Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict
Your online training course may be ready to deploy, but is your staff on board and up to the task? In this article, I'll share 7 top tips that can help you prepare your workforce for the next online training program.
How To Prepare Your Staff For Your Next Online Training Course: 7 Tips For eLearning Professionals
There are so many things to consider before you launch your online training course. Have you conducted adequate testing to make sure you're achieving your goals? Is the online training content up to par? Does the performance assessment meet valid grading criteria? These are all thoughts that race through your mind at one time or another. But one of the most important questions that you have to ask yourself, and one of the most overlooked, is if your staff is ready for launch. In order for your online training program to get off to a successful start, every employee must be ready and willing to actively participate.
- Create a detailed roll out schedule. You need to have a plan before you implement your new online training program. Create a detailed launch schedule that highlights all of the important dates, such as development time, LMS orientations, and facilitator training. This will help you to stay on track and ensure that you get your online training initiatives off to a solid start. You should also include online training dates and times for as many eLearning events and online training courses as possible, such as webinars and certification online training deadlines. Once you’ve developed your roll out schedule, share it with all of the key players. This may include a separate online training course schedule for employees who aren't involved in the development process.
- Send out surveys to gauge employee interest. Send out web-based or email surveys that can help you get feedback from your employees. Gauge their interest and learn as much as possible about what they expect from the online training program. Find out what devices they prefer if you are offering mobile learning courses, and get to the root of why they want to participate. For example, are they motivated by rewards you are offering, or are they excited about the prospect of improving their skill sets? If they are not too thrilled about the online training course, then you may want to consider a reward or gamification-based system, such as leaderboards and badges, until they start seeing the benefits of the online training program first hand.
- Verify that your staff knows how to login to the online training platform. There is nothing worse than spending countless hours and resources to develop an online training course, only to discover that no one can actually access it. This is why it's essential to verify that every member of your staff can login to the online training platform and that they have all of the necessary information, such as their login IDs and passwords. They must also know where to find the online training platform. For example, will they need to use a terminal to login to the locally hosted platform, or can they use any device to access your web-based LMS?
- Stress the benefits of your upcoming online training courses. Every member of your staff should be well aware of what benefits they will receive once they complete the online training, as well as how they can apply the information on the job. Provide as much information as possible about what the online training program will cover, what specific skills they will develop, and which tasks they will master. This will serve two purposes: Firstly, it will get your employees excited about the new online training initiative. Secondly, it will let them know that your online training program is worth their time and effort, because it offers real value.
- Offer tutorials for the tools and software you'll be using. Some of your employees may already be familiar with your LMS platform, especially if you are using the LMS you have in the past. However, it's always wise to offer tutorials, walkthroughs, and one-on-one support for those who may need some additional help. New employees or those who aren't necessarily tech-savvy usually fall into this category. You can also integrate an FAQ or help section into your online training courses, such as tips that focus on navigation.
- Identify the weaknesses of your previous online training courses. Determining the weaknesses of your previous online training initiatives will give you the opportunity to improve upon your current online training program. You can learn from past mistakes and figure out which areas need to be improved and how you can provide more effective online training experiences for your employees. Speak with your trainers, facilitators, managers, and staff to get their input and personal opinions. Assessments, focus group findings, and surveys from previous online training courses also serve as invaluable tools. They give you the chance to fine tune your upcoming online training program based on problems that your initiatives have encountered in the past.
- Make sure your IT department expects the unexpected. It is impossible to foresee every eventuality that may occur after you roll out your online training program. This is why it's all-important to prepare your IT department for the unexpected. Chances are, you are going to encounter a snag or two after launch, such as problems with login IDs or online training course glitches. Compile a list of the most common issues that they may have to troubleshoot, and make certain that they know every feature and function of the LMS platform.
Employees should be aware of your online training program long before you officially announce the roll out date. In fact, they should be excited about the prospect of developing their skills and enhancing their performance. Follow these top tips to make sure that every member of your team is primed for your new online training endeavor.
Now that you have your staff prepared for the next online training course keep in mind the mistakes that we always lookout for when creating corporate online training courses.