How To Bring Your Company’s Employee Training Online
This article is being written during the Covid-19 epidemic. Businesses living through Covid are quickly beginning to understand that at least a portion of their employee training needs to be completed online. Companies that successfully make this transition will be more efficient and productive in the future. Those that don’t will fall behind.
We’ve outlined below the steps every company should take to successfully and methodically make the move to online employee training.
- Decide what training should be online, and what should not
Virtually every skill can be taught online, but that doesn’t mean you need to teach them all online. Companies that have all staff in one location, have access to a good training space, and either have good trainers or can bring them in should consider what types of training they would like done face to face. Is there some topic so important to your company’s success that face to face contact is needed? Are you training on specific electronics or machines that staff needs to get their hands on? These are often times when you should conduct these trainings locally.
The numbers show that online training is at least as effective as live training, and likely more effective. It’s also much more efficient. Imagine making sure all 100 of your sales staff have a set of specific skills or full knowledge of the sales process. You will lose salespeople over time and need to train new ones. Paying a trainer to train a class full of new recruits is time-consuming and expensive. With online, you can build the training once and train all new recruits in less time with less cost.
Examples we’ve found of common online training companies need are:
- Policies and procedures
- Sales tactics and processes
- Soft skills
- Business ethics and workplace safety
- IT certifications
Moving at least these topics online is guaranteed to provide cost reduction, fully trained employees, and a streamlined ramp-up period for new staff. Use your training budget and the additional time employees get back while learning online to keep building more online training specific to your company’s success.
- Decide what training should be fully online and what training should be done live online
When you have a fully or partially remote workforce, or staff at multiple locations that need the same training, consider training live online using webinar software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. It’s obviously expensive and time-consuming to fly staff to another location for training, so use the tools available to you to run those critical training sessions you’re not ready or willing to put fully online.
Pro Tip: Companies that offer a large catalog and wide variety of learning content to all employees report happier workers and better employee retention. Companies that encourage consistent learning behavior and set aside time for that to happen tend to outpace their competitors over time.
Consider moving even some live online training sessions fully online. With the right learning management system you can easily assign and track whether or not employees are completing the training they need.
- Choose the right learning management system for your company
There are a lot of learning management systems (LMS) to choose from. When you really dig in, most of them are essentially the same. Some have a few more features and are expensive. Some are a bit more bare-bones and will run you less. The truth is that you don’t need and won’t use 90% of the features in a given LMS.
Here are the features you should make sure your LMS has:
- The ability to assign and track training completion
- Gamification for higher employee engagement
- Reporting to check on employee progress
- Automated notification systems to nudge employees to complete training
- Skills gap assessments and the ability to auto-assign learning to address those gaps
- A grouping system to assign content to specific groups of people (large companies only)
Once you’ve found the LMS that suits your company’s needs, we move on to the hard part:
- Getting the actual online training
Many companies have or have in the past had an LMS. The fact is that most companies underutilize or don’t use their LMS at all.
Why, you ask? It’s simple. The LMS they chose has no learning content. It’s an empty basket waiting to be filled with fruit, but finding time to buy the fruit is the hardest part.
We suggest finding an LMS that both suits your company’s training needs and comes pre-loaded with a large and varied library of content. Doing this means your staff can begin learning on day one, while you make a concerted effort to develop the types of training discussed in point #1. Once your staff are actually learning online, they will begin to expect that internal company training be provided online as well.
- Overcoming the double-edged sword
So you have two options:
- Purchase an LMS with no learning content
- Purchase content from large content publishers, but give up the LMS features you really need
Companies like LinkedIn Learning, Open Sesame, and others have large catalogs of content (usually with lots of duplication – hey, look how much stuff we have!), but you’re using their LMS. You can’t use it for your own internal training, so you’re stuck purchasing a completely separate LMS and moving back and forth between them. Not very efficient.
Some of the more expensive LMS providers have begun developing content you can purchase in addition to your LMS. Our recent searches have found that 99% of these courses are short, generalized, soft skills courses. They’re great, but have little depth and leave most of your workforce without any training that will really skill them up. Does a network engineer need emotional intelligence? It’s certainly helpful to have, but an IT certification would make them much more valuable to you.
SkillHub Training has finally solved the problem of the double-edged sword. We provide a fully-featured LMS that’s yours to use as you please, but include 140,000+ training videos at no extra charge. We have a wide variety of topics beyond soft skills including IT, project management, leadership, programming and development, personal development, and much more.
We encourage you to check out our website, view our course catalog, and book a demo to see if our LMS and content solution is right for you.