5 Ways To Evaluate Employee Online Training Expectations

5 Ways To Evaluate Employee Online Training Expectations
Summary: Getting your team to sign up for (or agree to) online training is a challenge. Would it be easier or even possible to know what their intentions were before they start the online training course? In this article, I explore 5 ways to evaluate employee training expectations.

How To Evaluate Employee Online Training Expectations

Employee online training expectations should have an impact on your design process. After all, there are multiple facets involved in online training. We often focus on the "harder" practical aspects. These include online training course purchase/design, and onboarding employees. However, none of this matters if your employees are uninterested or unwilling to put in the effort. Their apathy isn’t always their fault. Sometimes, the online training course you’re offering simply doesn’t meet their needs. Or they’re unaware of the benefits. It’s better to start from a point of knowing what they want. While post-course reviews can be useful, it’s more helpful to find out what your employees require going in. It makes the process better for everyone.

How Do Employees Really Feel About Your L&D Program?

1. Ask For Online Training Objectives

Begin with broad strokes. The trouble with asking your employees questions is it puts them on the spot. They do their best to give the answers they think you want, rather than giving their genuine opinions. Wide queries are more likely to be useful because they don’t herd responses in any direction. Ask general questions about the skills your team wants to acquire. If they could train in anything, regardless of location or cost, what would it be?

Of course, you’ll get some unreasonable suggestions. But you’ll start to get an idea of what your employees want out of online training. It will show you where their minds are at, and what sort of online training courses they’d be interested in. Remember to reassure them there are no restrictions. You want the "blue sky thinking" version. It gives you a massive canvas to work with as you shop around for curriculum developers or start compiling your in-house L&D team.

2. Review Prior Online Training Courses

Some online training courses are mandatory for all workers, while others are elective. With the latter, employees who have undertaken online training in the past are more likely to sign up in the future. They are also more familiar with the online training space. Talk to them about their previous experience with online training courses. Structured questions are best here, with a sort of before-after perspective. They may not remember much, but every bit helps.

Ask them what their thoughts were going into the online training course, and whether their perspective shifted. Were they surprised by the layout of the online training course? Pleasantly or unpleasantly? In what specific ways did the online training course change their work day or skill set? Is there anything they’d have wanted that they didn’t get? If they could add (or remove) anything from the online training course, what would it be? Give them full leeway to answer. You could try having this conversation informally, over lunch or during a live online training event.

3. Do An Email Survey

Email is a key part of every corporate’s day, so it’s a useful way to learn about employee online training expectations. Be careful with how you compose the email. They have numerous to deal with, and you don’t want it getting lost in the pile. Worse, you don’t want them giving you a perfunctory response just to get it out of the way. To make your results more accurate, make the survey short and to the point, five questions at the most. Check-boxes can help. But they might also lead answers because they point respondents towards the type of response you expect.

Instead, frame the questions in a way that draws quick, one-word answers. You could ask something like, "Describe your job using five words e.g. challenging, exciting, complex, fun etc." This does lead them, but it’s broad enough to stay objective. Then follow up with a more direct question like. "List five tasks in your job that you wish you did better e.g. email, talking to clients, negotiating payments, filing etc."

4. Create An Anonymous Feedback Portal

The questions above seem simple enough, but employees may still feel pressured. After all, by typing out their "on the job flaws" it feels like they’re telling on themselves. If you’re worried about that, you can use the same approach and structure, but make it anonymous. Program a portion of your existing online training program and arm it with survey pop-ups. It can prompt employees to leave feedback that will be used to develop future online training courses.

In the LMS you can get more specific, because it’s anonymous. Ask if there’s anything they dislike about their current online training course or about offline office training. You could find out what their preferred mode of learning is, and what their ideal online training course looks like. What do they want to see and what would they rather do without? You could even ask them to review competitor online training courses, to see what works and what doesn’t.

5. Evaluate LMS metrics

LMS metrics offer amazing insight into employee training expectations based on engagement and past performance. For example, very few employees are accessing the health and safety simulation or are clicking away before completion. This may indicate that the activity falls short of their expectations and doesn’t address their needs or skill gaps. You can also compile survey and questionnaire data in your LMS to transform them into visualizations. Such as charts and graphs that allow you to identify weak points in your online training strategy.


Market research makes a world of difference, even if the market is your own staff. By knowing employee training expectations, you’re better able to offer them what they need. This makes your online training course a better investment all around. Question your team about their broad online training objectives and what they want out of any online training course. Go over previous  courses they’ve studied and run surveys, either via corporate email or anonymously on the company LMS. The data you gather will vastly enhance eLearning course design and L&D effectiveness.

Another great way to surpass employee expectations is to host live events and team meetings that bring everyone together. Fortunately, you can find the best web conferencing system in our exclusive online directory.