Christine Mclean August 16, 2023

4 Things You Should Not Do With Your Online Training for Employees [& What You Should Do Instead]

Employee Training

Face-to-face training is common. Hire an expert. Gather a group of employees together. Have them sit through hours of training over a day or more. Give them a test. That’s the end of the team’s training experience for the year.

But the tides have shifted. Employees expect organisations to design training programs that make them marketable and help them advance in their careers. They want training that helps them be seen as assets. C-Suite execs want to spend less on training while still creating a workforce that powers business success. An occasional face-to-face training program won’t satisfy the needs of the C-Suite and employees.

Enter online training.

Online training for employees makes learning accessible and cost-effective. But there are four mistakes you should avoid when setting up your online training program. You will learn about these four mistakes in this article and be guided through solutions that will prevent you from making them.

Mistake #1: Starting Employee Training Without Having Clear Goals  

Whether it’s online training or in-person training, there are three clear goals that should be the goalposts for your employee training program. Oftentimes, all three strategic goals will be included in your overall employee training goal. But there will also be situations where the focus will be on one of these goals versus all three.

3 Strategic Goals for Successful Online Training for Employees 

1. Solving a Specific Problem Within the Organisation 

An employee training program is successful if it solves a prevailing problem within your organisation. But there are some common mistakes that will threaten how effectively you can train your staff to solve the problem. These mistakes include:

  • Getting staff to complete courses so you can check a box

  • Training staff on things that only address the surface of the problem

  • Quickly planning and implementing training only in times of crisis

  • Limiting training to a once or twice per year orientation

  • Building training solely around the CEO’s requests

Successful training of staff addresses the root causes of core challenges within your organisation. It’s also ongoing and meets all staff where they are, regardless of their skills or education level. By the end of the program, staff feel motivated and inspired to do their best work so both them and the company can thrive.

If you’ve been in your organisation long enough, you know what many of these core challenges are and how they impact your teams. But it’s important to remove your personal biases and opinions when trying to get a holistic perspective of the challenges that are best to tackle for staff training. Look closely at these sources of information:

  • Concerns raised by C-Suite leaders during exec meetings

  • Discussions you have with senior managers and line managers

  • Common complaints that are heard by the HR department

  • Feedback from staff at all levels about the challenges they face

Analysing these data sources will allow you to prioritise challenges and design training for your staff that addresses each challenge holistically.

 2. Filling Skill Gaps 

Employees are concerned about the increasing number of skill gaps within organisations. A study conducted by Degreed revealed that 46% of employees believe their current skills will become irrelevant by 2024. Yet, only 34% of employees are satisfied with their organisation’s investment in upskilling them.

Your aim should be to invest in an employee training program that equips your team with the current and future skills they need. That means your employee training goals should align accordingly. Consult team leaders and executives to determine current skill gaps and industry trends. Use this information as the basis for developing a goal that outlines the specific upskilling opportunities your employee training program needs to address.

3. Supporting Career Development 

Research conducted by McKinsey revealed that one of the biggest contributors to people leaving their jobs is inadequate opportunities for career development and advancement. Your employee training program should take employees along career paths relevant to their goals. This means drilling down and creating individual learning goals that upskill your teams within their industries.

Through upskilling teams, you help your employees remain relevant in continuously changing industries. Relevance is critical for career advancement. For example, CompTIA certification is the gold standard in the cybersecurity industry. You can design a cybersecurity training program that helps all members of your IT team become CompTIA certified. One on One has a library of over 100 CompTIA courses that can help your team prepare for the CompTIA certification exams.

CompTIA courses for cybersecurity training in an online training program

Mistake #2: Using Long Online Training Modules

Online training for staff is most effective when micro-learning is used. Micro-learning allows you to provide online training in bite-sized training modules of up to 10 minutes. It’s been proven that micro-learning increases knowledge retention by 80% and improves focus. Micro-learning has also been proven to increase employee engagement from approximately 15% to 90%.

Webinars and hour-long tutorials and training sessions are great, but your staff will retain more if they have bite-sized content they can fit into their busy schedules. Micro-learning should be an integral part of your online training for staff.

Mistake #3:   Using Siloed Online Tools Instead of Integrating a Learning Management System (LMS)

There are multiple individual solutions that you can piece together for your learning and development program. Udemy courses. Youtube videos. Project management tools. The possibilities are endless.

But using these individual tools creates a fragmented experience for your employees. They move from one resource to another with no distinct way to track their progress. You’ll also have the tedious task of compiling data into numerous spreadsheets for analysis. It’s a lot of work!

A learning management system (LMS) allows you to curate training resources, create an engaging employee training experience, and track and report on each employee’s progress with ease. An LMS also makes online training for staff simple by giving them access to training resources anytime, anywhere. You can also use an LMS to gamify learning by adding points, badges, and leader-boards. There’s so much that an LMS can do to create a seamless and engaging learning experience for your staff.

But how do you ensure there’s adequate uptake of your LMS? After all, it requires company-wide buy-in and some financial investment. Here’s what Jacqueline Passley, VP of Human Capital and People Development at Guardsman, recommended in one of our podcast episodes. Set up a system that allows for competition and includes incentives and recognition.

You can listen to Jacqueline’s podcast episode to get more insights about online training for staff.

Mistake #4: Not Personalising the Online Training Experience for Staff

There are some online training programs where the training material is irrelevant, disjointed, and misaligned with the learning paths of employees. This isn’t the type of online training program you want for your staff. Whether you have only five or hundreds of employees, you should personalise training so that it meets the individual needs of your teams.

But personalisation becomes more difficult the larger an organisation becomes. Jacqueline also shared some tips for personalising online training for large teams in the podcast episode. Here are her suggestions.

  • Group your staff in blocks based on regions, departments, or areas of focus.

  • Deliver training based on these groups.

  • Have employees who are training ambassadors within each group to promote use of your learning management system.

  • Reach out to employees who don’t use the LMS and create a different training plan for them. These employees will be in the minority so it won’t be difficult to personalise training this way.

Make Your Online Training for Staff Effective 

Online training is a great way to provide your staff with the knowledge they need to upskill and help your business thrive. You can effectively impart this knowledge when your employee training program includes clear goals, micro-learning, a learning management system, and personalised learning. Create an online training program for your employees that makes them excited to learn!

One on One offers a learning management system, library of 30,000+ ready-made courses, and content development services that will help you effectively train your staff. Book a demo to learn more.