Online training has grown steadily in recent years, largely due to its many benefits. But when you need to train non-tech savvy employees, all that tech can be a big barrier to learning.
Employees who aren’t comfortable with tech can feel left out or disengaged by eLearning. They may find themselves unable to understand or take part in online training.
So how can you tackle this?
Tech should support good training, not stand in its way. Employee training should be inclusive and accessible to all — even the most inexperienced or tech-resistant employees.
Why consider online training for a non-tech audience
There’s no reason non-tech employees shouldn’t get all the benefits of digital learning. Using a learning management system and rolling out an eLearning training program can be a big boost to your business success. Even in a non-tech industry, online training is an essential solution if you want to keep up.
While it may sound challenging or, in some cases, discouraging to train non-tech savvy employees online, here’s why to re-think this option:
Tech isn’t going anywhere. It’s everywhere around us, integrated into many facets of our daily work lives. And that’s only going to become more true moving forward. To stay competitive and on top of industry and business trends, we’ll have to become more adept at using technology to our benefit.
And when it comes to training, we already get tons of information online. It only makes sense for companies to build training programs that present and deliver this information to their teams in a way that’s not overwhelming.
Online solutions are scalable. Rolling out a training program across any organization has its challenges, especially when employees are in scattered locations. Plus, with the rise of remote work, there’s a greater need than ever to be able to reach employees where they are. A transition to online training means that you can easily create and update training content, and deliver courses no matter where learners are.
And cost-effective. When employees can log into a training platform from their locations, you save time and money. There’s a direct reduction in costs associated with travel and training venues. And a less direct impact, as well. When employees don’t have to leave their working spot to attend training, you don’t need to worry about productivity loss.
Learning online can be more flexible. Online training fits into employee schedules on a timeline that works best for them. They can access it in a way that won’t be disruptive to their already busy work lives. And a lot of online training is self-paced, meaning employees can log in and learn at their own pace.
Tech “tricks” engage learners. Videos, infographics, interactive quizzes. They’re all fun ways to engage employees and make training seem less like a chore. And when employees are engaged, they’re more likely to learn — and remember what they learn. That means you’re more likely to see training skills and knowledge make a difference in the workplace.
Delivering online training to a non-tech audience: Isuzu’s story
Training non-tech employees online shouldn’t be a riddle. There are many solutions designed to make your rollout easy and seamless. These programs do the heavy lifting so you can focus on the important work of supporting employees and providing the right content.
But knowing where to start can be a challenge on its own.
Andrew Greene, senior product analyst at Isuzu UTE Australia, shared recently how they managed to deliver online training to their teams.
More specifically, they wanted to expand their training, and deliver online courses to their salespeople and service technicians. Employees should get access to in-depth information when needed, so they could better support customers. Online training was the obvious solution.
But there was an issue.
Among their employees, comfort with technology ranged: there were people who were absolutely familiar, and there were others who were intimidated. The key to success, as Andrew says, is to pick the right tool. An easy-to-use learning platform that doesn’t require employees to live and breathe tech: a simple login brings them in front of their training content.
The team at Isuzu creates online courses inside the platform, and employees access all these useful resources easily and without disturbing their day-to-day work schedule. No matter whether they’re tech-savvy or not.
Six tips for training non-tech savvy employees
If you face a similar challenge, the right training strategy paired with the right digital solution can bring you the same kind of success. Here are some tips to make online training accessible and increase user adoption:
1. Choose an easy-to-use LMS
Find a platform that is intuitive and suits your training needs. It should be easy for both administrators and learners. If you struggle to understand how it works and set up training, it’s likely employees will have similar problems navigating their courses.
Use an LMS with a plug-and-play nature that you can start using from day one. And look for a vendor that offers solid customer support for when questions do come up.
2. Focus on useful features and a simple interface
Avoid an LMS that’s piled with features you don’t need. You may get impressed at first, but, ultimately, they’ll get in the way and confuse learners. Even if you choose a feature-rich LMS, make sure that it looks sleek on the outside.
Your training platform should make the features you want prominent and easy to use. For example, you should be able to customize the homepage so you can better guide employees to courses, announcements, or additional content.
3. Opt for mobile learning
Having mobile-friendly content is a great way to break down barriers to online training among employees who are less familiar with tech. Because they’ll be able to pick up their training through a device they’re already comfortable with: their smartphone.
And what’s mobile-friendly content? Think of short videos or mini-courses that are not text-heavy. You can also give your teams access to ready-made courses they can take from anywhere, at any time.
4. Offer content in short, digestible chunks
Long lessons can be prohibitive given the time they take away from work. Cramming lots of content into each lesson can also leave learners feeling overwhelmed and even lost inside their training. If they’re already wary of logging in and using your LMS, you don’t want to pile on more complications.
Isuzu UTE found success by breaking the training up into short, to-the-point lessons. As they discovered, smaller chunks, that don’t last longer than 10 minutes, make it easier to focus on individual concepts or skills. Employees can also quickly find information within the platform when they’re looking to answer a specific question.
5. Offer continuous support
No matter how intuitive your LMS is, some employees might still feel nervous about online training. Let them know you’re available to help them every step of the way.
When you kick off training, give employees a guide on how to use the platform and how to troubleshoot issues that may occur. Also, remind them who they should contact and how (e.g. through email, phone, etc.) in case they hit any roadblocks.
6. Analyze training data and adjust accordingly
Your LMS should be able to generate reports on all kinds of metrics. Use this data to understand who’s engaging with their training, whether they’re completing it, and how well they’re learning and retaining the content.
When you keep track of how employees fare with online training, you can tell where there may be problems. You can then respond quickly to remove any barriers to using the system or completing the training.
You can also get data directly from your learners. Isuzu found it helpful to survey employees after they’d gone through the training. They asked about how the course went and what changes people would recommend. Andrew says the response was a good indication of how well online training was going: “Really, there’s been no recommendation as such on the platform,” he says. “It’s been very positive.”
Inclusive training makes for well-equipped teams
Training shouldn’t be a burden, adding stress to employees’ already busy work lives. Instead, it should be a benefit, a natural part of their job and career development.
Online training offers huge advantages when it comes to making that happen. It’s your job to make that as seamless as possible for everyone — no matter their level of comfort with technology. Finding the right LMS and using the above tips in your training strategy will help you do just that.