While how much it is implemented in an organization can vary, it’s almost certain that most organizations have some amount of elearning. But if the quality of the online training isn’t good then there could be a lot more at stake than you think.
What’s At Stake?
If we look at it simply, when bad training is implemented there are four things at stake:
- Money – If the expensive training fails to deliver on its promises
- Performance – If the desired performance gains don’t ever materialize
- Engagement – If the employees don’t even want to take the training
- Your Reputation – If you deliver something that doesn’t deliver on the above three
The purpose of this article isn’t to scare you into even wanting to manage training for employees. However, with a little education as to what pitfalls to look out for and what tools you have at your disposal, you can help improve your chances of delivering a successful online training program.
What To Do
The first question that should be asked when contemplating elearning in the enterprise is to ask the very important question “Why am I doing this?”
This isn’t existential pondering. Rather it’s trying to sum up in a succinct manner what exactly it is you are trying to accomplish by aligning the training with the larger business goals. The training needs to align with these goals and develop job behaviours that will reach that goal or it ceases to have a point. With alignment in place everything falls into place more easily. Cathy Moore has a great video which explains this in more detail.
Typical business goals could include:
- I want new hires to be able to integrate more quickly into our work environment
- I want to minimize the amount of miscommunication amongst staff
- I want the workers on site to be able to able to operate a piece of equipment safely and efficiently
All of these business goals call for a slightly different type of elearning that should be delivered in order to maximize performance.
Assuming you follow the best practices when working with a custom elearning developer to create elearning, there are still a few things that can be done to ensure continual gains for employees.
The Learning Management System (LMS) that hosts and is the delivery mechanism for the online training has a number of features that can help you see how well the training itself is performing as well as show how individual employees are performing as well.
While an LMS software can vary with the amount and types of features they offer, at its most basic they can give insights into an employee through identifying when they took the training (if at all), how long they took to navigate the elearning course, and what was their test score.
From a management perspective this gives you valuable insights that can be used to make adjustments to the course itself if too many employees are struggling through it. It can be also be used as a means to identify individual employees who are struggling and give them the opportunity for additional training and coaching. All of these insights are available immediately when an employee interacts with an elearning course through the LMS.
In the end it’s up to you to know what it is you are trying to accomplish with your corporate elearning courses and try your best to deliver training that aligns with the larger business goals. It could be a simple course that delivers information or a complex course that tries to modify behaviour. There is lots to be gained but also lot to be lost if done incorrectly.