Modern corporate learners are dealing with challenges that are unique to this digital era. In addition to long work hours and stressful job duties, employees are often weighed down with tech obligations. Emails and social media sites make their professional lives easier, in some respects, but they can also stand in the way of skill development and knowledge retention. In this article, I’ll discuss how to design effective online training experiences for overwhelmed corporate learners, so that they can acquire the skills they need to improve work performance.
How To Win The Bet With Overwhelmed Corporate Learners: 7 Success Factors For eLearning Professionals
One of the most significant challenges corporate training developers face today is overworked and overwhelmed corporate learners. Busy schedules, demanding job responsibilities, and tech distractions can spell disaster for an online training program. However, there are 7 tips that can help you create online training courses that grab and hold their attention, so that your corporate learners can achieve performance goals no matter how long their to-do lists might be.
- Concentrate on specific tasks.
Corporate learners simply do not have the time to go through countless pages of information to find the specific knowledge they need. If they need to know how to complete a task or develop a skill set, they must be able to gain immediate access to helpful resources. This is why it’s wise to concentrate on a single task, skill, or topic when you are creating your online training materials. Don’t force your corporate learners to sit through a half-hour eLearning course in order to figure out how to complete a simple process or do a job-related task. Give them the basic information they need, when they need, and avoid overwhelming them with extraneous facts and ideas that are not necessary in their “moment of need”.
- Make your online training “bite-sized”.
If you do have to deliver an abundance of information, try to break it down into bite-sized modules that are easy digestible. For example, a half-hour lesson can be divided into 5 minute sessions that focus on a specific topic or idea. Shorter modules give your corporate learners the ability to access the eLearning course quickly, absorb the knowledge effectively, and then get back to work. When they have another break they can simply logon to the corporate eLearning platform and complete the next online module. This also helps to reduce cognitive overload, which is always a plus.
- Offer them mobile training resources.
More and more learners are accessing information on their mobile devices these days, especially corporate learners who need immediate information on-the-job. If a sales associate is on the floor, they can simply click on the online training materials by using their smartphones and know all the details of a product within seconds. Members of your tech department are able to click on a tutorial via their tablets to master a repair task without having to wait for their next online training session. You must be able to offer your corporate learners training on-the-go, which is really only possible with a mobile training strategy.
- Use online scenarios to stress the real world applications.
Overwhelmed corporate learners must know that the online training course is worth their time. This is why it’s essential to stress the real world applications and benefits by integrating eLearning scenarios and simulations. When a corporate learner participates in an interactive scenario, they must make choices that lead to consequences. They can immediately see how their decisions lead to positive or negative outcomes. Corporate learners also have the chance to see, first hand, how they can use the information in the real world and why the online training is necessary.
- Repeat key concepts and ideas.
Corporate learners who are stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed may find it more difficult to absorb and retain information. This is primarily due to the fact their minds are distracted with other matters, making it more challenging to remember all of the key ideas or concepts from their online training. For this very reason, it is important to repeat the takeaways of the online training course on different occasions, and in different ways. For example, in a five-minute online training module for a task, you can walk them through every step using a text-based list, video tutorial, and then interactive simulation. These are three distinct ways to deliver the information, and each appeals to a different learning needs. If a corporate learner doesn’t comprehend the task the first run through, they will have a second and third chance to pick it up.
- Make it flexible.
Corporate learners are more likely to actually participate if the online training is flexible and fits into their schedule. If they know that they can access the online modules when it’s most convenient for them, then they are going to be more willing to participate. Every member of your corporate audience has their own personal and professional schedules that they must follow, as well as other obligations that keep them away from their online training. However, if you give them a list of online activities or modules that they must complete and enable them to choose when and how they participate, they can take part in the online training when it’s best for them and their busy lives.
- Integrate social media into your strategy.
Learning doesn’t have to be solely comprised of online modules, interactive scenarios, and eLearning assessments. In fact, simply encouraging your corporate learners to communicate with other professionals via social networks can be a valuable online training experience. Ask them to join LinkedIn or Facebook groups so that they can benefit from their peers, as well as share their personal experiences and skills with others. When they have a question or concern, they can simply log into the social media platform and find the answers they need to do their jobs most effectively.
The simple truth is that a vast majority of your corporate learners is overwhelmed, overworked, or distracted in this day-and-age. However, if you keep this in mind when creating your online training courses, you can offer your corporate learners a truly memorable and engaging eLearning experience.