8 Tips To Maximize Manager Involvement In Online Training

8 Tips To Maximize Manager Involvement In Online Training
Summary: Online training is a team sport, and your managers are the head coaches. They provide guidance, support, and valuable online training experiences to every member of your staff. In this article, I’ll share 8 tips for maximizing manager involvement in your online training program.

How To Maximize Manager Involvement In Online Training

Enthusiasm can be contagious. In fact, it has something of a trickle-down effect when it comes to online training. If managers are passionate about ongoing online training and lead by example, then their subordinates will surely follow. So, the secret to getting your employees on board is to get your managers involved in the online training process. Here are some tips that can help you maximize manager involvement and make your online training more effective.

1. Get Managers Involved From Day 1

Managers work closely with your employees on a daily basis. This makes them a valuable source of information and performance insights. They can tell you which employees require extra support, identify common challenges, and offer advice on how to address skill gaps. For all of these reasons, your leadership team should be involved in the online training process from the very beginning. Even before you deploy your online training course, they can be an integral part of your corporate eLearning design and development team. Employee surveys, questionnaires and interviews can give you the staff's perspective. However, managers see things from a different point of view. They can pinpoint areas for improvement that employees may have overlooked or don't even know that exist.

2. Encourage Managers To Provide Employee Feedback

Managers can provide you with valuable feedback about employee behaviors and performance gaps, and they can do the same for your staff. One of the most effective ways to improve employee performace and workplace productivity is offering personalized feedback. Encourage your managers to provide constructive criticism and recommendations as soon as possible. For example, bringing attention to a task performance issue. The employee might not be aware that they are skipping steps or giving customers inaccurate information. A manager can intervene and remedy the problem before it escalates.

3. Create Training Contracts

Certain employees may need an extra incentive to actively participate in online training. A training contract can help managers hold employees accountable and uphold company-wide standards. These training contracts include personalized learning goals, activity recommendations, evaluation criteria, online training deadlines, and desired outcomes. They also outline repercussions for employees who don't uphold their end of the deal. Managers work with their subordinates to create an effective training contract that benefits all parties. They may even check-in with the employee periodically to gauge their progress.

4. Put Them In Charge Of A Group Of Corporate Learners

Divide your corporate learners into groups and appoint a manager who will lead them to success. These teams can be based on departments, positions, or even personal learning goals and skill gaps. Invite them to create their own social media group or blog to stay in touch and collaborate on online projects. Managers have the ability to interact with smaller groups of employees, which allows them to provide one-on-one guidance. They can also moderate the online discussion to ensure that corporate learners stay on-topic. In addition, they can recommend articles, online training videos, and webinars.

5. Make Them Online Training Advocates

This ties into the "enthusiasm is contagious" point I brought up earlier. Managers who are passionate about online training are more likely to pass that on to their subordinates. Employees can see that their supervisors are excited about the process, which emphasizes the value of the online training experience. As such, you must give your managers the online tools and resources they need to become corporate eLearning advocates. For example, offering them a pre-training online tutorial or seminar that explores the basics of your Learning Management System and online training strategy. Every manager should be aware of your learning goals, objectives, and desired outcomes so that they can keep employees in the loop.

6. Ensure That Managers Have An Active Online Presence

A majority of your employees if not all are already on social media and online forums. They use these online tools to stay in touch with friends and family, but not as valuable online training tools. For this reason, your managers should maintain an active online presence and be available for their team. Encourage them to create contact guidelines and resource lists for their subordinates. For example, specifying when and how employees can reach them, and which online platforms they should use. This allows employees to get the help they need without placing too much stress on your managers. After all, they can't be logged in round the clock in order to answer questions and recommend supplemental online training tools.

7. Hold Weekly Manager Online Meetups

Weekly online meetups give managers the opportunity to share their online training experiences, ask questions, and stay up-to-date with company news. You can use web conferencing software and online forums for your distributed workforce, as well as closed social media groups. This also allows them to keep the online discussion going, even if they don't have time to attend a live meeting. After the online meetup, managers can use their newfound knowledge and insight to improve their online training approach. If you can, provide managers with a list of talking points a day or two in advance so that they have time to reflect on the topics.

8. Emphasize The Importance Of Ongoing Online Training

Online training is an ongoing process that takes a strong work ethic, patience, and dedication. Your managers can keep your employees engaged and focused if they possess these all-important qualities. They must consistently reinforce positive performance behaviors and remind employees of the key learning objectives. When employees enthusiasm starts to wane, managers are there to give them additional support and encouragement.

These 8 tips can enhance a collaborative, engaging, and supportive corporate eLearning culture. With your managers manning the helm, every member of your staff can navigate obstacles and achieve the desired outcomes.

Are your front line managers prepared for the challenges that lie ahead? Download the free eBook Preparing Front-Line Managers To Succeed In Today’s Fast-Paced, Dynamic Workplace to learn how you can get your leaders ready for your ever-evolving workplace.