8 Tips To Create Personalized Online Training Paths

8 Tips To Create Personalized Online Training Paths
Summary: Effective online training is relevant, targeted, and goal-centered. It gives EVERY employee the opportunity to achieve their online training objectives and bridge performance gaps. In this article, I'll share 8 tips to create personalized online training paths to meet your staff's individual needs.

How To Create Personalized Online Training Paths

Personalized online training paths involve online training activities, assessments, and goals that are custom tailored to the individual. No two online training plans are alike, as every employee has specific strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. But how do you create a company-wide online training program that still resonates with people on a personal level? Here are 8 top tips to develop personalized online training paths for your organization.

1. Develop Individual Online Training Goals And Objectives

Think of the online training goals and objectives as a framework for your online training course. They give it shape and guide every aspect of the design process. In the case of personalized online training paths, the goals and objectives of the online training must be employee-centered. Every member of your staff should be able to focus on their own desired outcomes. Conduct surveys and pre-assessments to identify areas for improvement. Invite managers to observe employees on-the-job to evaluate their performance and recommend the next course of action. Most importantly, give employees the opportunity to create personalized objective statements based on their needs.

2. Create An Online Training Catalog

Mandatory compliance online training courses are the same across the board. Every employee has to complete them in order to earn their certificate or stay current with local regulations. However, there are others that cater to specific individuals. For example, certain customer service associates need to brush up on their communication skills. But others may consider it one of their strengths. Forcing these individuals to take the online training course would be a waste of time and resources. They already have the necessary skills and experience. However, an online training catalog allows employees to pick-and-choose online resources that are relevant and timely. They have the ability to access online tutorials to improve their task proficiency, or webinars when they forget an important company policy. Employees get the online training they need when they need it.

3. Develop Personalized Evaluation Criteria

Personalized online training objectives call for personalized course evaluation criteria. You must give employees the ability to demonstrate what they know and how well they know it. For example, a branching scenario or online training simulation may be the best approach for task evaluations. Especially if you're working with a distributed workforce and on-the-job observations aren't plausible. Get input from your staff to find out how they'd like to be assessed. Some may prefer written exams, when applicable, while others want to put their knowledge into practice by taking a scenario-based online assessment.

4. Set Realistic Milestones

Ambitious corporate learners may set lofty online training goals for themselves and then struggle to meet them. They may feel discouraged or disheartened when they don't reach them on time, which has a negative impact on their engagement and motivation. This is why it's so important to set realistic milestones that are actually achievable. Encourage your employees to develop a personalized timeline that features all of their long and short-term goals. Break each item down into bite-sized tasks so that it's easier to track.

5. Incorporate Online Self-Assessments To Track Personal Progress

Online self-assessments give employees the power to check their progress periodically and focus on specific skill gaps. When they detect a problem, they can quickly seek out additional online resources to remedy the issue and stay on track. This also boosts their motivation, as they have the power to build their skills and expand their knowledge base asynchronously. Keep in mind that self-assessments should be used in conjunction with formal online training assessments. This allows you to monitor their performance on a continual basis and intervene when necessary.

6. Provide Upskilling Opportunities

Your top performers appreciate the opportunity to broaden their skills and move beyond the required online training. As such, it's wise to create secondary online training paths that they can pursue on their own time. For example, sales staff are able to build their negotiation skills or explore other talents that help them seal the deal. Cross-training paths are another option. Especially if you need to fill gaps when employees are out of the office. Other staff members can take over their tasks to keep the organization running like a finely-tuned machine. Collect employee feedback to determine which skills and abilities they wish to develop. You can also get your manager's input and use LMS metrics to identify current skill gaps.

7. Integrate Personal Interests And Passions

Employees must be able to connect with the online training course on a personal level, even though they're building professional skill sets. For this reason, you should consider their interests, passions, and preferences when you develop your online training program. Allow them to create their own online training materials to demonstrate their knowledge and make the online training experience more relatable. Conduct online surveys and questionnaires to learn about their hobbies and feature them with real world examples and serious games.

8. Focus On Practical Performance

Above all else, personalized online training paths are pragmatic. The online training experience is of little value if employees can't use the knowledge they've acquired. As such, you must integrate real world online training activities that focus on workplace application. For example, branching scenarios that feature customer personas or online training simulations that let them explore new software. Employees need to use their knowledge and skills in context, as well as discover the repercussions of their decisions and behaviors. Every wrong decision in a branching scenario brings them closer to an unfavorable outcome. As a result, they learn from their mistakes and don't have to make them on-the-job.

Personalized online training paths require in-depth research, feedback, and employee involvement. They give your staff the power to take charge of the online training experience and become active participants in the process. This also helps to facilitate a strong corporate learning culture that increases employee satisfaction and retains your top talent.

Want to create more opportunities for your employees to expand their skills and knowledge? Read the article 8 Tips To Create A Corporate eLearning Culture to discover 8 tips on how to create a successful corporate eLearning culture that may reinvigorate your employees.