No training program is perfect. As a result, there are a variety of factors that may drive you to make improvements to the one that you have in place — whether that is an online training program that is already in place or needs to better address the needs of the workforce. Sometimes it is delivering an online training program where a traditional instructor-led program currently exists.
Whichever type of program you currently have in place, there are five reasons that could be driving you to make improvements. By knowing what these reasons are you can make a better informed choice as to the direction and extent you want to take your training program.
This is the big one! Travel time and the costs associated with bringing employees to head office or another locale, can make regular staff development a challenge, particularly if you are operating across various time zones and within budget constraints. And really, who isn’t?
Yet, within today’s fast-paced, constantly changing business environment, the need for well-trained employees who are up to the latest minute in their skills is critical. Online training software provides great options for dealing with a budget crunch by making online training courses available to all your employees regardless of location. Consequently, the return on investment is higher where the training provided is relevant, timely and above all, engages employees in learning which is applied effectively in the work place.
The effect on quality of life is a driver in employee performance. Work/life balance is becoming more important. The key to helping staff with this balance is to present them with a flexible schedule in which to take their training.
If staff development that would normally require time in office can be accomplished using online training software, that means it can be completed at home, or elsewhere. Flex time given – away from the office with accountability built into the online training software used, spells Win-Win for management and employees. Many employees will gladly spend some off-work hours completing online training if that means hitting the slopes while the powder is still fresh or making it to their child’s school for that special concert or presentation.
Nothing undermines staff development like a training presentation that doesn’t respect the intelligence and time of employees. I recently observed the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) session of a large organization which included both employees who were new and those who had been with the organization for many years. Now this organization takes pride in maintaining a high standard in OH&S, and rightly so. Not surprisingly though, the “veteran” employees, an itinerant group who work exclusively in the field, were resentful of the presentation as evidenced by their lack of participation, and the quiet rumble of dissent from the back row.
It turns out the presentation was nearly identical to the one they had attended the previous year, and the previous year…right down to the graphic, and somewhat humorous videos. The young woman presenting was competent, well-organized and asked, with slight trepidation, for any feedback that would improve the presentation. I doubt she received any as all those who could stampeded to the elevators, determined to avoid the optional portion of the presentation.
So, is there any good reason not to convert this learning into an online training session? Why not free those experienced employees from this learning prison once and for all by creating a simple online training application that allows them to interact with the information, have some fun and feel that their employer values their time and experience? This way, the organization’s need for annual OH&S training is met and they can easily accomplish their compliance goal without compromising employee satisfaction. And those employees? They’d get to skip downtown parking and traffic and instead meet their annual training requirement at home, over coffee, possibly still in pajamas.
Out of Bounds Learning
A couple of interesting phenomena that are impacting the learning arena are the arrival of open courseware and the proliferation of online library systems. Individuals have access like never before to high quality learning at their fingertips. Make no mistake, this is revolutionizing learning, right now.
How does this impact delivery of employee training? Well, for starters, learners are becoming more discerning now that they can see what quality and excellence look like. If at-work training follows an outdated model that doesn’t address learner differences and support their career goals, they are less likely to invest energy and attention into absorbing the material in a meaningful way.
Effective use of an learning management system means you can deliver custom elearning development that matches the skills required to the individual you are training and avoid training situations which are redundant and a poor use of employee time. The new learning arena looks more like a learning buffet; corporate training that is fresh, relevant and on-the-mark succeeds here.
And it keeps on changing, doesn’t it? One reason that paper based training courses become stale is the cost associated with updating. Corporations can get caught in a Catch 22 where training is not keeping up with the market, which affects bottom line, or paying to update paper programs does not afford enough ROI, which again affects bottom line. This is where converting portions of training which change frequently into online course segments makes business sense. Program updates become routine and employees have the up-to-date skills needed to be effective in their roles and contribute positively to the bottom line.
Delivering online training has real advantages over a single method model in terms of flexibility and getting the best return on human resources spending.
Online training that drives performance is critical to the success of your training program. To learn more, download our free ebook Learn How To Create Performance Based Elearning.