How Information Overload Can Ruin Online Training And Affect Employee Performance

How Information Overload Can Ruin Online Training And Affect Employee Performance

Today’s modern businesses implement online training solutions to save time, effort, and money by making training available anytime and anywhere. While most organizations hope their online training will help increase knowledge retention and performance in their employees; often there is too much information that the employee doesn’t absorb. When information overload impacts training effectiveness, you need to ensure that online training should be combating that problem, not adding to it.

The Goal Of Online Training

Information processes should always be moving your employees forward. However, if you’re not careful with implementing a progressive training system, it might overload the actual processes you are trying to improve.

Imagine you are in a newly renovated restroom with shallow marble sinks, a touchless faucet, automatic steel soap dispensers, and an ergonomic air hand dryer. Putting your hand out for soap, the overused clogged dispenser shoots liquid soap onto your shirtsleeves. Going to the faucet for water, you try maneuvering your hands to activate the faucet sensor, but after rotating them around like a pretzel for one minute you give up in disgust. Finally, you try and clean the soap off your hands in the dryer, but it just dries a film of soap on your hands.

All the renovated items were there to supposedly make your life easier. Because they initially weren’t set up properly, it leaves a bad experience. Similarly, if your online training courses are created without a good storyboard and design that takes into account the best way to learn online with small yet powerful pieces of information, employees will just be more overloaded and frustrated.

The Source Of Employee Frustration

There are a number of ways that online training can overwhelm employees:

  • Unproductive time going through reams of boring online information, especially text-heavy data.

  • Hindered mental faculties trying to use a program that doesn’t engage their minds

  • Breakdown of processes set up incorrectly, resulting in double-work, organizational mismanagement, taking time away from their regular tasks.

  • Mistrust with overly complex training management software

  • Frustration that negatively impacts the quality of their home life (family, friends, and relaxation time).

  • Taxing the user to always be connected to their information instead of accessing it ad-hoc on their own time when they are free from distractions.

Information overload can result in up to eight hours per week of productive time lost for an employee, costing your organization many dollars. When employees are overloaded by numerous emails, distractions at their desks, interruptions by phone calls, texts, and messages, it becomes harder to concentrate on getting the data they need or accomplishing actual work tasks. If information outlets are overloaded for people, then you’ve got to find better ways for your employees to focus and that’s where “proper” online training can be a boon.

It’s even worse when your online training overloads your employees. Instead of trying to increase their productivity through better education and training, employees often feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they need and see an online course as another headache on top of their current workload. Optimizing your online training to facilitate knowledge retention is difficult, which is why more and more organizations are opting for custom elearning development as opposed to developing specialized training in-house.

The Final Word

Don’t let your online training become an outlet for information overload — especially if your organization comes to distrust a system that is designed to improve performance but just ends up hindering it. There is already enough stress, competitiveness, and excess information that employees must deal with daily within most corporate cultures.  An online training program should be designed to accommodate information overload and promote knowledge retention.

Employees and managers today often waste up to 20% of their time on unnecessary emails, interruptions, and administrative tasks. Don’t let your online training become another interruption to their schedule, by doing it right the first time.

For more information on how you can create elearning that promotes knowledge retention and gets results, download our free ebook Learn How To Create Performance Based Elearning.

Image Credit: Kleuske

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