Online team training is vital to your team’s effectiveness. The digital era has ushered in a compelling focus on online team training, offering more value on the whole than traditional training methods. Benjamin Franklin said it best when it comes to investing in your team:“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
In a 2015 survey with more than 200 participants, one-third of employees said that their companies’ training strategies were not productive. Another third of those participants said that company training is not interesting or engaging.
But marketing strategies continue to change, and employees that stay up-to-date on those changes will certainly be more effective. To stay up-to-date requires training. The equation is actually quite simple: effective and engaging training methods equate to a more effective team.
Your team may be lacking the training necessary to make moves in your unique industry. According to HR Professionals Magazine, “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that employers with fewer than 100 employees provided only 0.8 hour – that’s only 12 minutes of manager training per six month period.”
Online team training is all-encompassing. In addition to gaining skills, your employees can brush up on product knowledge and access important resources via online training as well. This puts your workforce ahead of the competition, ultimately enhancing your company’s bottom line.
From startups to industry leaders, online team training is essential. Last year, L’Oreal, the leading cosmetic company in the world, took online team learning to the next level: they utilized the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) model to train 160 of their employees.
Your workforce has become mobile, and your team training program needs to follow. Let’s take a closer look at how online team training is more effective than traditional hands-on methods.
- Online Team Training is Cost-Effective and Employee Compatible
Online team training is more cost-effective than traditional training. When you keep your employees engaged, they are more likely to stick around. Your team is an investment, and your team training strategy should reflect and protect that investment.
A 2014 survey by Gallup found that, “The bulk of employees worldwide -- 63% -- are ‘not engaged,’ meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organizational goals or outcomes.”
A mandatory training course that takes your employees away from projects they need to get done will only decrease morale. And when morale is low, employees tend to move on. The value of training your team effectively will subsequently help your retention efforts, according to USA Today Money.
People’s attention spans are also decreasing, according to Learning Solutions Magazine. The publication notes that, “Current researchers argue that the average attention span of American adults has dropped and it is limited to 20, 10, or even five minutes.”
Finally, online team training is easier to swallow for many employees. Many effective online training modules run for a maximum of 15 minutes. This helps employees stay focused; two hour long in-person training sessions just won’t cut it anymore.
- Online Team Training Bridges Gap with Mobile Apps and Gamification
Online team training has introduced exciting new ways for employees to learn, such as gamification. The PowerPoint training days may very well be dead - your team wants their training to be fun and engaging, similar to their online lives. Online team training essentially bridges that gap, by using what employees already love and are familiar with.
Treating online training like traditional methods will therefore yield the same ineffective results, according to Training magazine. Virginia state performance support coordinator and instructional designer Sherri Dosher, says, “If an organization simply puts PowerPoint bullets online, the end result will still be death by PowerPoint. It’ll just be DOA at the computer versus the classroom.”
In an effort to combine what employees already know and love with online team training, companies are using mobile apps and gamification as tech resources. Integrating gamification is making online team training more engaging than ever.
Jiffy Lube learning and development manager Ken Barber, says, “More graphics, more videos, more voiceover, more knowledge checks, and fewer word slides will make the course engaging and fun for the students.”
Combining mobile apps with online team training will also increase effectiveness for your employees and business. A 2015 study by Global Workplace Analytics found that 25 percent of U.S. employees work remotely in some form. With so many of your employees connected and on-the-go, keeping them plugged-in to online training via apps will only increase effectiveness.
- Many Company Topics are Simply Geared for Online Team Training
Online team training offers simplicity when it comes to many business topics that are simply geared towards an online platform. Compliance-based courses such as software technical skill building on Office, Java, etc., and HR required training like sexual harassment courses can be easily tailored for online access.
Online team training can also be implemented for new hires. A series of courses can help new employees get up to speed faster, allowing assimilation into the team dynamic more effectively, according to employment solutions platform TrainingToday.
“Repetitive content, especially for new employees in a high turnover environment, is ideal for e-learning,” says Ken Barber. “While these could be taught in an ILT class, the information is easily communicated in an interactive e-learning course.”
Verizon is another company that effectively uses online team training to its advantage. Via VerizonTech IT, the communications company offers knowledge-based courses online to deliver information consistently. And they do it across multiple channels, focusing on the end-user’s pace.
- Online Team Training at the Micro-Level Keeps it Simple
One major pitfall of hands-on training is the risk of over-training. A Sales Performance International report warns about the ineffectiveness over-training has. The study finds that multiple day training sessions could cause 50 percent of information to be forgotten within five weeks.
Massive amounts of information via marathon in-person training sessions are simply no longer effective. Overtraining leads to more employee stress, poor cost-benefit ratio, and a loss of interest, according to Houston Chronicle. Online team training, however, has picked up where traditional methods have failed.
TED Talks are an excellent example of effective micro-level online team training. Through TED, you can access industry leaders and learn a variety of topics in short 15 to 20 minute increments. This allows information to be processed in a more meaningful way, keeping you and your team engaged.
- Online Team Training Offers Freedom and Flexibility
Research suggests that 47 percent of employees want freedom and flexibility in their company training. Online team training serves those in need of just that. With the mobile workforce on the rise, companies are taking a hard look at how they implement training programs.
A 2014 survey by the Association for Talent Development found that 16 percent of the 340 companies surveyed use “at your own pace” online training. Not allowing employees to learn at their own pace can be counterintuitive. Employees who do not learn at their own pace often rush through training and simply brain dump what they’ve learned in a short period of time.
Interestingly, a 2015 Harvard Business School study found that those who reflected on learning tasks performed at higher rates with higher material retention. Online team training that emphasizes freedom and flexibility will certainly be more effective. Employees will not be as inclined to rush through training if they know they can do it in parts.
Online team training clearly offers more value to your employees than traditional in-person training. From marketing to the art of negotiation, your team can gain invaluable business assets such as planning, strategizing, tactics, techniques, and software development, among other skills needed in an effective workforce. Implementing a cost-effective and flexible online team training program is powerful strategy to increase employee output and expand your bottom line.
Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.
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