If you’re recruiting new hires this summer like many businesses, you’ll need to start thinking about the phase after your new employees join your organization: training and onboarding. While many of your employees will come in with the skills they need to help them succeed, they’ll still need to be familiarized with the ins and outs of your business’s specific approach to core tasks.
With the increasing popularity of remote work, many of your new employees may undergo training without ever coming into the office. Fortunately, with modern online training strategies and tools, it’s entirely possible to create a virtual training program that’s thorough and engaging.
To help launch your business’s online training program, this article will cover the basics for getting started and provide tips, including how to:
- Determine specific training outcome goals.
- Create a straightforward registration process.
- Add engagement activities to courses.
- Collect participant feedback.
Once you get your initial courses set up, you can also look at expanding your online training program. For example, in addition to creating online onboarding and training activities, you might also invest in professional development courses that allow your senior employees to advance their skills. After developing your first set of courses and training process, adding additional online courses will be a far easier and quicker process.
1. Determine Specific Training Outcome Goals
When designing your online training courses, you’ll first need to decide what content to actually include. If you’ve never created an online course before, it can be easy to mistakenly add lessons and modules that aren’t immediately relevant to your employee’s training needs. For example, as your courses are an introduction to your business, you might end up providing more background information about your organization than is strictly necessary.
Ensure that all of your courses’ content is necessary and relevant by tying each module to a specific outcome or goal. Additionally, make sure you have a way to measure whether the intended outcome was achieved. Usually, this will take the form of a quiz or assessment where employees can demonstrate what they learned from your course.
Of course, some skills will be easier to measure than others. For example, a programming course may have a straightforward assessment where participants identify and resolve a coding error. This type of assessment has clear a correct and incorrect answer. Meanwhile, it may be more difficult to determine if an employee has improved their communication or leadership skills. In these cases, you can rely on creating quizzes or scenarios with short answer questions that encourage more in-depth answers.
No matter whether your employees are improving their technical or intrapersonal skills, ensure that you have a specific goal in mind for where their skills should be after completing training. This will ensure that you and your employees are on the same page about your trainings’ overall purpose and can provide insight into whether your online courses were successful.
2. Create a Straightforward Registration Process
Onboarding can take time, especially with numerous forms to fill out and internal guides to read through. You can help your employees get right to their training courses and reduce the amount of time spent checking boxes and entering the same information over and over by simplifying the registration process.
For online courses, this will mean finding an online registration software system with the tools your organization needs. Regpack’s course registration software page recommends looking for the following features when assessing course registration and management tools:
- Mobile-friendliness. Your employees should be able to complete their online training from anywhere. Choose a registration software solution with mobile optimized forms, so they can sign up from their phones or tablets.
- Customized reporting tools. Ensure that you can find the information you need by using registration and management tools with pre-built and custom reporting options.
- Branding options and embeddable forms. Make a strong, professional first impression by keeping your employees’ entire training process on your website with your organization’s branding.
Before making your registration process live for your employees, practice filling out your forms and submitting them yourself. This will allow you to pinpoint any potential slowdowns in the process and ensure the data entered in your forms is flowing smoothly to your other management tools.
3. Add Engagement Activities to Courses
With online courses, there is a common concern over whether participants are actually engaging with the course’s material or just clicking next on each page until they get to the end. This concern only increases when teams are working remotely with no direct management.
Fortunately, there are ways to help ensure that your employees actively engage with your training courses such as adding interactive activities to each module. These activities often include interactive elements like:
- Matching. Drag-and-drop matching quizzes have been a reliable staple of digital course materials. Create question and answer sets where participants can pair answers to their questions, definitions to their terms, or even just like ideas together.
- Diagram labeling. Whether you want to check participants’ understanding of a machine’s parts or if they know each level of the marketing sales funnel, you can add diagrams to your course and ask participants to label them. This adds an interactive, visual element that can help learners better envision complex ideas.
- Quizzes. While online training courses often have assessments at the end to gauge a participants’ overall knowledge, many have multiple choice quizzes throughout the course to help reinforce specific concepts, check a participant’s learning after each module, and help them practice for the final assessment.
Additionally, try mixing up your courses’ content to keep learners engaged. For example, one lesson might leverage articles with a mix of text and images, while the next is a series of video lessons. When integrating elements like video, images, and interactive elements be sure to keep accessibility in mind so all of your employees can complete their training without issue.
4. Collect Participant Feedback
After an employee completes your training course, you will likely get feedback about how well they performed on assessments. However, it is possible for an employee to ace a training course’s quizzes and still not have the knowledge they need to get to work.
If you find your business is running into situations like this, consider collecting participant feedback to learn where the gaps in your training course are and how you can fix them. When designing a participant feedback survey, ask questions such as:
- Are there any concepts you wish had been covered in training? Checking the overall quality and depth of your courses’ content should be one of your first priority. If there is something fundamental to your employee’s daily work that is not being covered in your training, discovering what it is and how you can add it to your training is essential for improving your training process.
- Was the registration process easy to complete? Take a holistic approach to your online training and don’t neglect that your participants will need to navigate your class registration process to get started with your online training.
- What types of training activities helped you the most in learning and retaining information? Are all of your lessons and activities helpful for participants and help them in their roles? While everyone has their own learning style, asking participants about what was and was not effective can help you refine your training courses for future employees.
To get the most accurate feedback about your courses, consider making your surveys anonymous. Astron Solutions’ guide to employee loyalty emphasizes how anonymity helps employees feel like they can be more honest, especially when it comes to sensitive topics such as if they felt adequately prepared for their position when first beginning work.
Online training can transform how your business helps new employees prepare for their roles at your organization, while also providing experienced employees with opportunities to grow and refine their skills. Explore online courses, resources, and best practices to provide your employees with the most effective online training experience possible.
About the Author
Asaf Darash, Founder and CEO of Regpack, has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and investor. Asaf has built 3 successful companies to date, all with an exit plan or that have stayed in profitability and are still functional. Asaf specializes in product development for the web, team building and in bringing a company from concept to an actualized unit that is profitable.