7 Techniques To Explore Employees’ Backgrounds And Preferences For Online Training

7 Techniques To Explore Employees’ Backgrounds And Preferences For Online Training
Summary: You need to make it personal to leave a lasting impression. How do you get to know employees without blurring the lines and violating their privacy? In this article, I share 7 techniques to explore their backgrounds for online training.

Techniques To Identify Employees' Preferences And Backgrounds

You vet employees before offering them the position. So, you know a little about who they are what they need to learn. However, recruiting barely brushes the surface if you want to enhance online training personalization. You need to know what makes them tick. Why they’re driven to succeed and which resources they require to do so. The catch is that there are data protection laws and company policies that complicate audience research. These techniques can help you disclose their backgrounds and preferences for employee online training without making them feel uncomfortable.

1. Polls And Surveys

Polls and surveys aren’t ideal for deep diagnostics. However, they are a good starting point. Given that they offer a general overview of employee backgrounds and preferences to spot common themes. For example, the training needs analysis survey reveals that most of your staffers prefer demo videos over text tutorials. You can also explore commonalities in their background, such as shared experiences or goals. Post the polls on social media or in the employee training LMS to expand your reach. Try to keep questionnaires to five minutes or less to respect employees’ time. Plus, they’re more likely to respond if it’s quick and painless.

2. Live Events

Live events involve more spontaneous and candid feedback. Employees are there to voice their opinions and concerns in real-time. You can start with a topic to break the ice, then invite their input. This also gives you the opportunity to get to know them on a personal basis. As well as evaluate the beliefs/cultural norms that impact their online training experience. Try to keep groups small so that everyone can be heard and feels more comfortable sharing.

3. Online Forums

Start an online forum specifically for employee preferences in online training. Encourage them to post their thoughts about recent courses or activities. They can also use the platform to suggest resources that align with their needs to provide inspiration. For example, videos or online guides that hit on all the key points and have the right delivery format. Another approach is to "disguise" the online forum as a peer feedback platform. Invite them to share their thoughts, even if they don’t tie into the training content. You can learn a lot about employees from their interests and personal anecdotes.

4. Social Media Groups

Launch a social media group for every department where you can post open-ended questions and targeted polls. This also gives employees a place to ask questions about the training they may be too embarrassed to ask openly. As the group is closed and only select members have access. Keep questions short and focus on a single topic or area of concern to prompt participation. You can even use social media groups to host live Q&As that probe further into their likes, dislikes, and backgrounds. Invite attendees to share their personal experiences (avoiding TMI details) and how training impacts their daily lives.

5. Pop Quizzes

Quizzes may not seem like a viable diagnostic tool when it comes to employee preferences. After all, they’re usually intended for troubleshooting. To spot gaps before they turn into full-fledged performance issues. However, content and question formatting make a world of difference. Develop brief pop quizzes that center on a single skill or task. This enables you to zero in on common areas of improvement and identify standout performers. Namely, those who can become mentors or coaches in that area to facilitate knowledge sharing within the organization.

6. Peer Coaching Interviews

This training needs analysis tool involves one-on-one evaluation. Employees use video conferencing tools to conduct brief, casual interviews. You can also use live chats to conduct the sessions. Interviewers are provided a list of questions or they can simply see where the conversation leads them. The goal is to find out as much as possible about the trainee and what motivates them. Where do they see their careers a year from now and which training tools will get them there? Are there any hidden talents that derive from past experiences they haven’t yet shared with your organization? Peer coaching interviews are so effective because everyone’s on the same level. Those being mentored are already familiar with the in-house expert. And the expert knows which questions to ask based on their experiences and insider knowledge.

7. LMS Reports

The information you need regarding employee preferences in online training may already be sitting in your LMS. Evaluate reports to look for trends and patterns. Such as activities that are more popular than others among certain groups. Or exams with high failure rates that may indicate a larger problem. You may need to develop personas or group profiles to analyze the results. For instance, employees with more experience don’t have the same training behaviors or habits as new hires. Thus, you need to look at their analytics from a different angle. In addition, LMS reports feature data visualizations that simplify training needs analysis and background research. That spike in the graph means that your employees enjoy the activity and it aligns with their personal preferences. Therefore, you may want to offer them more of the same in future courses.

Training needs analysis is the first and most important step in employee online training design. Content must be culturally appropriate, learner-centered, and gap-bridging to be worth the investment. Polls, live events, and forums are just the tip of the research iceberg. Use these techniques to explore employees’ personal preferences, goals, and breadth of experience to custom tailor training experiences.

An eLearning content provider can help you evaluate your current program and shift your L&D focus. As well as research the needs and expectations of your corporate learners. Find the right training needs analysis service provider using our online directory.