Successful businesses are able to keep employees up-to-date on new policies, products, and essential processes making sure that their workforces are implicated and educated when it comes to important company advancements. Providing effective training for on-site employees is one thing, but what about ensuring training for the growing number of employees that work remotely or spend a large amount of time on the road? In the US alone, Forrester Research forecasts that by 2016, 43% of the American workforce will telecommute. How can companies best reach these remote workers and teach them all they need to know?
Collaborative communication tools for the global “classroom”
Skyrocketing globalization has resulted in more and more “always connected” employees working around the clock and around the world. Audio, web, video conferencing, and Unified Communications solutions are ideal for rapidly sharing critical information with dispersed internal and external collaborators.
But when it comes to enterprise training, a mix of live and on-demand education is key to reaching all audiences.
Live training webinars enable employees to ask questions and interact with instructors – valuable for the learning process. But on-demand education is vital for catching employees unable to attend live training sessions due to scheduling conflicts, time zone differences, out-of-office commitments, etc… On-demand training enables employees to attend sessions when it’s most convenient for them and their job responsibilities. Pre-recorded on-demand training also allows employees to work at their own pace, measuring their progress and comprehension with quizzes.
Today’s corporate trainers know they must design their courses to meet the requirements of a wide variety of specific workers. On-demand training helps them to easily create educational content aimed at diverse groups:
• Different job functions require a different training focus. Managers, sales staff and support personnel have distinct roles and responsibilities that necessitate targeted content.
• Geography and culture influence content and language.
• Business verticals and markets may vary depending upon location.
Keeping up with the Dow Joneses: e-learning boosts revenues
While corporate training keeps employees in the loop and enhances their performance, the need for training extends beyond a company’s workforce. It’s also vital to provide regular training for business partners and customers to ensure their full understanding of products and services and their advanced features, effectively quashing support problems before they arise.
Frost & Sullivan cite the advantages of customer training: “These benefits and others will generate a more loyal customer base, which will have two positive effects: clients who are well trained to get the most out of their investment will evangelize those products to others, inside and outside their organization; and satisfied customers are easier to up-sell and cross-sell, especially compared to new users.”
And remember the easiest financial lesson of all: thanks to collaborative communications, the elimination of travel and lodging expenses, reduced paperwork, and the ability to train many people at once, e-learning saves your company time and money.
Effective and enjoyable: e-learning should be both
Here are a few ways to avoid a snooze-fest and guarantee that your employees, partners and customers absorb – and enjoy – your training:
1. Keep it short and sweet: People will quickly lose interest in training courses that take several hours to complete. Condense your course to less than two hours and you’ll keep your learners engaged and focused.
2. Choose the right on-screen presenter: Find someone likable, with a pleasant voice and an expressive face.
3. Make it pretty: Make your presentation interactive whenever possible. Incorporate video messages, games, cartoons and other attractive elements, as long as they’re relevant.
4. Tailor your content to your audience: Try to make each course’s content as role-specific and personalized as possible. Take diversity into account, and create variants that respect your participants’ languages and cultures.
5. Evaluate each participant’s progress: Include short tests or quizzes. These give both you and your audience a handle on how well the training is being absorbed.
6. Make e-learning the rule, not the exception: Get your people used to
e-learning by integrating it into the corporate routine. And update your training programs frequently, because there’s always something new to