Where are the performance gaps in your organization?
Performance gaps are the distance between what your employees currently know and what they need to know in order to succeed.
This is especially true of employees that seek to grow into higher positions within the company.
They may not always succeed at getting those roles because they’re not equipped to handle the new responsibilities.
One Gallup survey shows that only 50% of employees indicate that they know what’s expected of them in their role.
The good news is that eLearning (along with other forms of employee training) has been shown to bridge that knowledge gap with relative ease for both the employer and the employee.
But eLearning must be personalized in order to truly succeed in bridging that gap.
Organizations need to understand how to implement eLearning with their employee training to see the best results.
Here’s what employers need to know about personalization in order to help their employees succeed in new (or current) roles.
Target Individual Skill Gaps with Personalization
Traditional training courses are often a one-size-fits all approach that doesn’t cater to the individual needs of your employees.
But personalization allows you to offer tailor-made training resources, activities, and assessments for specific skill gaps.
You can also give employees complete control of their online training with a microlearning library and customized online training course menu.
Having the ability to choose what they learn, when they learn, will encourage learning in a targeted way.
Course materials will also be more relevant to their interest, which makes it more likely that they will be completed on time.
You should also consider creating customized learning experiences based on learning styles.
Some employees need to be hands on, and others need to simply hear or see the information to retain it. For example, visual learners can access presentations and infographics, while audio learners can listen to podcasts.
This creates opportunities for training paths that meet individual needs while still creating a cohesive training message available to all employees.
Identifying learning preferences will take time and careful research.
But putting in the effort to personalize your eLearning materials will allow you to create more individualized (and more effective) resources for employees.
Personalization Must Include Real World Experiences
No two roles in your organization are exactly the same.
Elearning allows you to create real-world scenarios that employees can experience first hand without fearing the repercussions of any poor decisions.
But these scenarios should be tailored to the unique roles that someone is being asked to fill.
For example, employees in a more hands-on role in a manufacturing company may not benefit from managerial situations, and vice versa.
This is where something like a branching scenario will help.
Branching scenarios allow learners to choose their own path and experience the outcome of personalized scenarios firsthand.
These real-world activities, which can be customized to any role, also mimic real-world pressure.
Employees should be able to see exactly how they’ll perform on-the-job and then seek out additional online training resources for their role.
Employees Should Have “Moment-of-Need” Resources
One of the biggest benefits of corporate eLearning is that it facilitates “moment-of-need” online training.
Moment-of-need training can help fill knowledge and skills gaps relatively quickly.
But this type of training and resources will require personalization beyond a traditional training course that every employee goes through.
Only the individual employees know what they need to learn, when they need to learn it.
This is where microlearning can come in handy for employers looking to create small but highly personalized eLearning courses relatively quickly.
Microlearning allows you to create bite-sized training opportunities that could easily be completed in a day.
This can help reduce the skill gaps on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, rather than having employees wait for an annual or irregular training schedule to improve their skills and knowledge.
Create a Learning Community for Performance Support
One of the drawbacks of traditional training is that employees may feel isolated from their coworkers.
Employees who all need to learn the same skills, but have very different learning styles, may benefit from more collaborative eLearning.
By creating a learning community within your organization, you empower employees to take control of their training and offer their own resources relating to specific skills that are more universal.
This still allows personalization in the eLearning environment.
Employees can take feedback or tips from other employees and implement them in a way that feels more natural for their individual roles and skills.
Even if you don’t have a physical location for a collaborative eLearning environment, there are ways to offer them the social interactions they need in an online training space.
Online forums or even social media groups, like a Facebook page, can spark online discussions.
You can also create a corporate eLearning blog to help employees stay on the same page, even as they participate in more individualized eLearning paths.
Give Employees Regular, Personalized Reviews
You won’t know whether or not your eLearning course is actually effective at improving job performance unless employees are allowed to provide feedback.
In many cases, companies often wait until annual performance reviews to monitor role success.
But waiting this long may mean missing opportunities for further development or recognizing areas that need improving before that review takes place.
The sooner employees understand that there are performance gaps occurring, the sooner they can bridge those gaps with the use of eLearning and additional training.
That’s why it’s essential to get feedback from employees on their role, knowledge base, and skill level more often than once a year.
Monthly progress reviews or even self reviews can help you recognize skill gaps where eLearning could help. Here are a few tips for creating a skills assessment questionnaire.
Allow Employees to Provide Direct Input in the Process
Of course, feedback works both ways.
Elearning allows you to collect valuable information about your employees and how well they’re performing in their jobs.
But it should also be a way of understanding how management can improve, or how the eLearning and training process can be improved.
You can and should be collecting regular employee feedback using surveys, focus groups, or questionnaires. Ideally this feedback would be completed after a course is completed. (Here are 60+ post-course questions to ask).
You should collect information on how well the employees feel their skills are progressing, whether or not the eLearning course materials are personalized enough, and where improvements to the process can be made.
This will help you improve your eLearning personalization for the future as well as gain valuable insight into the training process as a whole.
Personalization is the key to success when it comes to online training.
There are many ways that you can personalize courses to improve performances.
You can offer the same materials in a variety of ways that cater to different learning styles, for example. Visual learners can engage in pictures or video, while audio learners can use podcasts.
Or you can offer different, tailored training courses dependent on the unique roles and responsibilities each employee has.
For example, management may receive different training materials than those who work hands on with customers or machinery.
Microlearning, branching scenarios, and other personalized training paths can help create truly unique eLearning courses.
The more you can do to personalize the experience, the easier it will be to bridge the performance gap and improve your organization at every level.