Today, virtually all businesses realize the need for ongoing professional training development for their employees. This applies to licensed professionals like nurses and lab techs, but also to retail store employees and even auto mechanics. Ongoing training provides employees with new knowledge, fosters the growth of new skills, ensures that workers are up to speed with changes in laws and regulations, and more.
However, the problem is that many businesses don’t take the steps necessary to maximize the value of that training. They go through the motions, their employees complete the minimum amount of training needed, and they move on, not realizing that they’re actually short-circuiting their own success. What should you know about maximizing the value of ongoing professional training? Following are 6 tips to keep in mind when designing eLearning. To see examples of these tips in action, check out our eLearning examples page.
Personalization Matters in Training Development
The first tip is to realize that personalization matters when it comes to ongoing professional training. A cookie-cutter approach will backfire, leaving your employees less than thrilled with the prospect of going through the course. Make it personal. Make it custom. Make it enjoyable.
Make It Fun
Seriously, who wants to sit at a workstation and read big chunks of text, and then answer a monotonous series of multiple choice questions? In what world is that even remotely engaging? What employee would chomp at the bit to start that sort of training? Instead, make your ongoing professional training enjoyable. Consider adding social elements or creating a game.
Text is boring.
It disconnects the learner from the study material. There are changes you can make to maximize the value of your ongoing professional training. For instance, you could create video lessons. You could record one or two podcast episodes. You could create an animation or even a short live-action movie. The sky is the limit with today’s technology, so don’t feel that you’re bound to what’s come before. Text has a role to play, but it should be minimized.
Create an Active Exercise
For the most part, humans are pretty bad about remembering things they’ve read. We’re much better at remembering things we’ve done. You can build on this and improve your professional training material by creating active exercises. This can mean almost anything – have your learners create a blog post or write a short essay. Have them build something (it could be virtual, or it could be physical). The point is to engage their minds and their bodies in learning.
Incorporate Other Learning Options
Yes, your training program is most likely online, but it doesn’t have to include only a computer-based training program. Branch out and give your learners options. Let them read professional journals. Give them the option to enroll in a mentoring program (to be mentored or to mentor others). Take your training out of the online realm and make it an integral part of their life in other ways. You might be surprised at just how well this allows them to take concepts and skills touched on through online training and connect them with real life.
Change Your LMS
The problem might be deeper than a lack of engaging material in an online professional training program. It might be the actual LMS you use. As technology exponentially advances, more businesses and organizations will find that their LMS is not just outdated, but that it is actually holding back their employees, and thus their business, from reaching their potential.
Maximizing the value of ongoing professional training doesn’t need to be frustrating, but it will require that you take action and design a different approach.