Over the last decade, online training and learning have become the norm for forward-thinking employers looking to upskill their workforce and build effective career paths that increase employee retention rates. The benefits of digital workforce development are extensive, with the return on investment often far outpacing expected outcomes. But successfully implementing a training program for your workers doesn’t end at simply offering education options; you have to ensure adoption and engagement from the outset. One easy strategy? Help your learners navigate online training from day one.
Transitioning to digital learning
For many of us, a world without the internet is unimaginable. But despite the wide use of online tools, it’s still often difficult for some to become fully acclimated to learning on a digital platform—at least at first. However, as online training continues to gain momentum, it’s crucial to ensure that your employees and learners have the resources available to succeed.
Easing workers into digital learning starts with helping them understand how their online training courses work, including where and when to access their study materials. This can be accomplished relatively quickly by doing the following.
- Provide learners with as much information as possible. Before enrolling them into your training and development programs, provide eligible employees with the requirements to qualify and the progress expectations you have. This allows learners to plan ahead and gives them the opportunity to assess which training options seem appropriate. If you don’t offer more than one upskilling option, providing them with a course outline and clear guidelines will help them feel more prepared to complete their training.
- Offer comprehensive support. For those learners who haven’t completed online training in the past, adapting to the new experience can feel frustrating. Ensuring comprehensive support is available can help your workforce training program succeed and will let learners know that their success is important to the company. Whether support comes from a point person in human resources or through your training provider, having access to someone who can answer questions and guide them when they’re stuck can be a lifesaver for your program.
- Emphasize a self-paced learning model. Your training program should have clear goals and progress expectations, yes, but there should also be a level of flexibility. No two people necessarily learn at the same speed or through the same process. Stressing a study schedule can discourage learners who fear they’ll fall behind. Instead, emphasize a self-paced approach. While there’s an overall program completion due date, allowing each learner to move through training at the pace that works best for them not only eases anxiety—it can ensure that your workers are retaining the information they’re absorbing.
Prepare to overcome training roadblocks
Even the most reliable and ambitious worker may have concerns over completing an online training program. While providing upskilling opportunities is a self-declared “must” for many as an employee perk, those who aren’t as comfortable with navigating online platforms, who may have been out of school for a long period of time, or who aren’t sure online learning is for them may decide not to take advantage of your program.
Preparing to overcome hesitation is essential to high program adoption rates. One key aspect of that is clearly explaining the benefits of the training you’re offering, including what program completion can mean for your workers.
Incentives for training and program information should include
- Learner outcomes. What should a learner take away from their training upon completion?
- Earning potential. Will successfully completing your program qualify learners for promotions or higher wages?
- Career paths. What career paths are available at your company and what career path(s) will the training prepare them for?
For many, having a clear understanding of the training endgame can motivate them to jump any hurdles that may have caused them to hesitate in the past. From higher earning potential to defining clear career paths, knowing what they can gain from developing their skills can make online training adoption more likely.
The benefits of partnering with an experienced training provider
Providing in-depth, effective training to all employees on your own can be a heavy lift for human resources and talent management departments. With a trusted and experienced training provider, however, you can offer employee development and upskilling programs that can be completed around your workers’ schedules. Not only can effective training and education prepare your employees to succeed in their roles, it can improve employee retention, maximize productivity, and strengthen your talent pool.
Penn Foster offers workforce development and training programs for a variety of industries and outcomes. From in-demand soft skills to industry-specific training and degrees, Penn Foster offers the solutions that can help you strengthen your workforce. Contact our training experts today to begin upskilling your workforce.