Top 5 Online Training Mistakes That May Negatively Impact Your ROI

How To Avoid 5 Online Training Mistakes That May Negatively Impact Your ROI

Is your online training program helping your organization or holding you back? You invest a lot of time and money into your online training initiatives. However, there may be underlying online training mistakes that are diminishing your ROI. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy the errors, improve resource allocation, and enhance the effectiveness of your online training courses. Here are the top 5 online training mistakes that have an effect on your ROI and useful tips to overcome them.

1. Online Training Materials That Lack Real World Context

Data is just data until your employees assign meaning. You cannot simply flood your online training course with facts, stats, and task steps, and then hope that employees find relevancy. When all is said and done, your employees must be able to apply the information and skills in the workplace. This means that your online training program must impart practical knowledge in real contexts. One of the best ways to accomplish this is virtual branching scenarios, online training simulations, and storytelling. Employees are able to see how the online training translates in the real world, as well as the benefits it brings. Real world online training materials ensure that your employees can move from theory to practice. As such, they get the most from the online training experience and fill performance gaps.

Top Tip: Conduct task analysis and skills assessments to make your real world activities even more effective. This gives you the opportunity to see where employees are struggling and how they apply the information they've already learned. You can also use LMS metrics and manager evaluations to add more value to your online training program.

2. Failing To Pre-Assess Your Corporate Learners

Many organizations test their employees at the end of the online training course. But this does not give them any indication of an employee's progress or improvements. Furthermore, they are unable to evaluate knowledge and skills gaps beforehand and then recommend the appropriate online resources. It's essential to assess your employees prior to the online training course. Focus on specific skills, tasks, and topics so that you can identify strengths and weaknesses. Use the results to customize your online training course design and offer employees targeted tools and resources. Diagnostic assessments also allow you to pinpoint areas for improvement in your online training program. For example, if a vast majority of your employees have the same skill gaps after completing the online training course, this is a tell-tale sign that it's time to make modifications.

3. Lack Of Objectives And Goals

Every online training course needs a clear purpose. One of the biggest online training mistakes that negatively impact your ROI is putting content first and objectives second. It all starts with carefully crafted goals, learning objectives, and desired outcomes. These elements serve as a guide while creating your online training initiatives. They allow you to choose the best possible online training materials, resources, and instructional approach. Sit down with your eLearning team and stakeholders to identify training "pain points." Then use your findings to write succinct learning objective statements. You should also get input from your employees, as they have the inside scoop on the current online training programs. For example, they're able to tell you which activities are relevant and align with their personal goals.

4. Creating A "General" Online Training Program

Since we're on the subject of personal goals, now is a good time to talk about generalized online training. Different employees have different needs and preferences. As such, they require different online training activities and delivery methods to achieve their goals. Personalized online training paths are one of the best ways to achieve this. Every employee has the opportunity to focus on tasks, skills, and topics based on their work responsibilities. For example, sales associates are able to brush up on negotiation skills and POS tasks, while HR staff can master company policies and hiring processes. Give them the chance to choose from a list of activities or provide a microlearning online resource library. Each member of your team gets the individualized training they need when they need it.

Top Tip: Personalized feedback is essential in online training. Employees need praise and constructive criticism now and then to help them continually improve. Identify areas for improvement and offer recommendations after each online training course or module. Encourage employees to give and receive peer-based feedback, and create an online forum where they can share thoughts and ideas. All of these online activities offer the individualized support they need to make the online training experience personal and memorable.

5. Treating Online Training As A "One-Time Thing"

Some organizations perceive online training as a one-time occurrence. They give employees the information they require at the moment, and then never follow-up. The problem with this approach is that employees aren't able to reinforce or refresh their knowledge. Your staff needs ongoing online training to reinforce what they've already learned and refresh their skills. Otherwise, your organization will have to contend with the dreaded "forgetting curve." Provide your employees just-in-time online training resources that they can access anytime, anywhere. Host monthly webinars and live Q&A online sessions where they can interact with online instructors and co-workers. Online training should be a continual process that encourages lifelong learning. One-time training is a waste of resources, as there is no support structure in place to improve knowledge retention.

Is your organization guilty of these online training mistakes? Are you making the most of your online training resources? These 5 tips can help you overcome obstacles as quickly as possible. Better yet, keep these tips on-hand to avoid them entirely and maximize your online training ROI.

You can also share these 5 online training mistakes with your Instructional Designer and then work together on how to increase your online training ROI. Read the article The 5 Worst Fears Of Corporate eLearning Designers to defeat all the fears that are preventing your online training course from meeting its true potential.

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