Developing Digitally: Online Employee Training Tips
At the modern enterprise organization, L&D has a seat at the head of the proverbial table when it comes to employee retention. In fact, according to Glint, employees cite opportunities to learn and grow as their No. 1 influencer of a great work culture.
Company culture is key to employee retention and continued talent development is crucial to the long-term success of enterprise organizations. Given this, it is important for learning and development (L&D) leaders to be able to offer high-quality professional development opportunities.
Read on for some tips on how to develop your own world-class employee training program by taking advantage of powerful online learning software.
Setting up your online learning program
Successful online employee training does not happen on its own. Setting up your online learning program properly will help keep participation rates high.
Start from day one
One of the best ways to set your employees up for success is to start their professional development from the outset. Incorporating online learning into the onboarding process shows new employees that learning is a central part of the company culture, and that their growth and continued development is important — which will increase their job satisfaction.
In fact, employees tend to determine early on whether or not they intend to stay with a company, so hitting the ground running with development opportunities is key.
Personalize learning paths
Each employee has different skill sets and different ambitions. L&D professionals should work alongside managers to create customized learning paths that teach the right skills based on each employee’s career trajectory.
By identifying and harnessing individual passions and interests, L&D can increase employee engagement and follow through with learning programs. Employees can have specific courses recommended to them based on their own learning needs instead of being slotted into a predetermined curriculum.
Read More: 3 Ways L&D Boosts Employee Engagement
Offer different types of content
Just as every employee has different training needs, each has their own way of learning. Online training courses allow L&D professionals to embrace these differences by offering up multiple types of training content, from quick audio or video tutorials to informal webinars to longer, multi-video courses. When an employee's needs are catered to, they are more likely to engage with the content and retain what they’ve learned.
Digital learner engagement best practices
Once your online learning program is up and running, you have to keep it going. Here are a few tips for ensuring learners stay engaged with the online learning opportunities you are offering them.
Communication from executives
One of the core promises of employee training is career advancement. So what better way to inspire employees to participate in a learning program than with messages directly from the leaders of your organization? Some content from a C-suite executive is easy to create. And it does not have to be elaborate: A quick video message is enough. This content can then be used across the organization to help motivate employees to get started and keep with online employee training programs.
Read More: How PayLease Drove Strong Engagement of LinkedIn Learning Through Learning Champions
Provide opportunities for employees to learn together
Learning is just more fun with friends. But more importantly, learning is actually more effective when colleagues participate in learning activities together. It leads to more success and creates a sense of belonging.
By bringing people together for their learning experiences, employees can mutually reinforce what they have learned, apply it more effectively to their roles, and encourage each other to learn even more. The result is employees who are eager to learn and who retain more of what they have been taught.
Gamify the learning process
Everyone loves a game! By gamifying the learning process, L&D can provide motivation for employees to start learning and keep learning beyond the potentially abstract or far-off rewards of professional development. Gamifying learning fosters a sense of friendly competition between colleagues, especially if there are concrete rewards such as a gift card or catered team lunch. This approach can take the task of motivation off L&D’s plate as employees motivate themselves and each other through friendly competition.
Read More: How to Easily Add Gamification to your L&D Program
Use skills to guide your learning strategy
Online learning programs can be a boon to employees, but they can also be an invaluable resource for the organization itself. L&D can craft their learning strategy around skills that are needed now and in the future to stay competitive.
Keep skills up to date with upskilling and reskilling
The must-have skills of the 1990s are not the same skills employees need in the 2020s. In fact, even since 2015 skill set needs have changed by about 25%, a rate of evolution that shows no sign of slowing down. L&D should stay on top of current and upcoming skill needs to make sure all employees have the training they need for their current roles. This will give employees a sense of competence while keeping the organization competitive.
Enable internal mobility with online learning
A self-service learning model will help employees feel like they are getting the training they are most interested in. This approach encourages employees to contemplate their own career path while preparing them to eventually contribute elsewhere in the organization. Employees can work with L&D or their supervisors to establish learning objectives for the role they want to move into, while also ensuring they are getting the training they need to progress in the role they currently have.
Upskill based on future leadership needs
A big majority of executives (85%) have told us they are not confident in their leadership pipelines. And this problem is difficult for organizations to hire themselves out of. Instead, L&D leaders should consider creating their own leadership development program. This allows you to retain and build on culture and institutional knowledge while tailoring your talent pipeline to your organization’s exact needs — now and in the future.
Learn more about these approaches to online employee training, including real world examples in our report 8 Ways to Engage Your Learners.