How to Find the Right Tool for Online Employee Training
August 22, 2022
Sure, it can be a struggle to keep learners engaged during online training, but we’re here to let you in on a little secret. You’re not alone, and with a few tweaks, the barriers to engagement will be a thing of the past.
The Ebbinghaus forgetting curve tells us the human brain tends to forget about half of the concepts we learn in just a few days. Plus, the shift to remote work has led to higher levels of screen-related burnout (aka Zoom fatigue) than ever before.
However, investing in the right learning platform is one key to engagement and retention. The right tool can also help you combat burnout and build a continuous learning culture.
4 common types of online employee training tools
There are dozens of online staff training platforms on the market, but don’t let the number of options overwhelm you. Most learning software falls into one of these four categories—you can use some in tandem to produce great results.
Learning management platform
Learning management platforms are e-Learning tools that help L&D and HR teams organize and manage employee learning pathways.
There are two main types of learning management platforms: a learning management system (LMS) and a learning experience platform (LXP). Although they both serve a similar function, the most significant difference between an LMS and LXP is administration and control. Since different businesses have different needs, they may prioritize one type of learning management platform over the other. Depending on your needs, one may be more suited to different types of businesses and their unique needs.
Generally, HR and L&D teams turn to learning management platforms because they work well as all-around, versatile online-based employee training systems.
The most significant advantage of using a learning management platform is that it consolidates all of your training materials in one centralized space. So you can create training pathways and track performance using only one tool.
If you support learning across multiple departments, an All-in-One Learning Platform like WorkRamp is an excellent solution to save you time and energy while maximizing your L&D strategy. WorkRamp can help you create content, like training guides, upskilling paths, and knowledge checks. Plus, it’s well-suited to track and organize learning pathways for your employees.
Knowledge management system (KMS)
A knowledge management system (KMS) is an online self-service space for employees to seek internal knowledge on their own time. In addition, it serves as an internal wiki that allows for asynchronous learning opportunities.
A KMS is a helpful tool to organize company-wide materials accessible at any time. Knowledge management systems can reduce information search time by as much as 35 percent. One simple way to implement a KMS is to create a Google Drive that anyone can access. Now, all team members have the power to contribute and build online employee training courses, employee directories, or manuals.
Another way to implement a KMS is to build a community forum—like a Slack channel. This way, employees can reach out to other team members with questions and build relationships with their peers.
These knowledge-based systems require a relatively low lift to create and are generally easy on your L&D budget.
Digital adoption platform (DAP)
Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) are software that layer over existing training platforms.
Think about DAPs in the context of a chocolate milkshake. What makes it a milkshake is the combination of milk, chocolate syrup, and ice cream. But if you want to improve the experience, you can top it off with whipped cream—and maybe even a cherry. Likewise, a DAP is the bonus layer to help you enhance your online training program for employees.
You can use a DAP to give more context to learners within a training program and guide them through to completion.
Imagine your organization has a proprietary training system built by your staff. It contains all the necessary information to train new hires but has a few technical glitches that prevent most people from completing onboarding training.
In this case, a DAP would serve as an additional plugin to provide context to online courses, help users better navigate the system, and encourage them to keep going until the training is complete. It’s a solution that can lead to higher completion rates for onboarding training.
Video training tools
In the age of TikTok and Instagram Reels, video content is becoming universal, even in corporate training.
According to a recent Voodle study, 80 percent of workers support the idea of watching short videos over traditional, in-person learning methods. These statistics make a strong case for building high-quality video content in your employee training programs.
You can even incorporate collaborative opportunities, like virtual breakout rooms. These features create moments for staff to communicate with their peers and leave instructor feedback to help clarify questions or gain a deeper understanding of a topic.
A simple idea for incorporating video into your learning programs is to create a playlist on YouTube for employees. Then ask trainees to leave feedback in a shared forum to prompt a discussion about the content. It’s a low-lift way to use video training for your team.
What to look for in an online employee training tool
Most online employee development platforms come with standard components, but there are a few must-have features that lead to better learning outcomes and higher employee engagement.
Gamification may be a buzzword in L&D, but it works—72 percent of workers credit gamification as the key to staying engaged in training.
Most of us have used gamification since we were kids. Remember learning your ABCs? It’s much easier to memorize a catchy song vs. a long list of letters. Of course, you’ve grown up since then, but the same basic gamification elements still apply.
A training tool may not explicitly claim to have gamified elements but look for features like badges and challenge modes or even a leaderboard to create healthy competition among colleagues.
Algolia, a Search-as-a-Service company, used WorkRamp to help with revamping their employee onboarding training to create a comprehensive learning experience. The company produced multimedia training opportunities to motivate new employees across multiple departments, like interactive videos, pop-up quizzes, and matching games.
Building gamified elements into their onboarding training helped skyrocket their completion rate to 89 percent, with over 800 sign-ups.
Microlearning gives trainees short, focused bursts of information.
We encounter microlearning opportunities all the time, whether it’s an infographic on social media or a quick YouTube video. Microlearning can be delivered in different formats, like photos, videos, or podcasts.
Studies show that microlearning leads to better results than traditional e-Learning methods like long-form lectures or virtual instructor-led training (VILT). For example, when using microlearning in employee training, L&D teams tend to see a 4x higher than average engagement rate and 50 percent better knowledge retention.
Look for a training tool that allows you to create and manage your courses—even letting you import external content. That way, you can control the length of time for training modules. You’ll also want to check for mobile integration, so your learners can train on the go.
There’s an old-school mentality that online training is inherently asocial because it doesn’t occur in a classroom with other people. But you can build collaborative experiences into your online training using blended learning.
We don’t mean blended learning in the traditional sense. Rather than online vs. physical, modern blended learning combines asynchronous with synchronous experiences, all rooted in collaboration.
Asynchronous learning opportunities don’t have to isolate your learners. Instead, include collaborative elements, like peer feedback or discussion forums, to keep learners connected.
Synchronous learning opportunities are more straightforward, like a live discussion during a webinar or breakout room.
Read More: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning
It makes sense that blended learning should combine different types of collaborative experiences. LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report states that collaboration is among the top five drivers of excellent workplace culture.
When colleagues have social learning opportunities, they can bounce ideas off of each other, talk through complex situations, and gain a deeper understanding of the training content. While this has several benefits for your workers, it also helps your organization’s bottom line: peer-to-peer knowledge sharing can save you as much as $47 million a year for large companies.
Different tools have different social features that allow blended learning. Generally, you’ll want to find a tool with a discussion forum. Also, look for interactive elements, like emojis, upvotes, or pins, to keep the most relevant information top of mind.
Integrations with other tools
No matter which tool you choose, ensure it integrates with your other L&D resources to give your learners a seamless training experience.
The average worker uses nine apps for their day-to-day responsibilities. That’s a lot of context switching for your employees: 67 percent of workers say it would be easier to focus on their jobs if their apps appeared in a single window. It makes a strong case for investing in a learning platform that integrates with your other applications, so they can work together and reduce the headache for your employees.
This was the case with PartnerHero, whose HR team turned to WorkRamp to help them build a learning culture. The business process outsourcing (BPO) company’s goal was to achieve 100 percent compliance with self-paced training courses across all departments.
They knew the way to achieve that goal was to integrate external apps, specifically LinkedIn Learning, within WorkRamp’s platform. That way, employees could learn at their own pace.
Thanks to the integration, the training program has sustained an overall learner satisfaction score of 4.82 out of 5.
Choose an online employee learning platform that’s customizable for your workforce
The best online employee training platform is one that works for your employees. That’s why we recommend a customized training solution for your company’s unique needs.
You can use WorkRamp across various teams and departments. Here are just a few of the benefits of using our All-in-One Learning Platform:
- Develop multiple types of learning opportunities, like Guides, Paths, Events, and more
- Enjoy a user-friendly, customizable learner UI and UX
- Use our drag-and-drop feature to simplify content creation
Plus, WorkRamp integrates with other tools in your learning ecosystem like Go1, LinkedIn Learning, OpenSesame, Degreed, and more so your employees can learn all in one place.
Want to learn more about how WorkRamp can help you develop online employee training that works? Contact us to schedule a free demo.
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Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has more than 11 years of experience in content marketing and SEO and has written for several publications and industries, including B2B, marketing, lifestyle, health, and more. When she’s not writing or developing content strategies, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.
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