The term may have been coined 20+ years ago, but elearning is having a moment. Amy Morrisey dives in.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual classrooms are booming. In fact, around 97% of businesses are now using virtual classrooms in their learning and development… and few expect things to return to ‘normal’ after the pandemic’s effects are through.
At the same time, only 53% of those organisations report virtual classrooms as their most successful L&D platform during COVID. So, what can you do to make your training more successful, during COVID-19 and beyond? Invest in custom-developed elearning courses.
Let’s examine why it’s so crucial to invest in training for your business, and why you should consider custom-developed elearning courses when doing so.
The importance of effective training for your business
Take a second to look around your business. Which employees have been the most successful?
Maybe you have Joe, who made a mid-career change and joined your company after twenty-plus years in the military. Or Sarah, who came in as a summer intern and has moved through the ranks with hard work and determination. Or maybe you’re working with Dan, who didn’t have the experience needed on paper but was eager to learn and go above-and-beyond in his role.
With elearning courses, you can share one common training course across multiple locations for quality control.
The point here is that no one joins a company and is 100% prepared for the job on day one. That’s why effective training is so crucial to elevate new (and let’s be honest, current) employees to their greatest potential.
There are a variety of benefits that come with investing in your business’s internal training culture, including:
- Confidence that employees complete legally-mandated compliance training, which can remove some legal liability from your company as a whole.
- Improved workplace culture, as you’ll show employees that your business is invested in their success.
- More effective employees who are more consistent with their performance.
- Slowed employee turnover and higher employee experience scores.
That said, the goal here isn’t to encourage you to implement just any training in your strategy – ideally, you’re already doing some sort of internal training. No, it’s to discuss why custom online training is the solution you should use.
Why are custom online-based courses so important for your training efforts, in particular?
Elearning courses are more easily accessible to learners
In comparison to once-a-year classroom-based training, elearning courses can be administered:
- Whenever your busy learners have time to complete the courses. If you ask all of your work-from-home employees to join an instructor-led Zoom at the same time each day, you might conflict with busy home classrooms and overloaded home office WiFi networks. With elearning courses, staff can log on when the smoke clears and actually pay attention to their training.
- To a geographically diverse staff. In-person training naturally varies, as instructors will have a unique approach. With elearning courses, you can share one common training course across multiple locations for quality control.
- As soon as the learner needs them, providing a just-in-time solution. If one of your employees forgets a key concept, are they going to ask to redo the once-a-year training? Or, are they going to muddle through and hope they can learn it through experience? With elearning courses, they don’t have to do either – they can simply reopen the past course and refresh their memory.
Of course, these benefits only come if you actively prioritise accessibility when creating your courses. Here are a few tips to do so:
- Maintain an elearning library year-round, so learners don’t need to hunt down their solution.
- Build in a pre-test to allow learners to test out of courses they don’t need to complete again, saving time in busy schedules.
- Use branching scenarios when it is appropriate for your content. Similar to ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books, learners can explore the topics most interesting to them.
- Translate and localise content that’s shared with geographically diverse learners, to ensure the content is accessible and applicable for all.
In 2021, preventing presenteeism and burnout is on-trend. Flexible training through elearning courses can help you support your team as remote work continues.
Elearning courses can be customised to meet your learners’ exact needs
Beyond being flexible, your team can work with an elearning content development company to create courses that are built with your (and your learners’) needs in mind. You can adjust uniform compliance courses to incorporate your unique take on the topic, and you can take a deep-dive into topics of interest for your team. The possibilities are endless.
Here are a few tips to create custom courses that your team will actually learn from:
- Focus on the content that’s most actionable. The history of your company is important—but, does your team need to know every detail to be effective in their jobs?
- Use interesting formatting to convey new topics. Whether drag-and-drop, click-to-reveal, or matching games, your team is much more likely to retain new information if they’re actively engaging with it.
- Use characters and language that are reflective of your organisation’s internal culture. So, if your entire staff isn’t blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and one race, the characters in your courses shouldn’t be either.
- Consider microcourses to draw attention to key information. Microlearning courses are perfect for drawing attention to what learners need to know. Whether role-specific information or even your updated COVID-19 security protocols, create microcourses to ensure learners don’t overlook key information.
With custom elearning courses, you can help Joe and Dan overcome key pain points associated with coming into their new role. And, you can help Sarah continue striving and rising through the ranks with training crafted specifically for roles at your company. With once-a-year training, it’s hard to provide that personalised improvement – but with elearning, it’s a breeze.
To wrap up, online training courses are both more flexible and more customisable when it comes to elevating your team to new heights. With the tips in this guide, you’ll be able to create courses that are valuable and actionable for your team and empower them to do their jobs better. Good luck!
About the author
Amy Morrisey is the president of Artisan E-Learning.