There are a wide variety of benefits that come from using eLearning to train corporate employees.
These courses can be completed anywhere and anytime, removing any geographic and time barriers. Courses can be taken multiple times, so they’re more cost-effective (especially when you consider the cost of hiring an in-person trainer to work with your team each year). And, maybe most importantly, eLearning courses can be personalized to meet your specific learners’ needs. This makes them more engaging for learners and increases knowledge retention.
However, these many benefits only happen when you create courses that are effective for training leaders and learners. To be honest—this can be easier said than done!
Creating Courses For Learners
If you’re working in-person, take a moment to walk around your office. What are your employees doing?
You may have software developers staring intently at computer screens, avoiding conversation and coding the latest and greatest iteration of your product. Or, sales employees speaking animatedly to a prospect, pulling out all the stops to make the deal. Or, customer service professionals, drawing on empathy and professionalism to put out the fires of dissatisfied customers.
The point is that when you create eLearning courses for employees, you’re working with a diverse audience with varying skillsets. To make your course development reflect that, consider the following tips:
- Clearly define what you want employees to do better, and author accordingly. Let’s say you’re creating custom sales training for salespeople. Your team is making a high quantity of sales, but they’re smaller sales than you’d prefer. Don’t create a course about general sales best practices. Create a course about what you want employees to do better — research ideal prospects and identify who is appropriately qualified for your product.
- Use interactive elements to make courses engaging. Incorporate elements such as drag-and-drop, sequencing, labeling, sorting and audio review to encourage employees to play an active role in the learning process. Not only will this increase engagement, but also tailor the course to the different learning styles found across your team.
- Customize courses to the unique atmosphere that employees will face. So, if you’re creating courses for remote employees, don’t illustrate concepts by showing a team sitting together in one room. Or, if you’re creating industry-specific courses, such as compliance training for your software company, don’t focus on data security for analog, paper-based systems.
The main goal of eLearning courses is to help your employees do their jobs better. By making content that’s relevant to their skills, learning styles and atmosphere, it’s easy for employees to directly apply the course in their work environment.
Creating Courses For Leaders
The skills that make up a good leader are generally the same, regardless of the type of company or the work the manager’s team is completing. Empathy, organization, communication — all managers need to master these and more.
The challenge with creating courses for managers isn’t due to the unique variety of skills needed. Instead, it’s that many key leadership tasks rely on soft skills.
Soft skills are intangible. While it’s straightforward to teach an employee to write a line of code, it’s significantly more difficult to teach a manager to speak with authority or navigate a challenge with empathy.
Consider the following tips to create eLearning courses that are useful for leaders:
- Use scenarios and simulations to immerse managers. Let’s say you’re training managers to provide coaching to employees. You can begin by listing out best practices for coaching, but don’t stop there. Walk through a coaching scenario with audio of an employee asking for guidance. Then, have the manager type out their response and grade it based on the coverage of key points.
- Describe the reasoning behind correct and incorrect answers. One of the biggest challenges of soft skills training is that these skills manifest in different ways every day. Communicating with empathy looks different if an employee is confronting a work challenge versus a death in their family. When you explain why a certain approach should be used, managers can better understand how to apply it to different situations.
Further, recognize that leaders at your business likely have the least amount of time to dedicate to eLearning. Reflect this in your training and only include information that would actually be helpful for managers to learn. They don’t need an overview of the history of your company!
Consider also using microlearning courses to address this lack of time. Microcourses are hyper-focused on one specific task and tend to be shorter than 10 minutes. Leaders can use these courses to quickly target key skills and fit them into their schedules in a flexible manner when time permits.
Creating eLearning for learners comes with a different set of challenges than creating courses for leaders. However, acknowledging these differences early in the development process allows you to author content that aligns with both audiences from the start.
With these tips, you’ll be taking a strong first step. Good luck!