Employee onboarding and training are now open to more than face-to-face orientations and numerous sessions during valuable working hours. Nowadays, corporations and organizations tend to opt for online learning platforms to save time and cost to achieve the best results and meet training needs.
Before the pandemic, only large organizations could afford to deploy customized training platforms and hire professional companies to develop courses based on their needs. Afterward, while online learning is taking off during and after the pandemic, it is now more affordable and convenient to have a customized training platform for smaller and middle-sized organizations. Since then, they have had a platform that has been the first step to setting up the training program inside the organizations. However, more aspects must be considered to maximize the current technology and human resources.
Training programs and the challenges?
Employee training is an integral part of any successful business that puts considerable responsibility on the Human Resources department. Such training needs planning, program management, and controlling the whole process efficiently.
On the other side, the whole process requires a lot of effort for the staff and employees participating in those programs and whoever needs access to the latest information and skills necessary to do their jobs well.
A training or HR manager will have to go through the following steps when setting up the training programs:
1- Identify the training needs, goals, and metrics
This sets up the foundation for the whole training program. Next, training managers will have to interview the department managers to get the training needs for the employees, whether for new employee onboarding or current employee upskilling. For example, do they need certificates after completing the training, how many hours should they spend on specific courses, how many employees can we host online at the same time, the performance of employees in understanding courses and establishing an evaluation system accordingly, etc. are the essential questions.
2- Platform selection
Over 800 Learning Management Platforms are available, which can be applied in specific ways to meet training needs. So, how to select and pick up the most suitable ones for their organizations?
In that regard, certain questions should be asked before getting to know the needs:
- Can this platform be easily deployed and maintained inside the organization?
- Do we have the technical staff to manage the platform? If not, can we have something in the cloud so we do not need to manage by ourselves?
- Do we need to host a lot of users on the platform? What if our company grows bigger? Can the platform meet the capacity need?
- Do we need to run live sessions during the training?
- Do we need to issue certificates after employees complete the courses?
- Do we need quizzes and interactive content inside the course module?
- Do we want to evaluate the employees’ progresses and online time?
- Do we want to integrate this learning platform into our ERP systems?
- Do we prefer to have our own branded platform, or are we fine with seeing the platform’s logo and domain?
- What is our budget range on the platform itself?
- Is the platform easy to be navigated, and can a tutor create the courses intuitively in a short amount of time when the teaching materials are ready?
- Is the platform easy to be explored, and can our employees quickly get on board to the core learning sectors?
- Do we need a platform that can also promote our organization online?
The good news is that after the training or HR manager has the answers to these questions, many LMS will be eliminated from the long list, and a few will be left to choose from.
3- Course development for the platform
Most organizations offering a comprehensive upskilling program for their employees will have few ways of course development:
- First step is to collect the content needs from different departments of the organization.
- For general courses, depending on the nature of the organization’s business, they will purchase courses from a third-party content/training company, then integrate them into the current learning platform.
- For more professional courses unique to the organizations, training managers have to develop their content or hire professional course development companies to put up the course with training managers.
- No matter which kind of courses are to be developed, the training manager of technical staff needs to evaluate if the content is compatible with the platform or if the platform can host and best display the content itself without losing any learning element of the materials.
4- Maintain and manage the programs inside the organizations
After the training courses and programs are online, maintaining and managing such programs is critical. To ensure the sustainability of the established program, training managers will need to keep in contact with the platform providers and the course instructors/creators; if any training goals and scopes are adjusted, the platform and the course plan have to be adjusted accordingly. Dedicated customer support from the platform can make these adjustments and transition more smoothly.
With the above aspects being well perceived, a solid foundation of the training program is now established and ready to move to real action.
When choosing an LMS as a platform for hosting training courses, many essential questions need to be answered. In contrast, a few LMSs can fulfill the expectations and answer the questions. So, after taking all the steps mentioned, we suggest you realize what you may need. If you have questions about deploying a training program inside your organization, you may consult the edSPIRIT team on the plan and details. Our experienced e-learning and technical experts are ready to help you, and you will get suitable approaches for your courses.