Business owners and executives know one thing; quality employee work and happy customers are the lifeline and proof of a successful business. This explains why many companies will shell out big dollars to train their teams. The assumption is that frequent training will help your team build new skills.
However, despite all the investment in training, sometime online training programs are boring and/or ineffective. How can you fix this? What does it take to create an effective online training course?
Most training programs are adequate, packed with lots of great content. However, a successful program is not just about content but also the delivery. No matter how great the content is, it is only useful to the extent that the trainees will grasp and use it. The secret to successful training lies in combining valuable content with great presentation. Great presentations are captivating, interactive and informative.
My Recipe for Effective Online Training Content
Here’s my recipe for making effective online training content. Use these tips to mix things up and make your training a hit!
1. Meet the trainees at their skill level
Training is intended to help your team build new skills and it shouldn’t be a one way street. In typical training events the instructor “talks at” the class and there is limited engagement. Imagine a room of people dozing off… Luckily, with online training it is more possible to meet trainees at their ability level.
2. Make it possible to practice the techniques
Make sure you design the course to allow the trainees practice the skills presented in as soon as possible. For new hires, consider scheduling the online sessions to coincide with the time the team is about to embark on real world work. This gives them an opportunity to apply whatever they have grasped from the session in the real world.
3. Keep it simple and keep pace
Old school training sessions can overwhelm the team with a lot of information in one training session. With an online course trainees can progress at a pace that is comfortable to them. For example, breaking up content and suggesting a roadmap for your trainees to follow for hour each day, is better than having a single, long training event. In each session, pick a concept to focus on and later build on the concept in the subsequent sessions. Anyone who ever experienced a class where complex content went way over your head or labored through a painfully slow class knows how important this is!
4. Provide supplementary content
Provide supplementary materials for your training sessions to enable trainees remember what they have learned. Consider building in the ability to recap what was covered or reference a online library of shared content. Here’s a hot idea – use on demand webinars or send automated post-session emails with key notes on what was covered during the training.
5. Keep it interesting
Keep it as lively by using vivid visuals, consistent branding and diverse types of content like videos, guides and blog posts that will keep the audience engaged. Also, as much as you want the sessions to be informative, package them in an interesting and entertaining way. Setting the stage with a metaphorical learning journey such as a mountain climbing expedition or a marathon race is a fun way to let your sales team know where they are in terms of progress and inspire them. Gotta get to the mountain peak!
6. Encourage participation
Encourage the team to post and answer questions. Over time, this can become a tremendous shared repository of helpful content. One-way lectures are no good (and not fun). Why should you do all the talking while the team is seated passively?! Active participation makes lasting impressions.
7. Set goals for separate groups
Separate newbie persons from experienced ones and consider setting different online paths for each group. For new teams, you may have to start from the basics and take them at a slower pace. For the experienced, you can skip some parts where they are conversant and focus on the new techniques. Don’t forget! When starting your training, clearly outline what is to be achieved by the end of the training.
The above are some of the ways in which you can make an effective online training for your trainees. Remember, the winning formula is to provide great content with superb presentation!