For Government & Education Teams of 30+, Consider these Best Practices to Increase the Adoption of Your eLearning Program!
In today’s fast-paced work environment, training must be relevant and easy to consume – it’s more important than ever to roll out new programs efficiently and with well-defined purpose and direction.
In the private sector, performance evaluations tied to compensation and mandated training are a key motivator that often drives staff to train.
In the government and education space, things need to be finessed: there are union regulations to consider, workplace culture and other moving parts that make it important to put proper policies, procedures and enticements in place to increase the use of eLearning materials and maximize delivered value.
At Enterprise Training Solutions, we recognize these additional challenges you and your organization face – so here are our 5 quick tips to help you ensure and increase the success of your eLearning programs!
1. Understand Your Government Organization’s Training Goals
Broad stroke goals may be obvious but are often not well thought out.
- What skill gaps exist on your team?
- Which employees should be targeted for training and why?
- What are the desired performance outcomes?
- Are your training goals oriented to build direction and support for your program?
The answers to these questions often tie back to the business objectives of the department, division or agency, which is critical for gaining both employee and management buy-in.
On-demand eLearning has become a popular choice because it can make a huge impact on workforce performance, management/leadership development, succession planning, internal projects, programs, and training compliance.
So be sure to articulate your organization’s training goals and use them to guide and drive program planning, roll-out activities and overall success.
2. Establish Clear Learning Policies
Asking staff to train without providing time during the work day to learn defies logic; ongoing training is critical to the success and performance of your organization, which should be recognized with on-the-clock training allotments.
Having clear training policies and procedures is an important “nod” from management that the organization is serious about and committed to developing its employees’ skill sets and improving organizational performance.
This usually means allowing a certain number of “hours” weekly, monthly or annually to be dedicated to training activities, and may or may not require supervisor approval.
Also consider using employee development plans (EDP), have employees and managers agree on learning objectives to chart and track skill building and performance, to maximize return on investment (contact our Implementation Consultants today to learn more about crafting effective EDPs and learning objectives).
Creating government certification training tracks that bolster employee credentials and integrating eLearning objectives into disciplinary action and performance improvement protocols are also great ways to support and drive the success of your program.
3. Get Management Buy-In and Support
When upper management signs off on your training purchase you’re half way there.
But supervisors, line managers and employees pay attention to initiatives that are officially endorsed by upper management, and all levels of management are important stakeholders who need to understand the training that’s being offered, its value and why it’s a worthwhile investment.
- Engage all levels of management to build support across your organization.
- Help them understand how training will improve the skill sets and the overall performance of their direct reports.
- Set manager’s expectations accurately to prevent dissatisfaction.
- Communicate from the start that unlike traditional classes, eLearning is not an all-day event and that meaningful training sessions can be completed in 45 minutes or less daily, weekly, or monthly.
4. Provide Training Direction to Employees
The old adage “you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”, plays a role with government online training subscriptions that offer what can seem like an overwhelming amount of options to your end users.
Remember, the key to ensuring employee participation is to make training materials relevant and easy to consume.
To do this, outline the specific skill gaps and learned competencies each member of your staff needs to fill according to their experience and job requirements, then map training resources to desired skills/performances, and assign them in on your training platform (contact our Implementation Consultants today to learn more about mapping training to desired employee skill sets).
When employees are given a clear, relevant learning path on which they can track their progress success rates jump exponentially!
5. Engage in Promotion & Awareness Building
Most eLearning programs are introduced via a single email with clear instruction and guidance for locating relevant training content.
Often, however, this isn’t enough – in today’s crowded inboxes it’s too easy to miss these important emails or “save them for later” only to end up forgotten.
That’s why ongoing internal marketing and awareness building campaigns can go a long way in keeping employees tuned-in to the program.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Offer webinar tours of your eLearning site (and record them to share later).
- Use targeted messaging to promote new skills like project management, admin assistant specialties, effective communication, difficult conversations, or anything else that your particular audience will appreciate.
- Include eLearning walkthroughs during new hire orientations (often new hires are full of energy, motivation and have time to train before their workload ramps up – a perfect time to get them started with your eLearning programs).
- Schedule meetings with individual department heads/managers to learn more about their day-to-day training needs and provide guidance on which eLearning resources will best serve them.
- Encourage employee development plans (EDPs) to increase manager/staff buy-in.
- Ask supervisors to discuss training goals and opportunities at staff meetings and encourage employees to share their success stories.
- Ask your Commissioner, CIO or Chief Learning Officer to send out a message or letter to your organization supporting your eLearning initiative.
- Regularly post or email information about new course offerings.
- Utilize your intranet (internal) training pages and social media instances to remind staff and management of available training and address concerns or challenges.
- Start a video or book club to regularly review learning topics.
- Hold an open house in your office lobby, cafeteria, etc. to demonstrate eLearning; Give away brownies or other baked goods to draw a crowd!
- Post fliers focusing on the key benefits of your training program in office kitchens, restrooms, elevators, and other high traffic areas.
- Send eLearning usage reports to upper management and department heads to demonstrate the success of your program.
- Offer incentives for completing courses or achieving certifications as a result of learning; online training saves money so incentives, prizes, and other recognition may be justified.
- Market on pay stubs or insert reminder messages in paycheck envelopes.
- Use your instructor-led classes (including those given by contractors) to introduce your eLearning platform and procedures for accessing it.
- Conduct an internal seminar focusing on the benefits of eLearning with a title like “How to Improve Productivity Overnight.” Ask department heads and managers to attend.
- Create a quick 5-minute presentation that you can have available to deliver at business meetings or conferences.
- Be proactive about promoting your training program at organizational conferences, functions, and parties. Many HR offices already sponsor these events, so you can use these opportunities to further promote eLearning.
- Recognize a department or workgroup that embraces new training opportunities and has improved work processes as a result with a Department of the Month award.
- Utilize your organization’s newsletter – post ads & articles in it.
- Sponsor your own training newsletter. Publish a news story that highlights employees who took courses and applied what they learned, including key takeaways and testimonials.
- Post eLearning information wherever users go for info on instructor-led classes.
- Include eLearning as an alternate support source in your helpdesk portal or voicemail recordings.
- Create a hall of fame and post the names of people who complete training.