. Would you not feel a bit discouraged? Or even undervalued?
Learning repositories are the central libraries with digital resources, which, through an LMS, reach the learner’s screen. In theory, the bigger the enterprise, the bigger the learning repositories must be. However, according to CIPD‘s Learning & Development Annual Survey Report 2015, the larger organizations, with more than 250 employees, tend to have a smaller budget per employee.
As there is no magic recipe to solve this problem, the training team have to keep juggling the balls until they find what suits them best. A key fact to take into consideration is that when a company’s L&D budget is expanded, the workload increases as well.
Gamification is the circuit that runs through an enterprise and engages departments and individuals into a healthy form of competition.
A few years ago, the only person who would know if someone was not a keen learner would be their manager. Gamification has changed this completely, and this is why it has been a popular buzzword in eLearning.
Deloitte was the first big company to gamify its training in 2012. Within six months, it reported a 37% increase in returning users to its Leadership Academy. Like everything else, there is a catch: “Traditional leaderboards are, in fact, counter-productive. The same consistent top users, with astronomic scores, turn off everyone who knows they have no chance of beating them”, says James Sanders, Manager of Innovation at Deloitte Consulting.
So, do allow competition among your staff, but prevent it from evolving into a rivalry that could discourage some of them. Training should be fun, not a box ticking exercise.
Needless to say, none of the above can be possible without an LMS that allows staff to undertake the training they need in the way they want, at the pace they can.
Opt for an LMS that is, above all, user-friendly and engaging; an LMS that enables staff to follow set learning paths or create their personalized ones. Make sure they can see the training habits of their colleagues and get an overall idea of how the whole organization performs. If they know they are below the average learner, they will try harder, as long as they have available options.
Create Online Training: The Gist
Investing in resources to create online training courses is very important. Ensuring that staff will undertake them is also essential.
Always make sure there are enough, relevant and, up-to-date resources in your learning repository; show your staff how they can combine them; let them interact with each other and sustain their engagement.
Remember: learning is a process, both for the learner and the organization. If something doesn’t work, fix it or change it.