Online Training Challenges Your Employees Have Grown Accustomed To And Tips To Pleasantly Surprise Them
What did you hate about school? Afternoon classes? Homework? Detention? Bullies? Cheerleaders? For many kids and teens, these were unavoidable portions of their school day. Similarly, adults experience online training challenges that are par for the course. A meeting ran late so an employee misses their certification exam. They stayed up late wrapping up a work assignment and slept through the feedback session. The online training course seemed “pointless” so they barely paid attention. Is there any way to get around these “unpreventable” corporate eLearning challenges and improve your online training strategy?
7 Online Training Challenges Employees Must Contend With
1. Negative Public Perception
The perception of online training, itself, works against your online training program. Employees have participated in so many dry and dull online training courses in the past that they expect more of the same from your online training course. You have to turn the tides by providing them with engaging, entertaining, and personalized content. It’s also wise to stress the benefits of active involvement and highlight why your online training course is different. For example, serious games and simulations give employees the power to apply their skills and gain practical experience.
2. Time Management Flaws
Mature learners have busier lives than school-aged children. They have their jobs, but they also have their families, their personal lives, and their hobbies. It can be hard for them to find time to study, and many disengage because they feel too constrained. This happens even with mandatory online training and can get employees off the promotion track. Make it easy for them to manage their time better by dividing online training modules. They can be as small as five or ten minutes, so corporate learners can easily squeeze them in. Offer alternative study formats like podcasts, videos, or infographics to eliminate this online training challenge. These allow corporate learners to study as they commute, or ‘read’ through their headphones while they do dishes or getting in their morning run.
3. Limited Interaction With Online Peers
For many learners, the value of school is in the people. People enjoy engaging with each other in class, talking to interesting teachers, networking, or catching an after-school game. Most of us see the best part of training as those extra-curricular activities that accompany any (off-site) staff seminar. Online learners miss out on a lot of this comradery. That said, teleconferencing and messaging apps have come a long way and the COVID crisis has forced many organizations to move meetings online. Build a forum or chat room in your online training course. It will allow corporate learners to “hang out” remotely. Link them up on social media as well, so they can start and develop discussions both in and out of class.
4. Inconsistent Internet Access
It’s assumed that all virtual classes take place online, so corporate learners are used to missing assignments or falling behind. The online version of “the dog ate my homework” is “the net was down.” Spotty web connections are every corporate learner’s nightmare. For many employees, Wi-Fi isn’t a given, and that is one of the worst online training challenges they could face. Phone data bundles are expensive, and even in the developed world, not everyone has internet at home. As you buy or design your online training course, limit reliance on live web access. Yes, they will need to be connected when they’re uploading homework or chatting with online instructors. But the rest of the time, design pre-loaded offline modules so they can study anywhere, anytime, regardless of internet status.
5. Translation Into The Real World
One of the top online training challenges is that any type of training risks being remote and pedantic. If corporate learners focus on regurgitating crammed facts and passing exams, they’ll get no practical benefit from their studies. As much as testing matters, especially for compliance issues, it’s a very small portion of your online training course. Your corporate learners might check all the right boxes on the screen. But that won’t stop them from accepting a birthday gift and inadvertently attracting a fine or lawsuit. That’s where practical COI compliance comes in to play. Frame factual lessons in real-world scenarios so that your corporate learners don’t just know the answers, but they know how to use them too. Go past rote learning and teach situational analysis and critical thinking.
6. Motivation Is In Short Supply
Your employees simply don’t have the motivation to see the online training course through to completion. You haven’t answer the most important question: what’s in it for them? Be clear about what perks your online training offers and how employees are expected to participate. Break long-term goals into smaller milestones so they can track their progress. You might also consider adding game mechanics to your online training strategy, such as rewarding employees with badges or points to fuel their motivation. Leaderboards are another great way to incorporate friendly competition and motivate disinterested employees.
7. Lack Of Personalization
The online training course aligns with organizational objectives, but it lacks the personal touch. Employees are expected to participate in the same online training activities and modules regardless of their job duties, responsibilities, or personal preferences. Turn the tides by incorporating personalized online training paths. This gives corporate learners the ability to choose their own online training activities and support resources, as well as go at their own pace. For example, they can pick online training tools that cater to their learning preferences. Which also improves learner engagement and allows them to bridge gaps, thereby increasing workplace productivity and overall ROI.
Unfortunately, these are just some of the online training challenges that employees have grown accustomed to. You have the opportunity to turn things around and give them an online training experience they won’t soon forget. Break the online training course into micro-chunks to work within tight employee schedules. Create online discussions and occasional real-time webinars so co-trainees can mingle. Design your online training course with offline access and use lots of simulations to offer context. And don’t forget to award your corporate learners for their hard work.
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