3 Ways To Make Sure Your Employees Care For Self-Paced Learning

How To Get Your Employees To Care For Self-Paced Learning

Why would your employees care for self-paced learning? Just imagine your organization has introduced a new "sales rep application".  You have great expectations from this new tool because it is supposed to improvise the existing sales process and help employees manage sales interactions efficiently. More specifically, the tool will make it easier for your staff to manage sales calls, showcase products, and close deals on the go. To train your salespeople on the new tool, you have created a new eLearning course and uploaded it on the company’s Learning Management System. The objective of the course is to help sales people learn how to use the new "sales rep application" tool as soon as possible and start using it for their calls. Logically, it seems to be a great user-centric product and quite naturally, you expect the course to be a great success. On the contrary, you find the course has very few takers. Even those who registered failed to complete the course. The application usage has not been as desired. Sales reps continued to use the old methods to interact with their prospects, showcase the products, and take orders. What could be the reason?

There could be many reasons, but in all probability, it could be any of the following:

  1. Sales people did not understand how the application will help them in their jobs.
  2. The sales force did not realize how the application addressed the problems they were facing in their jobs.
  3. The course structure was confusing and difficult to comprehend.
  4. The course did not give the option to stop in between and continue later.
  5. Employees didn’t see any incentive in completing the course.

So, what can you do to ensure your employees enthusiastically take the eLearning course newly hosted on the Learning Management System? In order to make sure your employees care for self-paced learning and take it seriously, you need to start from the beginning – i.e., right at the time you design your online course.

You need to understand what motivates experienced learners and make sure of the following aspects.

1. Set Clear Learning Objectives

Your employees need to know why they should take time off to do the course, what are the objectives of the course. If you state the learning objective as follows: “Understand the Sales Rep Application” or “Learn to use the Sales Rep Application”, it does not provide any compelling reason for the sales person. However, if you state the learning objective as “Be able to take orders using the new Sales Rep Application” or “Access product information using bar code scanning”, it provides definitive information to the sales person and generates positive interest in the course. Here the learning objectives help the sales people set clear expectations from the course, which is a good starting point to elicit support for the course.

2. Specify How The Course Will Help Them In Their Jobs

Motivation to learn is stronger if employees realize the learning will solve specific problems they encounter at work. When asking your sales representatives to enroll for the course, you need to share how the course will help them in doing their jobs more quickly and efficiently. It is possible that some sales people might not understand the benefits of using a new technological application to interact with prospects and process their orders. Sales people may also have varying digital skills and may be reluctant to embrace technology. Therefore, you need to provide clear, compelling benefits the new method is going to bring their way – such as reducing the time taken to share product information with clients, accessing relevant information faster, an easier way to close the deal, and so on.

3. Make Learning Self-Directed

Adults have a very deep need to be self-directing. Instead of enforcing what they need to learn, it is always better to let learners take the initiative for their learning. So, when designing a course, it is best to offer a choice in terms of testing out of certain modules, or choosing the sequence of study (as long as it does not impact effective knowledge transfer). Allow them to go back and forth within the module if they want to re-visit a portion or skip those parts they don’t need to go through. Experienced learners prefer to take ownership of their learning and reward you with faster and on-time completion of courses.

These are some aspects you need to keep in mind to design compelling eLearning courses. To know more about it and also other aspects that go into designing online courses, download the eBook Instructional Design 101: A Handy Reference Guide to eLearning Designers now!

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