One of the most common pitfalls of online training is lack of employee involvement. There is no physical meeting space or on-site instructor. As such, some staff members may feel disconnected from the online training experience. Fortunately, there are ways to engage your global workforce and inspire them to achieve their potential. Here are 8 top tips to empower and inspire remote corporate learners to take charge of their own online training.
1. Create A Supportive Online Learning Community
There are times when employees need to be able to express their concerns and get feedback from peers. In other words, an online outlet where they can get a morale boost from their co-workers. This may be in the form of social media groups, online forums, or corporate eLearning blogs where employees can openly communicate. A supportive learning community also allows them to exchange information and work together to achieve common goals. Just make sure that you create guidelines so that everyone respects the process. For example, employees should respect differing viewpoints and resolve conflicts according to company protocols. Of course, a thriving online learning community should also be supported by a communicative corporate eLearning culture that encourages ongoing professional development.
2. Develop Online Training Contracts
Online training contracts put employees in the driver’s seat. They must be accountable for their actions and uphold their end of the bargain in order to fulfill the contract. Give employees the opportunity to create their own goals and timelines. Then recommend relevant online resources to help them achieve their learning objectives. It’s also important to have follow-up measures in place. For instance, specify what will happen if employees are unable to complete the online training or lack the necessary motivation.
3. Offer Self-Guided Online Training Courses
Self-guided online training courses give employees the ability to focus on their own strengths and areas for improvement. They can choose the online training activities that best suit their needs and align with their goals. Furthermore, the online training happens whenever it’s most convenient for them, and they aren’t forced to keep up with their peers. Encourage your corporate learners to create their personal learning paths. Develop a clickable course map that follows a non-linear structure, or a microlearning online repository where employees can quickly brush up on skills and build their own knowledge base.
4. Develop An Online Mentorship Program
Mentorships are a great way to get employees involved. The mentor has the opportunity to share their insights with a co-worker. In the process, they expand their own knowledge and skill sets. Likewise, mentees get inspiration from more experienced employees who can offer a unique perspective. This autonomous team also has complete control of their own online training strategy, which includes personalized goal-setting, choosing the best online resources, and creating a realistic timeline. To achieve the best results, conduct online surveys and assessments before you assign mentorship teams. Ideally, mentees and mentors should share similar interests or professional goals.
5. Incorporate Game Mechanics
Gamification is a great way to inspire and motivate your remote corporate learners. Incorporate game mechanics into your online training strategy, such as badges, levels, and points. Or give them the chance to compete with their peers by incorporating leaderboards. The secret is to find the incentives that fuel their motivation. For example, some employees may prefer to earn badges, while others like the idea of ranking up on the board. Poll your employees beforehand to find out what drives and motivates them. Then use the results to customize your gamification approach.
6. Encourage Mistake-Driven Learning
Everyone makes mistakes. It’s a fact of life. However, what really matters is how we handle those mistakes and overcome them. Employees should be encouraged to treat every error as a learning opportunity. This encourages them to take risks and find new approaches to common problems. One of the most effective ways to facilitate mistake-driven learning is online training simulations and branching scenarios. These interactive activities allow employees to test out different paths and see which leads to the desired outcome. They can also evaluate their own cognitions to identify limiting beliefs or assumptions. For example, they may be performing the task incorrectly because they received the wrong information in the past. Mistakes give them the ability to overcome these obstacles and realize their potential.
7. Give Employees A Voice
Employees should have the chance to voice their opinions and offer their input. Encourage them to share eLearning feedback during every stage of the online training process, including the development stage. Conduct surveys, polls, and focus groups to learn as much as possible about their preferences and expectations. Invite them to test out the online training course before launch and then use their feedback to adjust your online training strategy. This not only improves your training ROI, but empowers employees to actively participate. You might even consider a monthly webinar where your remote corporate learners can communicate directly with managers and online instructors.
8. Identify Personal Performance And Skill Gaps
Recognizing personal weaknesses can be a challenging task. Even if an employee is open to the process, they may not know how to pinpoint areas for improvement. Which is why it’s important to conduct pre-assessments to identify performance and skill gaps. For example, virtual simulations that focus on work-related tasks, followed by immediate eLearning feedback and recommendations. Employees can discover their personal training “pain points” and then bridge the gap. This allows them to create a customized online training program based on their talents and abilities.
Are you encouraging your remote employees to take charge of the online training process? Do they need a spark of inspiration to get them actively involved? These 8 tips can help you engage, inspire, and empower your corporate learners. As such, they are more likely to take full advantage of the online training opportunities you provide.