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 produce quality products or services for your company and to offer superior customer care. However, implementing and delivering successful 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 short but handy guide, we’ll share some tips on:
- how to develop your online employee training and development plan, and
- how to select the ideal platform to deliver online employee training
Let’s take it one step at a time!
We all know what they say: Failing to plan is planning to fail. And with all the time and effort that goes into employee training and development, you’ll definitely want yours to be a success.
How do you develop an online employee training and development plan?
Luckily, creating the perfect staff training and development plan is not only possible – it’s also easy to achieve with these four simple tips.
1. Find the skills gap
No two employees will ever be quite the same. Age, culture, personality and life experiences make every human being one-of-a-kind. This means that a blanket approach to employee training and development simply won’t do the trick.
Bob, for example, might be an excellent salesman who struggles to write his monthly reports. Sam, on the other hand, might be a report-writing genius who loses confidence when faced with real-life customers.
You might be thinking, “How will I know what everyone needs?”. Well, why don’t you just ask them? A simple conversation or an online survey can help you figure out who wants and needs new skills. That’s how you find the gap!
2. Lead from the back
Nope, we didn’t get this saying wrong. We actually mean, lead from the back.
What we’re trying to say is that your training and development plan should start with the training outcomes in mind. This will ensure that all online training programs for employees are contributing toward the end goal.
Your training outcomes should be linked to SMART development goals, and those goals should be linked to business objectives. Aligning your staff training and development plan with business objectives is vital if your training programs are going to help move the business forward.
For example, if your business needs to plan for more leaders as it grows, your online training might need to focus on developing soft skills in employees who have shown both the potential and readiness to lead. Having identified your training goal as soft skills development for specific staff, you’ll be able to plan the best training programs to achieve it.
3. Think about communication
This tip might seem misplaced, but in reality, communication is a big part of training and development planning. How else will employees understand why they need training? Or the impact that training could have on their performance?
Incorporate communication strategies into your training and development plan, such as linking performance reviews with employee development goals. This can help employees to understand the benefits of training before the training even begins.
4. Map out the learning path
This is the fun part where you get to plan the details of the training itself. Where will it happen? Who will be involved? How much time will it take? And how will you make it engaging?
Map out the learning path for each employee by detailing the specific training and development programs that they’ll need to complete. This could include mentoring and on-the-job assignments, or it could be online employee training that makes learning accessible anytime, anywhere.
These four tips, along with the essential steps to create an employee training plan that works, will bring you one step closer to your goal. But, whichever way you choose to plan your training, you’ll need to choose the best training and development platform.
How to choose the right online employee training and development platform
Delivering employee training and development with actual practical value takes more than just planning. It also takes selecting an online employee training software 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 platforms that are currently available:
1. What features does the platform offer?
Does the platform come with features that will help you align training with your organization’s goals? Will it be easy for your employees to use on a regular basis?
2. What is the start up cost?
Are there are any monthly subscription fees? What’s covered in the price? And does the price include support services (IT support, troubleshooting, etc.)?
3. Will you need to install any software?
Is the platform entirely cloud-based? Does it require installation? And, if you do need to install hardware or software, will the software provider do it for you, or are you required to do this on your own?
4. How are course updates handled?
Will your IT staff be able to upload current content and design courses for your employees? Are the courses already developed? Or will you have to create them on your own? What types of multimedia are supported?
5. Does the online training platform track employee progress?
How is this information going to be recorded and reported? Are the quizzes able to accurately determine an employee’s knowledge and skill sets?
6. 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?
Online Employee Training And Development Done Right
By keeping these tips in mind and asking these questions, you are more likely to choose an employee training system that’s right for you. But remember, the system alone can’t carry the load of a poorly designed employee training plan. The right plan and the right system, though? Well, that’s where training magic happens.