Technology and all the ways we use it has made us all impatient and left suffering from technology deficit disorder, TDD. Is that even a thing? Technology allows us to no longer have idle time. You see it at stop lights, waiting in line to order lunch, before a movie starts, waiting for the bus…it’s everywhere. It’s also while people are driving, walking, riding a bike, on a skateboard and I’m sure soon when you’re surfing. I guess doing one thing just isn’t enough. Sometimes I am watching tv while sending texts, checking my Instagram feed, checking my email and playing a brain game. At the same time. We need to let our brains rest and recharge. People are on their devices everywhere and all the time. I hope this doesn’t come off like old school curmudgeon, technophobe luddite but seriously, we need to look up and see the world, because it’s amazing and most people are missing it.
Today, why not try taking 5 minutes to put down your phone and just watch the world go by? I bet it’s harder than it sounds and feels a lot longer than 5 minutes.
Using technology while you are on the move is dangerous. Using it all the time is likely not only bad for your health, but it allows us to be brain lazy. You never have to strain your brain to think up the answer to anything you just google it. I do it too. Heck I run a software company. Please try and understand the irony in writing a blog post about using more technology to use less technology. I try to see the humor in everything.
The average American Spends 5 hours per day on their mobile devices. Shouldn’t we at least try to maximize that time? Let’s talk about using technology to get away from it. One of the main reasons we built LearningZen was to improve consistency but also to greatly improve efficiency. We wanted customer to be able to train but in a way that your audience wants and expects it to be delivered. Electronically and utilizing video. I love technology and for online training and lot’s of other things I think it’s brilliant. If you’re between 18 and 30 years old, chances are, if you don’t know how to do something you are going to go to YouTube and watch a video and learn how to do it, then try to do it. I just did this 3 weeks ago because I bought a new bike rack. I took one look at the directions then went to YouTube and brought up a video of someone installing the exact same bike rack. After I watched the video I installed the bike rack in all of 5 minutes. The best part is I knew I did it right the first time because I saw someone do it correct the first time and they gave me tips and tricks in the video. It gave me peace of mind when I headed on a 500 mile journey with my daughters bike and mine both brand new. I was confident the bike rack would do its job because I didn’t have the self-doubt that maybe I interpreted the instructions wrong. Anyone whose put together a piece of IKEA furniture recently is likely nodding.
Back to my point, let’s use technology to put down technology and see the world and get engaged in all of life’s beauty. Yeah I get it, it’s a weird scary political climate right now, but thankfully this isn’t a political blog and I don’t have the kind of time to attempt to explain the kind of batshit crazy town going on today. I’m talking about seeing the world because of the incredible access we have to it. We no longer are limited to just reading about other countries and cultures, we can submerse ourselves in them. All because of the power of technology and the internet. Let’s be the people that go out into the world and truly experience it firsthand. We need to look up to experience it. Your neck and back will thank you.
In today’s fast paced world, it is essential for businesses to keep up with technology to stay in the race. There are many reasons why small businesses and corporations should be leveraging technology for learning and training purposes.
- Cost Effective Training
Employees can access training 24/7 from the comfort of their own home. Online training cuts out the cost of traveling, whether that is sending employees to external training or traveling to train employees at multiple locations. Companies utilizing a learning management system, boast a higher employee retention rate. The savings in onboarding expenses is reason alone to migrate to online employee training.
- More Time for Managers to Manage
Managers no longer need to conduct the same training time and time again. They can focus on other ways of improving employee quality of life. Managers can spend more time building a culture that will help employees feel more at home and increase retention rate. They can offer more guidance and even come up with creative perks that will even further increase retention.
- More Effective Way of Learning
In this age of millennials, the way that people expect to learn has evolved. Social media has become a preferred digital alternative for the “traditional” social life. Online learning is more in line with the digital lives of millennials. E-learning also allows employees to move at their own pace. Traditional external training can be frustrating for those who find the pace to be too fast or too slow. E-learning also supports videos, interactive learning through gamification, and can be accessed from mobile devices. A learning management system allows us to learn in the way that we most love to learn.
- Easily Tracks Employee Progress and Performance
Most learning management systems offer detailed metrics and reporting. If you see that an employee is struggling, you can offer supplemental resources. If you find that multiple employees are struggling with a particular course, you assess and revise the eLearning content as needed.
- Reduce Carbon Footprint
Online Training will reduce the amount of travel required and save loads of paper. “Going Green” can also help a company gain public favor. This list merely scrapes the surface of what a Learning Management System has to offer. Classroom training is a thing of the past. The transition to an online training platform can be simple, enjoyable, and rewarding. The most difficult part is selecting the right LMS for you and your business.
How to Identify a Fill the Employee Skills Gap
with Online Training
What if you knew going in when you interviewed someone their strengths and weaknesses? It’s a question we often ask when we interview someone after all. But, their objective at a job interview isn’t to tell you what they are weak at all, they are there to make the best possible impression so it’s generally not a good indication is it? But, what if you had a way to know? Would it make your job easier, would you hire different people than you do today? What if every hire you made was going to be a long-term asset to your company? Boy that would be amazing wouldn’t it! Well while we are imagining this perfect hiring process, what if once you hired this new addition, you had the chance to also determine their strengths? How would that change things? Would you change the way you on boarded them?
Well, you know my answer, right? I mean Online Training is what we do here. It’s our passion our focus and our livelihood. But it’s also a darn good tool in both the scenarios we just daydreamed about. Take interviewing or even weeding thru applicants to determine who to interview, it is a crazy time-consuming process and I can’t tell you how often I hear “I can teach skills, but it’s so much harder to teach someone to be passionate about doing a good job.” That’s it right, think about your best employees, they care, they are interested, and they are determined. So why not give your applicants the opportunity to exhibit that quality to you from the beginning? Yep you guessed it offer up a chance to take an online training course or two or five. I don’t know about you but I’m much more likely to hire someone that took the Who We Are and Why We Love What We Do Course! I want them to be interested I want them to know what they are getting into.
Okay so now you’ve hired some amazing interested new employees and it’s time to get them ready for onboarding and training. What if you could cut down the onboarding process? Yep you guessed it why not prepare them with online training so when they come in on their first day they are armed with familiarity and ready to ask questions about the items they weren’t sure about. The best part is your trainers can be prepared as well with reports showing course taking statistics that indicate what they do and do not need to reinforce as well. Starting a new job is scary but ask any new employee the more information and training available the easier it is. Telling me there are no dumb questions is great, but offering the info ahead of time, so I don’t have to ask dumb questions even better!
Wait, there’s more! I’ve always wanted to say that, and in this case, I’m not even exaggerating. Because the bonus to this whole discussion we’ve had is that Online Training is available anytime and anywhere. So not only can you pre-train, train and test, you can also recertify on an ongoing basis and answer questions whenever they come up. It’s like the employee has a direct line to the trainer or Manager but the trainer doesn’t have to answer the phone at 11pm on a Saturday. What’s that saying, “happy spouse happy life” Yeah less time on the phone after hours is a mighty good step.
Hopefully this little blog post gave you a few things to think about. Do you have any ideas or tips to add? If, so we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
Always emphasize the benefits and on-the-job applications of the online training session. Employees simply aren’t going to be motivated to learn if they aren’t aware of the real world value and benefits of the subject matter. If you give them real world applications or reasons on why they should perform their online training sessions, it helps to set the stage for their personal and professional growth in their specific job roles. They can then see the direct benefit; like how to upsell on a new desert item or add on bottle of wine sale will directly affect their overall tips and put more money in their paycheck at the end of the night. This will keep their motivation up and their attention focused on the task at hand, which is absorbing the key takeaways from the online training.
Encourage an online training culture within your company. Online training should be more than a mandatory activity. It should be part of the culture of your company. Most of your younger staff members are probably expecting some form of online training. Your employees should also realize how greatly they can benefit professionally from their online training, and must be well aware of how much your company values their true devotion and participation. While mandatory online training can be boring and frustrating for employees, if you make it your mission to embrace online training and to encourage your employees to get on board, then you can put a positive spin on the overall online training experience and motivate them. Send out newsletters and emails that stress the benefits of an online training module or event, and get them excited about improving their skills and mastering new tasks.
Give them a variety of interactive opportunities. Knowing your audience and understanding that there is a variety of Learning styles and tailoring your Training to those different learning styles will help tremendously in the adoption and usage of an Online Training program. Using videos for the younger generation is highly recommended for this group. They are used to pulling up videos online to learn how to perform a certain task or method of operation. Also, interactive games or gamification is a great tool to create further enhance the engagement of the Online training. It just makes it more fun to play a game then read a bunch of black and white text. This will help motivate your employees because they will actively participate and gain that knowledge as it becomes more fun for the employees to actively participate in the process.
Set up a reward or incentive program. One of the most powerful ways to motivate employees in online training is to offer them rewards or incentives. If they are performing well and passing all of their assessments with flying colors, offer them some form of praise or create an incentive system that allows them to earn credits or points for their hard work. While learning skills and acquiring new knowledge should be its own reward, there are times when employees need that extra boost to complete online training modules or attend online training events. You can also gamify your online training in order to integrate rewards, such as allowing them to advance to the next level once they’ve finished a module.
If you’re looking for ways to engage your employees and to achieve the maximum job performance boost out of your online training, then it’s all about motivation. Each of these tips to motivate your employees can help you to get them excited and inspired, so that they can become active participants in the online training process.
Your Learning Management System (LMS) can be a powerful learning center, whether for product knowledge, sales development, operations, compliance and as a part of your blended training.
The easiest way to get your franchises to not only use your LMS but get their buy in is to use it yourself. If you do not have a corporate culture of learning and development, focus there first.
You have to be willing to be an example of the results you are looking for from your franchisees. Your franchisees will do as you do not as you say.
Begin to develop that culture of learning by offering a blended learning approach to your franchisee onboarding process.
- You can create a group of courses (track) that your franchisees will have to complete in your LMS before scheduling their in-house training.
- You can have your franchisee take any safety courses, policies, and general operational information via your LMS. This will free up time during your in-house training to focus on the topics that will help them run a successful business.
When it comes to designing your courses for maximum engagement:
- Design your courses to be interactive and something that your franchisees look forward to taking. One long chapter that is all text will turn off the student and result in far less engagement.
- Is your portal inviting? Does it encourage your users to want to come back? Does it highlight your brand? These are all questions to ask when designing your training portal to gain the maximum buy in from your franchisees.
- Will a good number of your students be taking their training courses on a mobile device? If yes, you will want to ensure your LMS is mobile friendly. This is also something to keep in mind when creating your courses.
Encourage your franchisees to create a culture of learning. Franchisees can encourage employee discussions about the training courses they have taken and what did they learn from the course at the weekly staff meetings. Give recognition for the highest score, most successfully completed courses, etc…
Organizational learning is an ongoing, dynamic process and should be part of your system’s DNA. A culture of learning supports an environment where everyone learns, everyone teaches, and everyone shares knowledge. Franchise Systems that embrace a culture of learning can expect to gain and sustain a competitive advantage over those that do not.