Doing corporate e-learning the right way

Despite the fact that numerous companies still prefer traditional methods of training such as classroom-based teaching, the modern alternatives are proving to be more successful and effective.

Take corporate e-learning for example, which is conducted via electronic media and technology. At first, this method of training came in for some criticism, as it removes the human element that certain learners need. But seeing as technology has become engrained in our daily lives, e-learning is now a much more appealing option.

Besides, when you take the extensive advantages into consideration, it makes even more sense. Through e-learning, training can be incredibly flexible, as it fits around your employee’s daily schedule and responsibilities. It can also be tailor-made according to your unique wants and needs.

Then there are the financial gains. Members of staff do not need to travel to a training centre, saving money in lost time and expenses. You probably won’t need to spend out an extortionate sum for assistance from a training provider either.

But in order to reap these rich rewards, you will need to introduce, implement and execute corporate e-learning in the right way. Here’s how:


Ensure e-learning is relevant

Although this can be said for any type of training, it is especially important for corporate e-learning. The content you present to employees needs to be relevant or else they won’t be able to see any value in training.

So, ask yourself what topics your members of staff will benefit from the most and how the e-learning course will deliver this information. Everything from your tone of voice to the scenarios you choose will need to relate to the learner’s own position and job role.


Create an engaging experience

To increase your employee’s learning potential, you will need to create an engaging experience that puts them in control of their own destiny. Let them explore a particular question or subject matter with freedom, which encourages initiative and enterprise.

You may also want to put members of staff into groups and have them discuss the learning materials. In addition to benefitting from one another’s experience and expertise, employees will also be inspired to learn and contribute more in the future.


Provide feedback and allow mistakes

As opposed to waiting until the e-learning course is over, you should test and provide feedback along the way. This should result in a much more powerful and effective educational experience that members of staff will greatly appreciate.

You shouldn’t criticise mistakes too harshly either, as this is an intrinsic part of learning. If possible, monitor the direct consequences of their error and provide assistance immediately.


Don’t overcomplicate things

Try not to confuse employees with learning materials and use simple language instead of industry jargon. Even though some organisations and industries require the use of technical terms, it can overcomplicate things if unnecessary.

Through clear and concise language, your employees can concentrate on the job in hand. When they do require help, it will be about the topic or theme and not the way the question is worded.


Stay on point with the latest trends

Owing to the flexible nature of e-learning, changes to learning materials can be made at a moments notice. As a result, there is no excuse for failing to stay on point with the latest trends.

By keeping abreast of industry developments, your employees will be better equipped to deal with challenges that come their way. Out-dated or old-fashioned teaching will only distance and disenchant members of staff further.


Take advantage of emotionally-driven content

Greater engagement is a distinct possibility if learners feel emotionally connected to the subject matter being taught. This link can also help employees absorb and retain information more effectively too.

There are various ways you can do this, from telling intriguing stories with relatable characters to using powerful images and graphics. Just remember that a positive emotional response is much more advantageous than negative feelings or fears.


Enable multi-device learning

Another advantage of e-learning is that it can take place on a myriad of devices. This allows employees to start their training on the commute to work, pick it up again during lunch and finally complete at home in the evening.

Everybody is different when it comes to learning and some will feel more comfortable doing so in a relaxed environment. Then again, other employees might prefer to participate in training at their desks rather than on their sofa, but you must provide the option.


Don’t overlook the importance of appearance

Even though content is important, the design and aesthetics of e-learning should also be appealing and engaging. This means the proper use of colours, fonts, images, and other multimedia.

A visually stimulating experience, which contains interactive elements, can keep employee interest levels high but also help draw their attention to the most important aspects of the module.


Capitalise on contemporary teaching techniques

In recent years, teaching techniques such as spaced repetition and gamification have proven to be incredibly effective in corporate environments. What’s more, they are perfectly suited to e-learning.

Spaced repetition exploits the fact that we more easily remember or learn items when they are studied over a prolonged period of time, whereas gamification introduces competition and fun to learning.


Always bring it back to the real-world

Through e-learning, you can use all manner of teaching techniques to get your point across. But if this doesn’t relate to the real-world rewards your employees will benefit from, there is little to no point in this type of training.

So, explain how e-learning content will improve or enhance your workforce’s job roles. By reinforcing the purpose of training, members of staff will stay motivated and interested in learning.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Persia is passionate about helping organizations improve employee engagement across their professional development initiatives.
Published: 3 Sep, 2015