It would be desirable that every employee has been looking forward to joining an online vocational training course as soon as a suitable course becomes available in the company.
Unfortunately, the reality is different. Majority of people will look at this opportunity as the unnecessary hurdle in their professional life; others will have a more positive approach but will be able to list a dozen of obstacles which prevent them from taking the course.
We can’t blame employees being ignorant or irresponsible. It would be more beneficial to take some steps for understanding why some employees are demonstrating resistance to new knowledge and skills.
Reasons for resistance to joining online vocational training courses
The most common reasons for declining online training offers are personal:
- Busy working schedule;
- Family commitments;
- Social commitments.
If we look closer to this matter, the real reasons might be quite different:
- Some employees do not have sufficient computer skills to operate multiple software tools required by the training content;
- Employees are not aware of the value and benefits of the training course;
- Employees are not aware of the content and the assessments included in the course;
- Online learning differs from traditional in-class learning, it can be a new scary experience for some people.
Boosting employees’ motivation by preparing them for the online training experience
Online training is effective when all potential participants are receptive to the online training experiences. And it can be achieved if the Training and Development Departments conduct some preliminary work before offering the online training sessions:
- Assess computer skills of the potential course participants;
- Conduct short computer training courses (if needed);
- Explain employees the importance of the online training for their career development, improved productivity and stability at their workplace;
- Offer workshops related to time management techniques;
- Discuss with employees how to communicate to family and friends regarding joining online vocational training course;
- Explain the content, assessments, and other learning approaches implemented in the online course;
- Demonstrate some lessons to build up employees confidence in the value and importance of the particular course.
Building an online training culture within a company
To have effective and successful training programs in the company, it is necessary to create the perception that the online training is not just a mandatory activity – it is an integral part of professional life and corporate culture in the company.
Employees should realize how they can benefit professionally from their online training, and how much the company appreciates their dedication and participation. It will allow employees to look at the training opportunities from the different angle and create a positive approach to training opportunities.
It is important to let the employee know about the relevancy of the course content to their work assignments and the practical nature of the offered course.
Another way to motivate employees to join online training is to offer them incentives or rewards as part of the special program developed by the company to promote training culture.
For those employees, who are performing well, offer them incentives in the form of special points/credits in the annual performance evaluation and letting know others about their achievements. Corporate training culture will support the improvement of performance and encourage innovative thinking through collaboration and expertise sharing.
Developing an online training course
Designing the content for online vocational training courses can be a challenging task. People are allocating time in their busy schedules to learn things needed for their current jobs and future career development. Another factor that has an impact on the course development is its audience – adult learners. It puts specific requirements for the course content and instructional design.
Learners need to see how the content of the online training course can help them to improve work performance, enhance their current skills. They expect alignment of the skill development needs and the course deliverable.
Online training course should include activities that encourage adult learners to explore. Employees accumulate knowledge most effectively when they are active participants in their own learning process: exploring a subject matter on their own and learning from personal experience.
When they are actively involved in acquiring knowledge, adult learners get inspired to continue studying other areas of business by joining online education and training courses.
Support multiple learning modes.
Some adult learners prefer to acquire knowledge through observation and study, others prefer learning by using videos and interactive game-based scenarios. It’s important to include a wide range of interactive training opportunities, like podcasts, e-Learning games, scenarios, and simulations. The ability to chose the most suitable learning mode creates a positive learning experience and this will help to motivate employees and they won’t get bored.
Offer immediate feedback.
The educational experience is more powerful and effective when immediate feedback is offered to learners. This is especially important when learners are making a mistake or can’t find the way to solve the problem. Immediate guidelines and tips can boost learners confidence.
Integrate emotionally-driven content.
Adult learning audiences often benefit from the content that is emotionally-driven by using relevant and effective images and graphics. Adult learners feel emotionally connected to the subject matter, and they are getting more engaged, better absorb and retain the information.
Practice makes perfect.
It is recommended to include practice exercises in the online course to ensure that learners are able to understand and remember the subject matter. The course should offer multiple tasks that require them to repeat certain steps over and over again.
Highlight the real-world benefits.
The employees need to be informed of the real world benefits before they start the online training course. And the reminder of posted regularly during the course to allow them to realize the purpose of the training experience.
If the company is looking for ways to engage employees and achieve the performance boost out of online training, then it is vital to work closely with employees and motivate them to become actively involved in online training sessions. It is also very important to ensure that the quality of online training courses corresponds ambitions of the company, relevant to employee training needs and employees’ learning experience is exciting, efficient and engaging.