Giving your external sales team, consumers, and franchisees the online training they need doesn’t have to break the bank. This article features 7 tips to stretch your eLearning budget when developing extended enterprise online training.
How To Create Extended Enterprise Online Training With Limited Resources
Extended enterprise online training allows you to deploy online training resources for every member of your organization, even those who aren’t on the payroll or based in your physical location. Many companies believe that these benefits are out of their reach due to their tight budget. Fortunately, these 7 tips can help you create extended enterprise online training with limited resources.
1. Identify Your Target Online Training Groups
Extended enterprise training can benefit a variety of groups, from consumers who want more product knowledge to remote sales teams who need company policy refreshers. However, it’s best to identify these individuals beforehand so that you allocate your online training resources more effectively.
For example, you don’t necessarily need to develop online training resources for franchisees. Thus, you can funnel monetary resources to other groups who will benefit from the online training material.
Bear in mind that some groups may warrant more resources than others. For instance, your external sales team may only need a moment of need repository for quick reference instead of a comprehensive online course catalog.
2. Use A Resource-Rich Rapid eLearning Authoring Tool
Most rapid eLearning authoring tools have built-in libraries that feature a broad range of assets, such as eLearning templates, images, and audio elements. Thus, you don’t have to invest on external media, nor spend time searching on the web for the ideal resources.
eLearning templates also help you create online training courses that are better fitted for the extended enterprise. Plus, you won’t have to worry about developing a layout from the ground up. There are also free resources online that require backlinks or citations, which can reduce online training expenses.
3. Do Your Homework To Avoid Buyer’s Regret
There are hundreds of LMS solutions to choose from, but only a select few have all the extended enterprise features you’re looking for at a price you can afford. Do your homework and evaluate all their features, including support services, UI, and reporting. Then test out the LMS platform and encourage the rest of your eLearning team to explore the system and provide their feedback. This will help to choose the best LMS for your training goals and avoid buyer’s regret.
4. Build A Microlearning Online Training Library For A-La-Carte Online Training
Microlearning resources are great for just-in-time online training. However, one of the most overlooked benefits of these bite-sized online support tools is that they allow for greater personalization. Your sales channels, customers, and remote IT staff can build their own online training course by piecing together microlearning materials or simply focus on a single online training activity to get the information they need.
Develop a microlearning online training library that features relevant categories, and include a variety of online training assets in each group to serve different learning preferences. For example, podcasts, online training simulations, serious games, and text-based guides. You could also give each group access to training that matches their needs. For example, your sales representatives could benefit from a collection of ready-made sales training courses.
5. Conduct Pre-Assessments To Find Crucial Knowledge Gaps
You don’t need to cover topics that are already common knowledge. In fact, doing so would be a waste of company resources and your external partners’ time. Pre-assessments can be used to identify skill, knowledge, and performance gaps that are training-worthy, which allows you to create online training resources and activities that are relevant and offer real-world value.
Pre-assessments should be role or task-specific. For example, franchisees must demonstrate management, teamwork, and communication skills in order to successfully operate their business.
6. Evaluate Your Existing Online Training Assets
Online training materials that you already have in your database can help you cut costs for your extended enterprise online training. If you can’t use them exactly as they are, some minor adjustments could make them an ideal supplemental online training job aid. It just takes a little creativity and a user-friendly eLearning authoring tool.
Inventory the assets you have at your disposal and determine which has the bits and pieces you require. Then use the tool to break up the learning materials and compile them into a stand-alone online training activity or module. Content curation is another option. There are a number of articles, online training tutorials, and videos readily available online. Create a list of curated links to develop a quick microlearning online training repository.
7. Outsource Online Training
Many organizations are under the impression that they cannot afford to outsource their online training. However, they should be asking whether they can afford not to. Outsourcing certain tasks can help you make the most of your resources and improve online training effectiveness. For example, hiring a content creator to develop resources for your extended enterprise online training course. These eLearning professionals may already have the tools and expertise required.
This will save you the time and trouble of having to purchase software and hire additional team members, such as full-time Subject Matter Experts or graphic designers. The caveat is that you should only outsource when it’s cost-effective. Especially if your eLearning team lacks the necessary knowledge or their talents are better suited for other development tasks.
These 7 tips give you the ability to develop successful extended enterprise online training without going over budget. In fact, with some minor modifications, you can use them for all of your online training initiatives. The secret is finding reliable tools, focusing your research efforts, and outsourcing when the need arises.