How To Offer Personalized Online Training Experiences For Your Employees
Sadly, many of us have sat through online training experiences in the past wherein we questioned if the instructional designers and trainers had even the slightest idea of who we really were. Their online training materials completely missed the mark in terms of our performance goals, or they seemed to be under the impression that every employee had the same needs and preferences. In other words, the online training completely lacked a personal touch.
As eLearning professionals, this scenario is what we try to avoid at all costs. So, the question becomes how we can provide our corporate learners with the customized online training experiences they need to achieve their objectives and enhance their workplace productivity.
- Emphasize the real world benefits of your online training program.
One of the most effective ways to engage your corporate learners and make them feel as if the online training is custom tailored for them is stressing real world benefits. Make them aware of how the online training course will improve some aspect of their lives and help them to become more efficient in the workplace. They must know that the online training content you are offering is going to fill a need and help them achieve a goal. Otherwise, it won't provide them any real value. It's wise to mention the benefits and desired outcome in the description of the online training course, and then emphasize them periodically. Each of the online training activities should also tie into the benefits and goals in order to keep them motivated.
- Create personal online training paths.
There is no "one size fits all" approach when it comes to personalized online training. Every corporate learner must be able to pursue their individual goals and get the skills and information they need to succeed. For this reason, it's important to give them the opportunity to create a personal learning path that works best for them and aligns with their objectives. Ask them to set specific goals and map out how they will achieve them. Give them the ability to choose their own online training activities and which modules they will complete next. With this being said, you must also be willing to offer them the support they need to reach their true potential, such as online resources, mentorships, and online forums where they can address their questions and concerns.
- Incorporate their personal interests.
Conduct audience research to figure out what your corporate learners truly enjoy. Are there any activities or hobbies that you can tie into the online training experience? Is there a way that you can integrate their personal interests into the instructional design of your online training course? For example, if you discover that a vast majority of your corporate learners enjoy the arts and entertainment, why not put a Hollywood spin on your online training program or incorporate paintings and museum-worthy images into your corporate eLearning design. You can use their interests as a common thread throughout every online training activity and module so that they are constantly engaged and entertained.
- Give them control of the online training experience.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most effective ways for creating a personalized online training program. Giving employees control over the online training process makes them feel empowered. They know that they don't have to keep pace with their peers or participate in online training activities that don't appeal to them. Instead, they can progress at a speed there are comfortable with, and engage in activities that appeal to them and meet their learning needs. As a result, they can absorb and retain the information before moving onto the next module and have the opportunity to take charge of their own professional growth. In addition, you may want to consider self-assessments that allow them to gauge their own progress throughout the online training process. They can also use these knowledge checks to refresh their memory and ensure that they are still on track to achieving their goals.
- Include emotionally compelling imagery.
Images in online training have the power to convey a broad range of emotions, which is why they always hold an important place in online training experiences. You know what they say: "a picture is worth a thousand words." It's essential, however, to search for images that convey the right meanings and emotions, as well as relate to the subject matter. Videos, online presentations, cartoon graphics, and eLearning scenarios are also great ways to include that all-important visual component. Before you starting adding imagery decide which feelings you are trying to evoke. Are you trying to excite and inspire your corporate learners, or do you want to calm them before a big test? You should also consider the cultural significance of images. For example, a photo of a common gesture might mean entirely different things to different corporate learners, depending on their background.
- Integrate relatable stories and serious games.
Emotionally-centered stories that feature real world challenges or situations can make your corporate learners feel immersed in the online training experience. It can also help them understand how they can apply what they have learned and why the online training is necessary, to begin with. Serious games can have the same effect. Give them the opportunity to earn badges, points, or progress to the next level so that they have a sense of achievement. The goal is to motivate them to actively participate by sparking their competitive nature, even if they are just competing with their own will power.
The beauty of personalized online training experiences is that every employee will walk away feeling as if it was made just for them. This not only increases employee satisfaction, but also enables them to provide better service to your consumers, which translates into an improved bottom line for your organization.
Are you looking for the ideal LMS for your personalized online training program? Read the article Top 10 Cloud Based Learning Management Systems For Corporate Training to discover the top cloud-based Learning Management Systems that you may want to consider.