If there is one thing that we have learned over the past few years, it is that all businesses should have an online component to their employee training program. For a while, we could only learn online. Even though things have improved, and more people are coming back to work, it is still beneficial to incorporate eLearning.
Future events could force organizations to lean heavily into their online training programs once again. Those who have fortified their eLearning resources will be able to adapt far quicker than those who haven’t.
There is also a stronger emphasis on work-from-home opportunities. Up and coming talent is looking for companies that will give them the flexibility of a partial or full remote working schedule. After getting a taste of working from home during COVID-19, many professionals want to continue to have the opportunity. Organizations that offer remote learning will gain an advantage in the recruiting arena.
eLearning is also extremely versatile and cost-effective. That means you can offer more courses to your team with a smaller investment. Career development is another area that today’s job candidates want. Having access to a list of relevant courses that allow them to work towards their career goals will attract more job applicants.
Virtual classrooms sound like they work much like traditional ones, however, the transition isn’t always easy. Online learning presents unique challenges that need to be addressed before your team can effectively transition.
Find a Reliable Learning Management System (LMS)
The first thing you need before you can begin training employees online is a reliable learning management system (LMS). There are many platforms available that offer a variety of features. Some features are common across most platforms, but others specialize with more advanced functions and tools.
For example, if you want to utilize virtual reality, then look for an LMS that will facilitate that. Most offer some form of data collection and storage with analytics. Most will compile reports, but some provide more customization so you can really drill down into the data.
Consider your needs and look for an LMS that can support them. Also, look for a platform that is ideal for your organization’s size and can scale in case you grow.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, visit LMS.org to read LMS reviews and to learn more about features and specs.
Training Should Begin with Learning the New LMS
Your team should be formally taught how to use the new LMS before they dive into their first eLearning courses.
If you want to get the most value out of your LMS investment, then your employees must know how to use it effectively. Everyone should go through the same basic training classes. The classes should begin with the easiest activities and tasks.
You should not assume that everyone has the same level of tech knowledge. By starting with the simple things, you will ensure that everyone has a chance to form a solid foundation to build upon.
Some LMS companies offer training with their services. This may be beneficial if you are training a large team or using an LMS with advanced features. Otherwise, documentation and other resources may be provided that you can use to get everyone started.
Make Sure Everyone Has a Good Internet Connection
An internet connection is required to use your LMS remotely. Most communities have access to decent to good internet, but some areas are still lacking.
One way around this is through mobile learning. Find an LMS that supports mobile users. That way employees can work through the material on their smartphones. It is also more practical to issue company-provided phones to employees who need them rather than trying to get local ISPs to upgrade their service.
Reach out to your team and invite anyone with connectivity concerns to speak with you to find a solution that works. Giving employees remote access will allow them to take advantage of the full flexibility of eLearning.
Get Management on Board Before Launching Your LMS
Getting management on board is important when making any major change to your organization. Sell the idea to your company’s leadership. Show them the benefits. Cost-cutting features are important, but make sure you show all the advantages – including how the LMS can save time and make career development more accessible.
Your management team needs to do more than encourage their teams to use the LMS, they need to set an example by using it themselves.
Provide Time for Employees to Train and Explore the LMS
Set aside time for employees to train and explore the LMS while at work. Some employers may be reluctant to sacrifice on-the-clock time for training, but this is essential to building a team of industry experts. It should also be a given if continuous learning is a part of your company culture.
Committing company time to employee training also sends a positive message to your team. It tells them that you believe in the new LMS and are willing to invest in it. They will be far more likely to take it seriously if they see that the company is willing to pay them to use it.
There are also long-term benefits that come with a better-trained team. Employees with more knowledge will be better at their jobs and can improve productivity, efficiency, and customer experiences. It also encourages career development so that you can promote internally more often and lower recruiting costs.
Have a Resource Library That Everyone Can Access
Most LMS platforms come with a fully functional resource library. This is a place where all help documentation, tutorials, and other informative resources can be gathered. Some organizations also use this to store HR documents, forms, and anything else employees may need.
The resource library is typically available online through the learning portal. Some platforms include permission settings, so an admin can upload internal documents and materials that are only available to authorized users. Other items can be made accessible to everyone.
This resource is important because it gives employees a centralized location to find support on their own. This saves time and builds confidence. They will be more likely to explore and problem solve on their own without going to co-workers and managers for answers.
Tap into Your Subject Matter Experts for Suggestions
Figure out who your subject matter experts are and utilize their knowledge. Ask them to work through courses related to their job and give suggestions for improvements. They can share insight into any topics that are missing or not well covered.
Subject matter experts are also an excellent resource for new course ideas. They can let you know if there are challenging parts of the job that would benefit from a supplemental training course.
Request and Consider Feedback from Your Team
Your team is a valuable source of feedback when it comes to employee training. Find out what they would like to see in a class. Are there any career paths they would like to follow that might not have adequate training available? Are there any parts of their jobs that they find difficult? Are there any areas that they would love to expand their knowledge of?
This information can help you jumpstart your new online training program. Feedback provides inspiration for new courses or improvements to existing classes. You should continue to request feedback after course completions and when introducing new material.
Check out LMS.org to learn more about learning management systems that meet your organization’s training needs.