Once upon a time, digital training was drab, detached, and one-sided. However, over the last few years, innovations in the eLearning industry have completely redefined online employee training.
For decades, digital training looked something like this: corporate headquarters would hire a camera crew and actors to record information-dense videos on safety, company culture, and other topics.
Then, every time a new-hire rolled in, HR would wheel out the clunky office television, pop in the VHS tape (or, if you were lucky, a DVD) and replay the same outdated, campy videos that they’d been using for years.
To be fair, some of these training tapes were hilarious–just check out these vintage Wendy’s training videos from the ‘80s. Despite being well-intentioned and innovative for its time, this form of distance learning has given digital training a bad rap. It lacks all of the qualities that most business leaders look for in a training regimen: engaging, interactive, personalized, and effective.
Fortunately, the days of dusty VHS training tapes are long behind us. The rise in remote work has brought with it an upsurge in online training technology, which is becoming more effective every year.
Thanks to the booming eLearning industry, remote employee training is more effective, practical, and engaging than ever. Just check out these statistics about online learning and its impact on the business world:
- IBM saved $200 million after switching to online learning (source)
- Companies that use online employee training achieve 18% higher employee engagement (source)
- 72% of businesses believe eLearning gives them a competitive advantage (source)
- Spending $1,500 on training per employee every year can increase profits by 24% (source)
- Online learning can increase information retention by 25-60% (source)
Evidently, remote employee training has the numbers to back it up. This is due, in large part, to the inventive tools and techniques driving the global eLearning movement. And that’s what this article is all about: tools that will change the way you think about online training.
5 Innovative Online Learning Tools That You Didn't Know Your Business Needed
- Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
- Mobile learning
- Learning Management Systems
Microlearning is a must-have training tool in the era of social media and instant gratification. According to Deloitte, the average employee should devote 1% of their workweek–or 24 minutes per week–to learning & development. For employees with traditional Monday-Friday work schedules, this equates to about 4.8 minutes per day.
But how can you train an employee in less than 5 minutes? That’s where microlearning comes in. The philosophy of microlearning is to share small, specialized bits of information that can be easily digested by employees.
Individuals absorb information better when it’s presented in small doses. However, by and large, most companies conduct training in long, jam-packed sessions. Microlearning can help your business break away from this stubborn practice.
Another benefit of microlearning is that it lends itself to modern training platforms such as Learning Management Systems and mobile platforms.
Everyone in the eLearning world has their sights set on augmented reality and virtual reality. It is expected that, over the next few years, these tools will revolutionize the way we learn. As cost-effective, immersive tools, benefits of using AR and VR to train employees are unmatched.
Imagine this: to train your employees on safety compliance, you give them a VR headset that immerses them in a hazardous situation. This gives them the opportunity to physically act out safety protocol, making them better equipped to face these challenges in the real world. It doesn’t get more engaging than that.
With all of the potential benefits, it’s no wonder Walmart, Boeing, and UPS use virtual reality to train their employees.
Mobile training allows individuals to intake information through their favorite tool: their smartphones. Most employers consider phones to be a distraction in the workplace. However, if employees picking up their phones during the day is inevitable, why not use that to your business’ advantage?
Mobile employee training allows your team members to access learning materials any time, anywhere. This makes them the perfect tool for companies looking to increase flexibility in their workplace.
What’s more, your business won’t have to bear the biggest cost of facilitating mobile training, since nearly everyone has a smartphone nowadays. All in all, mobile training is an accessible, fun, and inventive way to deliver training remotely.
Gamification can be used in combination with some of the other tools we’ve discussed so far – in particular, mobile learning and AR/VR. The purpose of gamification is essentially to turn your online employee training into a game. Game-based learning offers the benefit of real-time skill development and engagement.
There are countless ways to execute corporate gamification. It can be as simple as assigning point values to certain exercises or modules and rewarding high-scorers with a prize. Or your organization can invest in a corporate training platform that turns topics into literal video games.
Whether you go with all the bells and whistles or keep it simple, gamification is a modern and innovative approach to instructional design. It will definitely engage your team!
Learning Management Systems
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are the gold standard in corporate training technology. What makes LMS platforms so valuable is that they support a wide range of activities and centralize all aspects of training.
Instructional delivery, document management, reporting, assessments, and development can all be conducted (and automated!) within your LMS. They also make it exceptionally easy to update and distribute training materials, which can allow you to foster a culture of learning and continuous improvement.
LMS software can also serve as the platform for other eLearning techniques, such as gamification and microlearning. In addition, LMS platforms allow for learning to be individual or collaborative, so the engagement possibilities are endless.
Finally, LMS platforms are evidence-based and results-driven. This means they deliver information based on best educational practices, so your employees are more likely to retain information. These are just a few perks of online LMS training.
If you are looking to revamp your online employee training, an LMS is a great place to start. However, LMS implementation is no walk in the park. You’ll need to plan, test and audit, launch, and measure the efficacy of your roll-out.
It’s important to monitor and evaluate employee adoption of the LMS. Even the best employee training strategy and LMS platform will requires a high level of adoption across the organization to fully maximize the benefits.
If you are interested in learning more about LMS implementation, check out our article 7 Steps to a Successful LMS Training Roll-out!
In 2020 and beyond, online employee training is a must. If you’re skeptical about the efficacy of online training, we don’t blame you–for a long time, digital training was lackluster. But this is no longer the case. Thanks to innovative online training tools and techniques, corporate learning is more flexible, effective, and engaging than ever. In particular, these five online employee training tools are transforming the corporate education sector.
Interested in revamping your organization’s online training regimen? Contact RTG Solutions Group today to speak with our learning & development experts!