Online business training: When it’s a must and how to make it awesome

Many books and job aids have been created to instruct trainers on how to create compelling programs for an organization. The need for the development of learning organizations is greater than ever. The quest for the best practice, the latest insight and the effective performance method are all now very sought after commodities. How can trainers and instructional designers make sure that their training is complete and effective at the same time? How can they add the “awesome” factor to their training?

Because, let’s face it: employees aren’t really interested in unimpressive and dull training. They would rather research their own material and learn from that, than undergo the torture of a boring training session. When an organization has large investments and stockholders looking over it, it cannot afford to have learners deviate from the required training.

The goal is to have as many employees complete the training and perform very well in reflection to that training. Let’s look at these best practices and tips to develop awesome training for your organization.

Why do you need online business training?

The first step is usually all about determining whether you really need a training program. Let’s say you do need a training and development plan; how can you make it learner-centric? Forget about the rules and procedures when working on the content. You need to figure out how to best convey the content to your learners. Are they all about tablets and mobile? Are they too busy? Most importantly, are they too advanced?

Take a look at these statements and try to determine their answers, as they apply to your organization.

  • There is a significant amount of content to be delivered to a large number of learners: Is the content related to latest policy or a mandatory practice? Is it too big to fit in a single chat? Then you definitely need online corporate training.  Don’t forget, though, to make sure you work with an instructional designer to create the right training material to create an awesome business training online.
  • Learners come from geographically dispersed locations: If your organization is spread out across the globe or the country, by all means, deliver eLearning business training. They will make it easy to ensure everyone gets the same information while allowing customization to local culture.
  • Learners have limited mobility: If your employees are telecommuting or are not able to travel, you need to create eLearning courses. Also, if they have special needs, you can modify your eLearning format to provide multimedia that supports increased accessibility.
  • Learners have limited daily time to devote to learning: Are your employees very busy with new processes? Are they learning a new skill? Are they very busy in their management and senior positions? Then you need to make your business training flexible! How? But of course, through eLearning! Also, don’t forget to create training materials that can be used on mobile devices, so that your corporate learners can experience learning on-the-go.
  • Learners do not have effective listening and reading skills: If your employees are less-than-highly educated workers, visual eLearning materials that are simple will be way more effective than complicated PDF hand-outs. Labelled diagrams and instructional videos come highly recommended for this situation. Plus, they will make your corporate training extremely engaging, thus more effective.
  • Learners are required to develop homogeneous background knowledge on the topic: Common knowledge that will be referenced repeatedly throughout its shelf-life is best developed using eLearning programs.
  • Learners are highly motivated to learn and appreciate proceeding at their own pace: Self-paced learning is best done using eLearning. Especially in a corporate context, it is very important that the learners have the flexibility to learn in a way that fits their busy schedules.
  • Content must be re-used for different learner groups in the future: Re-usable content is one of eLearning’s biggest assets, and this is one of the most cited benefits of online training in a business environment, where new employees are hired.
  • Training aims to build cognitive skills rather than psychomotor skills: Situations that require memorization are most easily facilitated through eLearning programs, and can be made more fun and engaging with various elements, from visual cues to gamification.
  • The course addresses long-term rather than short-term training needs: Long-term training needs to be accessed and potentially altered intermittently. Use corporate eLearning programs to deliver against these goals with the least amount of effort.
  • There is a need to collect and track data: With the use of the right Learning and Talent Development platform, you can easily yield all the tracking data you may need, having better control of your overall corporate training.

Often, a simple infographic or a job aid will satisfy a learning situation. If you have answered in the negative to the above statements, you can safely assume that a training is not the solution here.

However, in the current fast-paced business context, smaller and independent learning modules are the safest way to go. Arrange these modules in the form of a searchable wiki. Your learners can easily locate what they need and quickly go through the module. This strategy is similar to JIT (just-in-time) training, where learning is available when needed. It is also easier to update this list of modules so that they reflect the current organizational goals and industry expectations.

Creating an awesome training program is not as challenging as it used to be. The trick is not in the details, but in brief introductions and quick revisions. We hope these tips will help you design and develop the right kind of training your employees are waiting for.

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