In today’s fast paced world, it is essential for businesses to keep up with technology to stay in the race. There are many reasons why small businesses and corporations should be leveraging technology for learning and training purposes.
Cost Effective Training
Employees can access training 24/7 from the comfort of their own home. Online training cuts out the cost of traveling, whether that is sending employees to external training or traveling to train employees at multiple locations. Companies utilizing a learning management system, boast a higher employee retention rate. The savings in onboarding expenses is reason alone to migrate to online employee training.
More Time for Managers to Manage
Managers no longer need to conduct the same training time and time again. They can focus on other ways of improving employee quality of life. Managers can spend more time building a culture that will help employees feel more at home and increase retention rate. They can offer more guidance and even come up with creative perks that will even further increase retention.
More Effective Way of Learning
In this age of millennials, the way that people expect to learn has evolved. Social media has become a preferred digital alternative for the “traditional” social life. Online learning is more in line with the digital lives of millennials. E-learning also allows employees to move at their own pace. Traditional external training can be frustrating for those who find the pace to be too fast or too slow. E-learning also supports videos, interactive learning through gamification, and can be accessed from mobile devices. A learning management system allows us to learn in the way that we most love to learn.
Easily Tracks Employee Progress and Performance
Most learning management systems offer detailed metrics and reporting. If you see that an employee is struggling, you can offer supplemental resources. If you find that multiple employees are struggling with a particular course, you assess and revise the eLearning content as needed.
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Online Training will reduce the amount of travel required and save loads of paper. “Going Green” can also help a company gain public favor. This list merely scrapes the surface of what a Learning Management System has to offer. Classroom training is a thing of the past. The transition to an online training platform can be simple, enjoyable, and rewarding. The most difficult part is selecting the right LMS for you and your business.
For the longest time creating training content meant one of two things. You built the content utilizing your subject matter expertise or bought the content containing someone else’s subject matter expertise. Building content was relatively affordable while buying content was extremely expensive. More expensive than buying someone else’s content was paying someone to build your own. Today we finally have a more affordable option that combines these two common practices.
The newest concept is what we playfully call the third B of the 3 B’s. This is what we call Borrowing. You either buy/purchase content that’s been pre-built, you build it or hire someone to build your subject matter expertise into a course or what may be the most cost effective method of all you borrow it. Because of the internet Creative Commons Licensing Laws https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license common pre-built content that is not private can be reused in your own material so long as it is not being presented as your own original thoughts.
Here’s the 3 options quickly explained. Build vs. Buy vs. Borrow
Build – This one is easy. You are creating training material from in house subject matter expertise. Whether it be from your own original thoughts, repurposing pre-built presentations and manuals, using 3rd party content editor or using the easy LearningZen pre-built editor. You are taking your own training material and hopefully creating engaging, interactive online training courses. This is the most cost effective way monetarily but it does take time to build courses so it is the most work. It’s going to be unique to just your business.
Buy – Content can be thought of a few different ways. You can purchase an entire pre-built online training course built from a 3rd party vendor and import it into a LMS using the SCORM uploader. Vendors sell pre-built courses, subject matter experts build and sell pre-built content and stand-alone videos can be purchased to add to your original material. This is the most expensive option but it’s also the quickest. The downfall here is it is not your message, it is someone else’s. Customizing this content is harder and sometimes copyrighted making it impossible or illegal.
Borrow – This can be thought of as a combination of the first two. Pre-built content to borrow can be found in forms like YouTube videos, Vimeo video’s, Slideshow presentations found on sharing sites, images from third party vendors, Ted talks you’ve watched and infographics someone else created. There’s lots of types of pre-built shareable content. The advantage to this is you can borrow some sections and create or modify the content that doesn’t match up with your business. This is probably the quickest way to build content. If there’s a video you watched on YouTube that you wanted to train your staff on you could embed the video into a course, ask the students to answer questions about what they watched, assign it to them and track their understanding of content. Borrowing content is a lot like having access to the world’s largest content library. The possibilities are endless and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Someone built what you borrow and you still get to make tweaks to make it your own.
So, in summary we’ve outlined 3 options. Building is the most time consuming but doesn’t cost you anything other than your time. Buying is the most expensive option but the quickest. Borrowing is very inexpensive but you still need to add some of your own time to pull this information into a course.
This should be easy since I’m in the business of advising my clients all the time on tools they should be using to build online training. I’ve been in the training field for about 20 years as an instructor/trainer/instructional designer/LMS implementer/LMS/Administrator/speaker/facilitator/sales rep/service technician/support analyst. If it involves training and education I’ve done it. So, I figured I could list out some obvious and not so obvious tools that will help you build engaging online training courses that can educate and protect your business. After all, it’s no secret that well-trained employees are the core of any successful business.
1. Video – Super obvious, right? Video is the great equalizer. It allows you and your message to be consistently delivered to anyone at any time. It’s a duplicator or the closest thing we’ve come to it. It’s a great idea to tell all your employees how something should be done but if you can show them too it becomes a no brainer. We invest in expensive equipment, costly insurance policies, branding and marketing but what about the brand itself? The people you have representing you are the brand so make darn sure they know how to do their job. Showing them with video in addition to in person is the best and most cost-effective way to save money in the long run. The best thing about this is almost everyone is walking around with a great video camera on their smart phone and editing video has become so easy. Don’t pay high dollar productions costs when your employees care way more about the substance than the sizzle.
2. Images – I’m not talking cute little clip art pics but pictures of your business equipment, your employees and your surroundings. When employees log in to take an online training course and see pictures of fellow employees, equipment they recognize or facilities they work at, it tends to resonate so much more then general web based and often purchased at a high cost images. Why pay for images that can be photographed by you?
3. Gamification – Interactive Games are a great way to get your audience engaged in the learning process while also keeping it fun. There’s a lot of gaming tools and sites out there but we love the ease and price (free) of Quizlet. Check it out here https://quizlet.com/
4. Quizzes & Assessments – Okay, this is an obvious one for me but I am always surprised how few people actually implement this into their e-learning materials. It’s doing a few things. Quizzes help you engage your audience in interactions to help drive home learning messages. It can also be a pause point for some quick reflection about the lesson you just taught all the while ensuring your audience isn’t just going through the motions, clicking next and moving to the exam. Lastly, those final exams are what helps you determine if lessons are being comprehended. They also help point out strengths and weaknesses in areas of expertise you want your audience to learn. Most LMS’s will give you statistics on which questions are being answered correctly, helping to identify strengths and weaknesses of your staff or learning audience. Use this information. If your target passing threshold of a question is 65% and your audience is only passing it at 30% there is an obviously glaring need to address the content of that question so the learners have a better chance at retaining that information.
5. Third party embed code sites. These are the websites you get to borrow pre-built material from. Why don’t people do this more often for standard training information? Someone has usually gone through the trouble and effort to build out the training material for you. Why not grab that material for free and use it and you focus on building what is your unique messages and lessons? I’m talking about sites like YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, SlideBoom, PowToon, JibJab, and Prezi. There’s tons of cool sites, this is just a shout out to the obvious ones.
There you have it, 5 tools that will help you build a world class, fun and interactive learning experience without breaking the bank. Every one of these suggestions is a free way to help design engaging learning modules.
Providing the best products or a great service idea is nothing without great customer service. Customer service is at the center to every business’ success, and great customer service is often the deciding factor of whether to pay a little less at business A and receive mediocre to bad customer service and whether to spend a little more at business B and receive outstanding customer service. In a world where customer service has turned into an often lackluster experience, there is something so very appealing about an optimistic, warm voice on the other end of a phone, computer or face to face meeting.
Your employees are your company’s first impression. They are very often the deciding factor whether new business becomes returning business that refers other new business to your business. In today’s fiercely competitive marketplace, your best edge over the competition is obsessive customer service training.
We all know that practice makes perfect and there is no better way for your employees to receive the ongoing, consistent training they need to drive customers to your door than by providing on-line customer service training. Online customer service training is available when and where you need it for your employees. The benefits of providing on-line customer service training is huge; here are just a few:
Improved Customer Service Skills
Customer service training programs focus on improving communication, listening, problem-solving and organizational skills. Training employees on the same standards sets the bar for consistent and remarkable service, creating camaraderie, motivation and engagement between staff leading to improved customer service.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Through effective customer service training, employees are able to resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently, decreasing prolonged resolution which greatly increases customer satisfaction. The confidence gained by employees through customer service training leads to the consumer feeling appreciated and respected. This is the basis for customer loyalty, and new referrals.
Investing in online customer service for your staff pays back big dividends in other areas such as customer loyalty, new customers, lower employee turnover and increased sales. Customer service training also has a great impact on employee motivation and morale, which leads to increased productivity. Training, increased customers numbers, higher productivity and morale, those are the keys to higher profit.
What are you waiting for? Improved customer service, increased customer satisfaction and higher profits are just a click away. – contributed by Felita Estes
There is nothing like walking into a business or receiving a service from a company whose employees are friendly, effective, efficient, knowledgeable, and encourage referrals. As a customer, you leave the business satisfied and ready to tell everyone about the great service you experienced. You then flash to your business and wonder if your employees could deliver that same level of product knowledge, and service in the same manner. For restaurant and franchise businesses to thrive having a great product or service is only half the battle. Without great employees to deliver and represent your business, the best business can find itself treading water. After all, great employees still require direction, motivation and incentives to propel them to give the business they work for 100+ percent. How do you make fair to good employees great? Training.
For most restaurant and franchise businesses, trying to get everyone trained at the same time is like herding cats. Attempting to schedule everyone in the same place at the same time or even in shifts is difficult for most part-time employees and many full-time employees because of other jobs, school, and family obligations. But the benefit of providing training for employees far outweighs any downside, and on-line training is the tool that can make it happen.
Training not only provides employees the necessary tools to perform their jobs but it also provides something even more valuable to a business; confident employees. When employees are given the tools necessary to be great at their job, it increases their confidence which increases their need to perform above and beyond and increases their desire to make each customer happy and satisfied. That confidence, increased self-worth and desire to succeed translates to a more successful business.
Study after study has proven that training is important in improving an employee’s capabilities, overall productivity and efficiency. But it doesn’t stop there; training can also improve other areas of the business. Imagine a workforce that is consistently trained with substantial, relevant material. A workforce like that will produce increased revenue, productivity and create an atmosphere of strong working relationships, all of which will more than cover the costs associated with the training. Wouldn’t it be amazing to walk in the doors a business and witness a crew of friendly, effective, efficient, knowledgeable employees servicing increased numbers of happy customers and realize it’s your business?
The team here at Learning Zen got to thinking about the top reasons someone would want to be investing in online training. It’s kind of our business to know these things. We help so many diverse companies from Zoos and Aquariums to 1000+ unit franchisors, individual restaurants, non-profit associations, family fun centers and government agencies. Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot by helping a lot. Let’s get to it. 10 Signs you should be investing in online training 1. You have Multiple Locations. Let’s face it, you can’t be everywhere all the time but your message sure could be. 2. You struggle with Consistency. Okay this is a killer problem with most businesses whether you have multiple locations or just one. Training coming from different people tends to stress different points. One instructor might think profit is what needs to be focused on while another instructor believes profit comes from a superior customer experience. One concise message helps make it clear to everyone what your company message is. 3. Those darn Rating Sites are beating you up and giving you a bad reputation. If you want to be able to address problems being reported how nice would it be to point that person, or store, to training that is available right now to address those areas being reported as weaknesses. 4. Turnover is happening but you don’t know why. Look, all businesses deal with turnover but the ones that are the most successful get that way because they invest in their employees, the most valuable asset of any business. Investing in your employees helps empower them, they understand what they are supposed to do and how that is being measured. Everyone inherently wants to do a good job but not everyone knows what that means. 5. Profits are down. When profits dip there is almost always a cause and effect you can point to. The bottom line is to keep profits up you need to have a great product, with a good customer experience so people want to buy what you are selling. 6. Quality is dipping. Whether its food, craftsmanship or customer experience somebody needs to be making sure the quality has not changed and expectations of that level of quality remains high. 7. Hiring is tricky – Finding good quality candidates to hire is not easy. Teaching people how to hire right the first time is one of the best skills you can hand over to someone. Take the time to understand what are the qualities you want in your new hires. What can you work with and what can you absolutely not work with. 8. Your workplace needs to make sure you meet certain Safety and Compliance regulations. Training of safety and compliance isn’t an option it needs to be done. It keeps your employees and your patrons safe, happy and secure. One incident can cripple a business. 9. Company Policies are not being followed or enforced. Hand in hand with training is also the adherence to your specific company policies. Online training systems can manage these policies and protect you from unwanted frivolous law suits brought about from an employee against the employer. Protect your investment by tracking adherence to your policies so everyone is clear. 10. You don’t Trust your staff. This one is huge. At the end of the day employers need to be able to trust their staff or they would have to do everything themselves. No one has a true duplication machine that we’ve found to date so you can’t make more of yourself. You need employees that understand their job and how they are being measured, act professional and friendly. You need to trust that they are handling a customer or situation in a way you would be satisfied with. This list comprises 10 signs that you should be considering investing in online training. These aren’t the only reasons but these are all things that can be addressed with online training. Online training gives you the ability to put your message in front of your employees regardless of where they are located or whether you can be there. With video hosting being so affordable now your message can get to every employee, you can track that they are retaining the training and you can identify strengths and weaknesses. Investing in employees is worth every single penny. After all, they are the backbone of any product or service you are selling yet somehow training budgets always seem like the first thing slashed. If at the end of the day I know that I have well trained employees that I can trust, my business will succeed and my expectations will have been met.