Successful online training courses offer a great learning experience and, most importantly, employees have a chance to apply what they learn in their daily tasks. The number one thing that all businesses care about is performance, because well-trained and enthusiastic employees are more productive, which always leads to bigger profits. And who doesn’t want to have a blooming company with happy employees?

E-learning can be a great tool for boosting employee performance when used properly. How, you may wonder? Let’s start with the beginning:

1. Start early, with the orientation program

A new job can usually cause some level of stress for employees and they might feel a little bewildered by everything in a new company. They don’t know a lot about the company culture and how to do their tasks, and of course you want them to learn as fast as possible in order to be productive. When designing your orientation program, take under consideration your employees emotions. Take notice of the ways they learn, how fast they acquire information, how they interact with colleagues in team-based projects, how fast are they learning to use the company LMS, and so on. Observe, then adapt your teaching strategy.

But try not to overwhelm them with too many facts and figures. Start with the essential information about the company that they need to know right away, then work your way up to the more complex aspects. And don’t forget to always be there for them when they need it or point them to someone who can help, because they will have questions and they will feel lost at some point. Also make sure to keep all vital information regarding training, the company and their tasks somewhere they can reach easily, whether it’s an LMS, a company repository, or an online resource box of company policies and operation guides.

Remember that employee orientation is an ongoing process that should support new hires in their first few months, not just in the first few days or hours. New employees have different needs from the ones of old employees, so make sure that your orientation training programs covers them all.

2. Provide interactive real-life scenarios

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your employees could make an unlimited number of mistakes without any consequences for your company? Well, interactive real-life scenarios in your training materials can make this happen.

Employees can play different scenarios and learn how their actions and decisions affect the business. A good example is how new salespeople are taught to approach prospects who are at different levels in the conversion funnel. Present the learners with a variety of choices and let them decide upon the course of action, but make sure to guide them to the right option.

Allowing and even encouraging employees to make mistakes will turn to a win-win situation later in the real business world: they will remember what they did wrong and will not make the same mistake with real clients, and you will see the difference in the company profit.

3. Reward your employees

Employees want to be acknowledged for their efforts and accomplishments. It’s just human nature. When employees feel that they’re appreciated, they’re more motivated to work and improve themselves. There are a lot of ways you can reward employees for their efforts and in today’s world you can rely on technology to do most of the work. For example if your company uses an LMS for online training, you can use gamification with tools like badges and leaderboards to increase engagement and create a fun competitive spirit between employees. People are usually motivated by a need to accomplish and to work towards goals. In an LMS you can use learning paths as a way of making them achieve a clear set of goals.

4. Customize everything

Everyone is different and everyone has a different way of learning. Personalizing your training materials can make a difference between sharing information and actually imprinting that information into your employees’ brains. Of course, you can’t tailor everything for everyone, but a clear structure of your course, along with a variety of customized learning materials will help keep your employees connected with their new company and motivated to learn faster. Personalization makes employees feel important and that someone is paying attention to their needs.

Small details count for more than they are given credit for. Case in point, stock photos: do you think photos depicting C-suite white males will make your employees with different ethnic heritages wear the same thing at work? Probably not. So pick your visuals wisely and make sure they are representative for the majority of your employees, as they will subconsciously identify themselves with the right photos and therefore absorb the rest of the content more easily.

5. Support the use of mobile devices

Mobile learning shifts the attention from the training course to the learner’s needs. Being able to access learning materials whenever and wherever is both convenient for your employees and efficient for the business, because they can learn when they need it and use what they learn immediately.

Mobile devices can support all styles of learning: reading text, watching videos, listening to audio files, researching online and even collaborating with others. Having control over the learning process makes employees more willing to attend the training and more motivated to finish it.

6. Evaluate employees based on their progress

Employee evaluation should be seen as an opportunity for improvement for both employees and instructors and/or managers. It’s important to evaluate your employees’ skills on a regular basis and provide constructive feedback. When it comes to tracking employee progress in a training program, technology comes to our rescue again.

If your company uses any sort of learning platform or learning management system, then it’s simple. Most LMSs today include rich analytics and reports that can show you exactly where your employees get stuck in their training. You can check if they have trouble getting past a module, if they didn’t reach their goals, or if they’re skipping parts of the training. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Knowing this information can help instructors adapt their training, help employees overcome difficulties and become more productive.

Still, don’t forget that feedback is a two-way street. You need to ask employees their opinions regarding the training program, just to make sure that you’re on the same page and there isn’t any miscommunication between what you teach and what they understand and retain.

Employee performance can be improved through online training

Employees are the most important resource a business can have. Happy employees will take the initiative to go and fix issues before they turn into problems. Businesses should make the most use of online training programs to constantly support their employees’ performance and keep them motivated.

Does you company have a strategy to boost employee performance? Would you consider your online training program motivating for your team? Let us know in the comments section below.

Author: Livia M

Livia is the lead online voice of MATRIX by CYPHER LEARNING. She writes about workplace learning and L&D strategies for businesses, as well as other training and e-learning related subjects.