Adding value to your online training that won’t break the bank, but, will give you exceptional results.
Training Tips That Get Results
Online training courses should give valuable skills and knowledge to your learners, so, that they can increase their job performance. Many companies do not see a fantastic learning and development opportunity, through peer-based knowledge sharing. Here are five innovative and collaborative activities to include in your online & offline training.
Sharing Knowledge Activities:
These will help to enrich your online training courses. To share information and knowledge is the goal at the end of the day and the ultimate objective of online training courses. Many developers will cram so many facts, charts and information, hoping that some of it will stick in the learner’s mine. Job done, not so fast, cramming too much into a course is just as bad as not putting in enough information into the course and overloading can drag the learner down and stop them from retaining any of the information at all.
1 First Steps First
Ensure that you know the importance of sharing knowledge activities. Get your employees interested in sharing their knowledge and make them aware of why this is so important in your business. Online training works best when learners share with other learners what they have learned and can even be a way of confirming what they have learned is correct and that they are doing it right. They may be reluctant to participate but this soon fades and you will have a group of learners that enjoy learning and sharing with others the newly acquired knowledge that they have received. A great way to kick this off is to use the forums or chat facilities in your LMS or to have some time set aside throughout the week for learners to converse with each other.
2 Create a Learners Support Library
Keep all of your support resources in a centralised location will make it extremely easy for your learners to access the information when they need access to it. They will need to revisit information to ensure that they are doing it correctly, some staff may only need to refer to a PDF to ensure that they understand the basic concepts of a task that they only perform once or twice a year. When I worked as a manager in retail at Homebase, I would access the procedures and processes for the yearly stock-take, not because I dd not know how to complete the stock, but because I knew that by revising the processes I would have a more successful stock-take every time.
Also, many employees/learners won’t have the time to contact their peers, due to time constraints and having this central library will make the process very simple for them when they need to access vital materials/content to complete the given task.
You could also make this a learners project as well by asking them to submit content (just like eLearning Adobe forums), this gives the employee/learner a sense of responsibility and pride that their submissions are working for their colleagues, themselves and for the company. This will also allow the employee/learner to gain valuable peer feedback, based on the materials/content they add to the library.
Store information in various formats such as Video, Presentations, PDF’s Infographics, Simulations and ensure that they cover specific training events or topics.
3 Peer-Based or Buddy System
Have a peer-based coaching system in your company is a fantastic way to get your eLearning to rapidly envelope learners. Every company has a wealth of knowledge built up in their experienced employees. These employees have been through your online training and know the importance of it as a company resource and vital tool that allows them to progress in their careers.
Using a buddy system is a fantastic way of matching up a new recent hire to your company with an experienced mentor. This buddy will be the go-to person in your company for the new recruit. Using a buddy system also give the new recruit confidence when asking questions that they may think are just dumb questions or when they need to verify that they have completed a task correctly. Again this helps all employees as they feel cherished to be select as a buddy-up partner and will take the role seriously and ensure that the new recruit gets the training and advice they require.
4 Implement Social Media Groups
Implementing a social media group such as Whatsapp, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter can be a great way to keep all your learners in the loop. You can have a different group for different departments, such as fitters, carpenters, electrician, admin etc. While working as a manager in Harvey Normans, I created a salesperson’s group on Whatsapp, this was a great help to our salespeople as they could ask what they considered to be dumb questions in a closed group. It drove their knowledge levels to a high level and increased their sales performance.
Social media also allows the sharing of images, sketches and detailed answers that were not available to employees just a few years ago, with today’s social media you can make your online learning go even further by including social media as an additional learning platform.
5 Hosting Online Training Events
Again, in today’s digital age we can host online training events and as a learning and development or training manager you can host and deliver live training to 1 or 10,000 learners scattered across the world. You can use video, whiteboard, allow open discussion, take questions from the learners, record the session(s) for playback at a later date and deliver your training when it is needed most.
Or, how about having one or more your employees host a training session on a specific topic? While at Homebase, I had two of my employees that were top notch at using SAP software roll out the upgrade training, why? Basically, because I never used the software to its full extent and my two employees in the admin department new the software inside-out, so it was a no-brainer to have them deliver the training.
And, how about using college students or interns to host training on a new process, task or event? This can help you build a solid connection with your local university or institute of technology. Many of these students are working on cutting-edge processes for admin, information technology and product development.
I hope that these tips give you some extra ideas that you can incorporate into your online and offline training. Its worth remembering that sometimes it the small ways of thinking that can generate the best results for your business and when the cost is zero Euro, well, then you have nothing to lose by implementing them apart from a couple of your working hours.