Guest blog post by Max Yoder. Max is the co-founder and CEO of Lesson.ly, the easy training software. His team’s sole mission is to make tracking team training as easy as possible, so you can build training materials, share them, and gain insight — all within the same interface.
If the glaze on your employees’ eyes is thicker than that of a Krispy Kreme doughnut at 9:00 am, you’ve lost the personal touch in your lessons. It’s understandable; you have built hundreds of couses and making lessons that apply to everyone at all times isn’t easy. I hate to let you in on this secret, but if you’re doing this, people don’t want to take your lessons anymore.
Learning the content of the lessons is, of course important, but it’s easier to interact and stay engaged in a lesson that feels like it was built by a colleague. We are people training people and we need to stop pretending like we’re not. Integrating a human element can help new employees understand the company culture and keep them engaged and wanting to learn more.
Ensure Training Reflects Company Culture
If you have a casual company, your lessons should reflect that. Slip a few .gifs or pop culture references into your lessons. If your company is all about the business, present a few renowned leaders who feel the same way about the lesson you are teaching. For some reason, people look to Warren Buffett’s opinion more than mine. Your courses should not feel like a one-size-fits-all presentation without consideration of the employees or even the company. Make your lessons into glass slippers rather than winter hats.
Have a lesson on company culture for first-day employees. If they want structure and ties and you offer liberty and t-shirts, they should know that from the start. Disappoint them in the beginning rather than three months later.
Keep Trainees Engaged Through eLearning Games or Interactions
Elearning can save your company time and money, but those savings will not continue for the long-run if employees are not learning. If employees aren’t engaged in what they have learned in eLearning games, interactions, or quizzes, your training won’t be as effective. Giving a quiz is not enough though, managers need to review the results to see where employees are struggling or provide personal help or both.
When providing eLearning, it does not mean trainers can step out of the picture completely. Learners need to be engaged by applying the lessons learned to a real-life example or role-playing scenario. For example, if you provide a lesson on customer service, role-play a scenario where you are the upset customer and see what they’ve learned. Offer feedback afterwards to help improve your team.
Update Lessons Before Beginning a New Class
Remember when I said earlier to slip in a few .gifs or pop culture references? Those pop culture references aren’t going to be relevant if they’re still talking about Rosie O’Donnell. It’s 2015, you have to move on and find a new celebrity crush.
Of course, it’s easier to reuse the exact same lesson that was built years ago, but your learners are going to cry if you do this. Well, maybe they won’t cry, but they won’t be happy. Your training module should change as the company evolves. As the company grows, there is more to teach. Your employees will have different roles than those who came before them and their piece of the puzzle will be a little different. Your company may also be involved in different sectors or have new acquisitions. Without mentioning new areas of the business, your employees are going to be very confused and embarrassed when they have to ask “what acquisition?” It’s up to you to get them up to speed. Look at you. You are the captain now.
Elearning can be a wonderful, cost-effective, time-saving, fun-loving, jaw-dropping, knee-slapping experience. Be warned, it can also be a teeth-clenching, hair-pulling, desk-flipping experience. It is up to you to make sure it is the former for both you and your learners and yes, I too am still thinking about those Krispy Kreme doughnuts.