How To Create A Stress-Free eLearning Environment For Overwhelmed Employees
Have you heard of the seven-minute-silence? It’s a theory that in every conversation, there’s a moment of awkward silence after seven minutes. What about the seven-year-itch? The alleged moment when couples question their nuptial bonds? Here’s a new one: the seven-minute-stretch. It’s allegedly how long anyone can focus on a task before they get distracted by their phone. Whether there’s any significance in the ‘holy number seven’, it remains clear employees are frequently disrupted by their devices. Here are 6 tips to create a stress-free eLearning environment that will keep them focused despite the beeping and buzzing.
Taking The Stress Out Of Your eLearning Experiences
1. Leave Room To Space Out
The sense of overwhelm doesn’t just come from our ‘pocket bosses’. Digital distraction is just one of the things that tire us out. There’s also the long commute, domestic responsibilities, and a rough economy. A lot of us support growing kids and aging parents at the same time. It’s all too much. And yet these over-exerted workers still need additional training to keep up their finances. Give them the time to do so. Allowing your corporate learners to learn at their own pace makes all the difference. They can schedule their coursework around home and office duties. Fixed study times add to the pressure they’re already facing and can lead them to drop out. Breaks between study sessions also make space for acquired knowledge to percolate and be absorbed into their long-term memory.
2. Segmented Studies
In the same way, split your online training content into small, easily consumable chunks. This gives them bits that are easier to absorb and recall, facilitating spread out learning. To make sure everything doesn’t get lost between sessions, incorporate tactical repetition. You don’t want to patronize your employees, but you do need to revisit important learning materials on a loop.
It’s also helpful to make your online training course easy to navigate. Your corporate learners have enough little (and not-so-little) anxieties in their daily lives. Make it easy for them to study by offering lots of reference materials. Design your online training course with quick cross-referencing systems, including glossaries, clear tables of contents, and offline inter-linking. It’s essential for offline learning.
3. Let Them Lead
Enabling corporate learners to direct their own learning is empowering. It gives them a sense of autonomy and achievement, building up their confidence. Online training should be a student-driven endeavor, and you can promote this. Make search options easier by allowing them to leaf through their learning material. Facilitate one-word searches and long-tail searches so they can find exactly what they need without asking for assistance. When they do want help, build in automated options like chatbots and online discussions. Add an in-course character designed to guide them through. The character can be a virtual librarian or study-buddy, so employees still feel they’re doing it themselves. Leave the duration of the online training course open so they can take as long as they need.
4. Flex Their Learning Muscles
Flexibility is the single most important aspect of creating a stress-free eLearning environment. Employees looking after aged parents, young children, or differently-abled relatives need lots of time off. By letting them develop a work-from-home schedule a few times a week, their sense of overwhelm drastically dips. Bring this aspect into their studies as well. Build the online training course in a multi-platform format. Design it to work equally well on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even smart watches. Also, facilitate offline learning so they don’t have to be constantly tied to the internet. This lets them learn in snatches, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. The convenience will make them more likely to complete their studies.
5. Offer Personalized Online Training Paths
In traditional learning, learners have to go from start to finish. In an online training course for adult learners, this isn’t always necessary. There may be topics they are already familiar with, through their work or previous online training courses. They may want a refresher or targeted online training for a specific qualification assessment. Make your online training content fluid so they can skip certain topics, or start at the end and work their way forward. Similarly, build in different study options to accommodate variated learning preferences. Text-based learners will want to read significant portions. Visual learners will prefer videos, infographics, and charts. Interactive learners work better with gamification. All corporate learners will, at some point, want audio clips so they can study passively as they work, drive, or exercise. Let them mix and match a combination that works for them.
6. Create A Supportive Corporate eLearning Culture
Encourage employees to voice their opinions and concerns so that they know their input matters. Set up a social media group where they can collaborate and commiserate about challenging training topics. Overworked employees are looking for ongoing support that can see them through the tough times. As such, a supportive corporate eLearning culture is essential to give them the boost they need. You can even develop a peer-based coaching program that allows them to exchange information and tips, or a learner-generated library that facilitates feedback and provides just-in-time support when they encounter issues in the workplace.
Overwhelmed corporate learners don’t necessarily shun higher education. In fact, many pursue advanced online training so they can get new jobs and positions that lower their stress levels. However, you have to work with their ‘overwork’. Otherwise, they’ll get nothing from the online training course. Let them study at their own speed. Divide the online training course into smaller chunks that can be accessed across multiple devices, with or without an internet connection. Provide an animated character to help when needed and offer lots of self-accessible references.
Another way to get overworked employees excited about training is to host a live event. Read the article 6 Secrets To Hosting Leadership Development Webinars And Events For Remote Employees to discover tips to host winning online training workshops to hone internal talent.