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Boost employee skills with online training courses

Offering your employees the opportunity to learn and grow is a vital part of being a supportive employer. So, how can you make that happen?
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Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager
2021-12-10

Upskilling your employees can be difficult to orchestrate as teams reach capacity during working hours and live increasingly busy lives once they’ve clocked off for the day.

Organizing a time and place to train your employees can be near impossible, as there are always other day-to-day tasks that seem to take priority. But offering your employees the opportunity to learn and grow is a vital part of being a supportive employer. So, how can you make that happen?

Flexible online training offers you the chance to boost employee skills in a way that suits both you and them. Courses can be approached in several different ways, which means they don’t have to disturb the daily operations of your business and add unnecessary pressure.

Not only that, but it’s a much more cost-effective way to upskill your employees. Below, we’re going to take you through what online training is, the advantages of online training, and how online training can bring value to your business. 

What is online training?

Online training, sometimes referred to as distance learning or e-learning, is a form of digital education that doesn’t require the student to travel to a place of learning. Instead, the student accesses the course and materials completely online. As such, all they need is access to a computer, laptop, or even just a smartphone, depending on the specific course requirements.

Courses take many forms and can cover just about any topic or subject. From short courses online to longer certifications or degrees, if there’s something you’d like to learn, there’s a high chance there’ll be an online course covering that topic.

Online training has revolutionized learning, as it allows students to learn from the best teachers around the world and not simply rely on those close to home.

How does online training work?

There’s a variety of different ways in which training can be delivered, with many courses using a combination of the following:

  • Video and audio
  • Learning portals
  • Infographics
  • Interactive tools and quizzes
  • Discussions
  • Conferencing
  • Hyperlinked pages

These different approaches keep the learning process from becoming stagnant, while also ensuring information is retained so it can later be put into practice.

The value of online training

Online courses can be an invaluable tool, allowing you to not only support your employees by facilitating their growth, but also help your business provide a better service to your clients and customers.

Regardless of which industry your business is in, it can be challenging to keep up with changes and developments. Technology is always evolving, processes change and adapt, and new research is produced that means last year’s standard-bearer may be outdated this year.

Additionally, the recruitment process can be long and expensive for any business. It can be far more cost-effective to upskill current employees than to recruit new employees with the skills that are required.

The benefits of online training

There are many benefits to taking a course online, helping both the employee and employer.

Perfect for multi-tasking

Upskilling while still allowing employees to do their jobs can be a difficult balance, but online staff training allows for that flexibility. While many employees may be close to capacity with their workload, there are always periods of downtime. During those quieter periods, you can take fifteen or thirty minutes here and there to learn online, fitting it in as and when.

This approach means employees can fully focus on their role, while still having the opportunity to learn and not putting themselves under additional pressure.

Convenience

Not only can students access their training from the office, but also at home or even during the commute. This model allows employees who are keen to develop their skills ample opportunities to do so, as well as remote and hybrid workers who may spend time away from the office.

Students can approach learning at their own pace. When students can tackle learning in a way that suits them best, they’re more likely to retain information and get the most out of the process.

Consistency

Courses can be taken by any number of employees, all accessing the online training portal at different times. That means each employee can get the same experience, ensuring consistency despite the differences in pace.

Maximize engagement

Online courses ensure students can engage with course materials by offering variations in how they learn. Videos, infographics, and quizzes switch up the teaching style, helping students engage and retain what they’ve learned.

Cost-effective

As previously mentioned, it’s not just your employees who benefit from online learning. Not only do you develop your workforce and encourage growth, but it’s far more cost-effective. And if you’re looking to train a large number of employees, you may find that you can look for a discount and make further savings.

If you’re interested in more information, we have plenty of resources available about all aspects of online learning.

Types of online training courses

Training platforms will generally be taught using one of two main types: synchronous and asynchronous.

Synchronous learning

Synchronous learning is tutor-led and often requires students to attend video lectures that occur at a set time. Tutor-led training courses are mainly reserved for full-time or part-time students who can attend these scheduled events.

Asynchronous learning

Asynchronous learning is the most common method used by online platforms, as it allows students to learn in a way that suits them. This way, students can access training alongside their day-to-day role or at other times that are convenient for them.

Asynchronous learning doesn’t mean students learn alone, however. Some online training hubs will offer students the opportunity to communicate and share insights, depending on the type of course.

For more information, check out our post on the benefits of self-directed learning.

Qualities of good online training platforms

Online training providers need to ensure that students are as well equipped as possible to get the most out of the course and the materials. While a course may cover the exact topic you’d like your employees to learn, if the platform isn’t modern, accessible, and intuitive, then the students may struggle.

A good online training center will have features that encourage engagement and make the learning experience as rewarding as possible, including:

  • A user-friendly interface
  • Being quick and simple to set up and start
  • Being desktop and mobile-friendly
  • Having a variety of learning tools and resources
  • Being compatible with SCORM, xAPI, PDF, MS Office, and more
  • Having simple but thorough administration and reporting capabilities
  • Providing collaboration and communication tools
  • Will integrate with your existing programs and processes such as MS Teams and Slack
  • Having scalability to offer further training as your business grows
  • Offering 24-hour support

Another important feature you may be interested in is the ability to author training materials of your own. There may be industry leaders in your business who want to share insights and training of their own. If this is something your business is interested in, ensure it’s available via your chosen platform.

Choosing the right online training

There are a number of points you should consider when figuring out how to set up online training:

  • What are your goals as a business, your goals for your employees, and your employees’ goals for themselves?
  • Can the skills your employees learn through the course be used to improve the business?
  • Have you made sure you’ve found the right course provider that can offer everything you need?
  • Does the platform offer asynchronous learning? Are the courses so long they may be overwhelming?
  • Does the cost reflect the level of training your employees will receive?
  • In what format will the course be taught? Is there enough variation to ensure students are engaged?
  • How will the student be assessed at the end of the course? 

As mentioned above, good training platforms should make it easy for both the employer and the employee. That means accessing your platform should be effortless.

Ready to boost your employees’ skills with online learning?

Go1 has helped millions of people across thousands of businesses boost their skills and develop their careers. If you’d like to take a step towards upskilling your employees, book a demo now to see how Go1 can help you. Or, you can subscribe to the Go1 newsletter to stay on top of all the latest L&D trends.

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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