Because of the multitude of benefits it offers, more and more companies are turning to e-learning to provide development opportunities to their employees. It provides a cost-effective way through which companies can deliver interactive and engaging training content. So, if you want to leverage the possibilities e-learning provides, how would you go about doing it?
As you turn to e-learning to suffice for all (or some) of your corporate learning and development needs, be prepared for challenges and, also, the scope for creativity it presents. In this post we are going to provide you with some tips and recommendations to help you along in making the most of this effort in your company.
Bringing an organization to an e-learning platform in itself is a big task, and we do not want individualities to complicate the move right in the beginning.
1) Train the Appropiate Audience
So, first things first, you need to focus on the right people. Understand the learning gaps as well as the learning needs. While learning needs are mostly apparent and visible, you also need to incorporate in your strategy the learning gaps that may not be as obvious. You need to hit the pain points. This will, in turn, ensure a more dedicated and determined audience for your learning solutions. Let’s take the example of an engineer. If he/ she doesn’t want to learn literary skills and is not required to use these skills on the job, he/ she will not be as involved in the learning experience as well. That is, the skills, knowledge, or behaviors they are learning should have a positive impact on their ability to do their job, and to contribute to the success of their team and the organization. Anything else will be just a poor use of their time.
2) Convince your audience of the learning needs and gaps
You could be using technology in the right ways, creating aesthetically pleasing courses, and even having the support of your organization. But if you’re serving content to the wrong employees — and missing what they actually need and want — then your program will fail.
To fully understand and appreciate your learners, you should try to put yourself in their shoes. Try to anticipate and comprehend the learner’s need of, expectations from, and outcome derived from the learning solutions that you present. When you empathize, you help the learner become a willing participant in the entire learning experience, rather than a passive receiver.
Before employees can master a new skill effectively, for example, they must be convinced it will help improve their organization’s performance, recognize that their own performance is weak in that area, and then actually choose to learn. A good way to do this is by including trainees and their peers in determining what changes need to be made and why thereby creating credible ambassadors for the effort.
3) Introduce eLearning as pre-learning snippets
Instead of rolling-over full-fledged e-learning programs from the beginning, you can start small and use eLearning modules as optional pre-training. For instance, The instructors can move more of their background and theory to the e-learning courses and expect participants to work on hands-on activities in-class.
4) Involve leadership in promoting e-learning
You need to add motivators for learners to adopt e-learning. This could be in the form of senior leadership joining-in during training sessions. Their presence could just be the catalyst that may work wonders for your endeavor.
But, for them to be on your side may take a little convincing. There are many things you can do to win them to your side. You can share details on how the e-learning fits in with the business objectives and will have rather a holistic impact on the company. Leadership is always more interested in things that can be quantified and measured. The introduction and use of e-learning will make more sense to them if you explain how it will be evaluated and measured, and how the feedback will be incorporated to make it more effective over time. The more data you can provide, the more convincing your case will be.
5) Customize your e-learning program to fit your needWhen adopting e-learning, don’t just be driven by the best practices. You need to find what works for your audience and the learning needs that your e-learning solution is trying to accommodate. There are many different types of learning and many different levels at which it can be targeted. You need to understand where your online training investment is going to be best placed, particularly when working with a constrained budget. There are many deciding factors here including the type of training, mode of training, professional age and experience of learners, whether performance in training is linked to some other motivators, and more.
While your efforts will largely be guided by the environment and nature of e-learning adopted, these tips will work in almost all scenarios. Start early, start right, and stay put.