In an era where businesses are finding it exceedingly difficult to improve their bottom line, there is one key factor that can make a world of difference: online employee training and development. It’s essential that employees have the knowledge, resources, and skill sets required to offer superior customer care and to produce quality products or services for your company. However, knowing just how to implement employee training can be challenging, especially if you have a limited budget.
The good news is that there is a cost-effective, efficient way to train employees without devoting a significant amount of time or resources to their development: online training. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the benefits of online training for employees, and share some tips for how to find the ideal program for your organization.
How to choose the right online employee training and development plan
First things first…let’s have a look at how to choose the online employee training platform that is going to get maximum results for minimal investment. Here are a few questions that you’ll want to consider when researching the multitude of training programs that are currently available:
- What features does the platform offer? Does the program align with your organization’s goals, and will it be easy for your employees to use on a regular basis?
- What is the start up cost? Are there are any monthly subscription fees? What is covered in the cost, and will they be supplying you with support services (IT support, troubleshooting, etc.)
- Will you need to install any software or is the platform entirely cloud-based? If you will need to install hardware or software, will they be doing this on your behalf or are you required to do this on your own?
- How are updates handled, and will your IT staff be able to upload current content and to design courses for your employees, if you so choose? Are the courses already designed, or will you be required to create the courses on your own?
- Does the online training platform track your employee’s progress, and how is this information going to be recorded and reported? Are the quizzes going to accurately determine an employee’s knowledge and skill sets? What kinds of multimedia are included?
- Is your internet bandwidth up to the challenge (will it be able to support multiple users participating in online training at once)? Are your computers going to be able to meet the minimum requirements that are necessary for the platform to run smoothly?
Most importantly, when choosing the right employee training program, you’ll have to ask yourself if the content and courses are going to fully engage the learner (your employees). After all, if your staff isn’t actually absorbing and retaining the information that is being presented, then the training platform isn’t really worth the investment.
Benefits of online employee training and development
There are a myriad of benefits associated with offering online training and development in the workplace. Here are just a few of the most notable advantages:
- Boosts efficiency. Online employee training offers companies the ability to design and upload coursework once, and then use it for all of their employees. This means that you won’t have to spend time instructing staff on a one-on-one basis, but can still offer them the opportunity to enhance their knowledge base and skill sets. This leads to increased sales, improved customer care, and even increased employee retention.
- Cost effective. Companies have the potential to save a pretty penny when switching from traditional training to online training, thanks to the fact that they can cut back on traveling and material costs. There’s no need to create and print training manuals and instructors no longer need to travel to various company locations to offer courses. Online training programs for employees are a definite win-win!
- Greater accessibility. Employees can learn anywhere at anytime. They can use their mobile devices (such as tablets and smartphones), laptops, and home computers to gain access to resources and courses. This flexibility of online training for employees allows them to enhance their skill sets and improve their knowledge base quickly and conveniently, even if they aren’t at the office.
- Up-to-date, immediate learning. Employee training online is current, easy to update, and offers immediate learning to staff members. You can simply upload a course (be it a webinar or a interactive multimedia presentation), and an employee can have direct access to information and learning materials online.The fact that you can upload content rapidly is especially useful in situations where items need to be updated regularly, such as state regulations or company rules (sexual harassment policies for example). However, you can also quickly upload content that pertains to new products or services, so that employees can stay current about what your company is offering. The dynamic character of today’s businesses is demanding of investing in online training development for the employees.
- Engaging and interactive. Online employee training courses offer interactive, engaging learning that is fun and informative. When the employees use online training modules, they can directly see how the training is going to benefit them, thanks to the real world scenarios and interactive materials. They can also learn more from the courses, given that they are learning the content in such a way that ties into on-the-job experiences. This fuels their motivation to learn and achieves the best results.
- Beneficial for all learning styles. Online training is easy to use and caters to a wide variety of learning styles. For example, employees who may learn better through auditory instruction can benefit from webinars, while those who learn through visual aids will benefit from interactive games or images. The drawback to traditional training was that it, more often than not, could not utilized a wide range of learning tools and materials (due to the cost constraints). That is not the case for online employee development courses, however.
- Better allocation of resources. Instructor-led training courses can be costly to create and implement. Those resources could be allocated to another facet of the company, such as human resources. In fact, thanks to the money you’ll be saving on training, you may even be able to increase your work force, allocate more to marketing, or improve your profit margins.
Online Employee Training And Development Done Right
Deciding on the right training and development process can be quite complex, but its benefits are definitely worth it. Invest in a solid, well-thought employee training plan and move your staff development online for amazing results!