If there’s one thing we all learned from 2020, it’s that we can never predict what’s waiting around the corner. The only constant the past year was change, and the impact it had on the workforce challenged businesses of all sizes to move quickly and adapt during an uncertain time in the economy and workplace.
When it comes to corporate training, 2021 is calling many traditional ways of thinking into question. Training and upskilling employees are taking on new forms to meet the needs of a highly distracted, dispersed, and stressed workforce.
Unfortunately, many companies allow a fear of modern corporate training methods to get in the way of deeply valuable, high-quality opportunities for employees to learn new strategies and improve their skills. Many of these fears are unfounded myths standing in the way of employee growth and development, improved customer relations, and maximized business results.
Let’s have a look at the five most common corporate training myths and the facts that debunk them:
Myth #1: Corporate training is difficult to project manage.
In the current eLearning environment, organizations have increasingly complex learning needs. Training needs to be more accessible, flexible, and sophisticated. And the HR or EHS representatives responsible for creating the training program are constantly being pulled in multiple directions.
Each online corporate project might be unique, but treating them like any other project is still the best way to approach the task. Set goals and milestones, establish a team and budget, and start following the basic project management steps.
Here are some of the most common challenges project managers face in the modern business world and how to overcome them:
- Remote collaboration.
These days clients and teams are distributed all over the world. Video meetings and conference calls are solutions, but not always ideal options with time zones dividing participants. If you want to reach your goals, it is vital to keep remote collaboration accessible and structured for everyone involved.
eLearning project managers must ensure that their teams are clear on what their instructions are and have the right tools to overcome hurdles they may experience during the collaborative process. To make things easier, you can also break down tasks and have smaller teams handle them. You can also use generic project management collaboration tools like Trello, Asana, and zipBoard.
- Subject matter expert feedback.
Working with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) is a vital part of the eLearning process. Developers spend a lot of their time with SMEs as every development stage is followed up with collaboration with and validation from SMEs. Managing the time of SMEs is one of the secrets behind successful eLearning projects as they are full-time professionals. The cost of their time is considered a premium, so set your expectations when you start working with them and be ready to accommodate their schedules.
- Quality assurance.
Project managers must ensure everyone is on the same page from start to finish by describing the key objectives and goals. Quality assurance is essential to assess that the learning is engaging for the users and that the course is responsive to all users no matter what kind of device they are using to access learning material. Quality assurance reviews can also check the navigation of the course so that trainees can find their way around the learning material without hassle.
Myth #2: Online corporate training programs are expensive.
Many companies shy away from implementing eLearning corporate training due to the high initial development costs. In the short term, traditional training methods may not seem so costly, but they come with ongoing expenses which over time can add up to substantial amounts of money.
eLearning development costs may be high, but they can end up saving organizations a lot on training budgets by eliminating instructor-led training expenses. While requiring little to no upkeep, eLearning can reduce overall training time by 40% to 60%, increasing productivity and helping businesses cut down on various expenses.
Here are some of the areas where eLearning development reduces staff training and development budgets:
- Meeting room maintenance/venue rental.
- Printing costs.
- Travel and accommodation.
- Meal costs.
- Time spent away from work.
- Instructor’s or facilitator’s salaries.
Myth #3: Online training is inferior to in-person training.
In-person training has its benefits, like trainees being able to ask questions, feeling more valued, and peer feedback. But eLearning has proven to have far more measurable benefits.
In 2017, 77% of companies implemented some form of virtual training, and by 2020, the number increased to 98%. This considerable jump occurred due to 2020’s shift to a larger remote workforce, but eLearning has many other benefits as well.
Here are some reasons why online corporate training has more benefits than in-person training:
- Flexibility: You can adjust your online training programs according to your schedule.
- Time-saving: You don’t have to travel to and from a training venue.
- Money-saving: Online training programs are typically priced lower than in-person training.
- Updated content: eLearning content remains in sync with the latest updates and technology.
- Engaging learning material: Modern eLearning offers interactive learning material like podcasts and video clips, helping them emulate an in-person experience.
Myth #4: Training is only valuable for new hires.
New hire training is essential to accommodate and improve the onboarding process, and it will undoubtedly play a vital role if your company has a significant turnover in frontline positions.
But what about the people who stay?
Fact is, it is beneficial to offer ongoing training for all employees. It will be wise to develop programs that inspire and motivate your new hires and the balance of your workforce.
High-quality training is a great way to keep information fresh and consistent for all your employees, and additional training can help increase the skill set of each employee. When employees can grow and develop, they will have a higher sense of workplace satisfaction and it’s a good way to retain existing employees.
Myth #5 Online training is boring and ineffective
If your employees don’t feel engaged, they cannot put in 100% at work. An engaged employee is enthusiastic, fully absorbed into their work, and plays an active role in furthering the company’s interests and reputation.
Training plays an essential role in building engagement levels, so you should develop online training programs that consist of employee engagement strategies. This will help identify disengaged employees and transform them into a high-performing workforce.
Here are five ways to make your online training program more engaging:
- Give a captivating introduction.
Make it interesting and capture the learners’ attention from the beginning. Ask questions, talk to them, and keep it light with a touch of humor.
- Play interactive games.
Playing interactive games makes training sessions fun and engaging. Physical activity boosts brain function and will help employees stay focused on the program.
- Include videos to assist knowledge retention.
People tend to remember information when they watch it in video format. A great training video is bound to keep users engaged with the content.
- Use gamification.
Gamification is a powerful tool to increase employee engagement and encourage healthy competition. Keep a leaderboard that shows the trainees’ performance results each week and reward the best performer with a certificate. This will boost morale and engage employees in healthy workplace competitions.
- Encourage online communities and discussions.
Introducing an online forum for trainees and other employees to have open discussions about technical issues, the work process, or anything else work-related allows your employees to interact with each other, building collaboration.
Don’t let myths of online corporate training stand in the way of advancing your employees’ skill sets. Implementing and maintaining a work environment and culture of ongoing learning will improve employee satisfaction, bottom line results and customer experience.