Why Employees Don’t Complete Their Online Training Courses

Why Employees Don’t Complete Their Online Training Courses

There could be several reasons that an employee doesn’t complete an online training course — other than they’re just plain lazy. In seriousness though, if an online training course isn’t being completed by large groups of employees then this is indicative of a greater problem that needs to be addressed. Where do we start?

  • Not Enough Time

    If your online training software is indicating that large amounts of staff are failing to complete their courses on time then you will need to make adjustments to the course in order to make the time limit challenging but not impossible. Facing an impossible task leads to frustration on the part of employees.

    The same can go for the entire online training program as well. While you may be giving enough time for employees to complete each module. You need to consider the time it takes to complete the online training program as a whole. The demands of time placed can vary so you need to be able to accommodate everyone.

  • Not Motivated

    A cynical employee may shrug their shoulders and ask “why?”. This could be a problem communicating the benefits of the program to the employee. And while it may once have been a good motivator, the answer should never be “because if you don’t you’ll be fired.”

    Staff should be excited about a course and be able to see the benefits that reach beyond the day to day life in the office. A well communicated course description will be able to show how the new knowledge gained will help employees outside of the office as well.

  • No Support

    No one likes to be left hanging if they encounter a problem. This problem could be technical however it could be a lack of clarity in the course itself. Whatever the problem is, there needs to be a way for staff to be able to communicate this quickly to the person responsible.

    Methods of communication could include an email ticket support system, online chat, or by telephone. Keep in mind that often the person responsible for fixing the problem may not even be aware that it exists. If a problem isn’t communicated or not thought of as a priority, then it could affect entire departments.

    However, if the support system is via ticket, you need to clearly communicate that staff should first search to see if the problem already exists in the database so that a duplicate support request is not made.

  • Poorly Designed Course

    The last thing that you want to hear is that the course that you’ve delivered to your organization is simply “bad”. “Bad” can mean a lot of different things so it’s worth the follow-up with the employee to see what they’re talking about. More often than not it’s a synonym for boring or not engaging. You’ll need to objectively examine the course and ask some pretty tough questions to yourself like “Would I enjoy this course myself?” or “Is the way the content delivered in the course appropriate for the audience?”. Different people have different likes and needs based in their demographic. This needs to be taken into consideration when putting together a training program.

    With that in mind, you’ll need to examine their learning preferences in order to create a program that works for them. If there is a preference for more offline components than online, you may wish to look into a blended learning program so that your staff can get the most out of their training program.

  • Technology doesn’t work

    If the technology behind the course breaks (and it can), it can cause problems that echo far up the learning chain.

    At its most basic level, a course will need to communicate with the online training software it’s published on. The SCORM communications protocol handles this and is able to transfer vital data to your learning management system (LMS) like assessment scores, enrollment and completion times. All of this information is crucial to measure the success of not just the employee, but the course itself.

    Additionally, there could be problems within the course like broken links, missing assets that can really make you look unprofessional if someone else catches it before you catch it.

Whatever the reason that your staff aren’t completing their courses, if you notice that there is an increased frequency then you should address it as soon as possible.

If you want to learn more about how your online training courses could fail and what you can do about it. Download our free ebook How To Avoid Elearning Failures for more information.

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