Part II: Ask These Questions Before Launching an Elearning Program

Posted By: Katie Strand, Client Success Manager, Tooling U-SME on February 04, 2020

elearning program

Recently, we posted the first installment of our two-part series about the essential questions you should ask before launching an elearning program. This is a subject that stirs up a lot of conversation.

Discussion is great because it means you and your colleagues are working out issues in advance of your training initiative debut.

A clear, consistent message about the importance and benefits of the program along with a well-thought-out plan will create a successful elearning program for your employees and your company. Enhanced productivity, costs savings and improved morale are sure to follow.

Today, we introduce four more questions to ask before launching your elearning program (since they follow the first five questions from Part I, we are numbering this group 6-9):

  1. Will there be any type of incentive for the employee? Employees want to know, “what’s in it for me?” They likely feel the everyday production pressures already, and adding what seems like another task to their schedules can seem overwhelming or bothersome. Connecting training to rewards can help build motivation and make learning fun. Some companies use incentives such as awarding a pizza lunch, a paid half-day off, or items such as t-shirts or electronic charging banks upon completion of a set of classes. The gold standard ties training to raises, promotions and bonuses. Don’t worry—many manufacturers are not there yet but are working toward that goal, and you can too.
  2. Will training be on the clock or at home? There are a number of factors that determine when and how elearning takes place. Certainly one of the advantages of online training is that it is available anytime, anyplace. The ideal scenario is to create an optimal learning environment without distractions. Some companies create a dedicated training room with computers. That is not possible for all companies so other options exist such as taking classes on a tablet or even on a student’s phone through the Tooling U-SME app While some manufacturers allow at-home access to online training, most prefer training that is done on the clock. It’s important to consider state laws related to after-hours work or overtime.
  3. Will there be a formal training schedule? A formal schedule is recommended so that training remains a priority and doesn’t take a back seat to production. For example, a training group goes to the computer lab the first Monday of every month and takes two classes. Alternatively, students could work with their supervisor based on production to complete online training, but there is a risk that it will be delayed or cancelled all together. Still, if training expectations — say, all employees must complete one hour of training a month — have been made clear at the time of the rollout, most employees will take the initiative to complete it. To help this process, some companies create training passes (like a school hallway pass) which workers request from their supervisor when they have down time. Determining expectations in advance will help the training team and employees meet them.
  4. Have you set up communications plans? Everyone from executives to trainers must be on the same page when it comes to communicating the purpose of the training. For success, this purpose must be explained companywide — consistently and with one voice. It is also important to decide in advance how students will be informed about the training, reinforcing its importance and the goals of training. Change can be unsettling; however, employees will feel more engaged when they learn that the assessments and training are for professional development that helps enhance their careers.

Be sure to consider these questions in advance to build a strong plan and ensure your elearning rollout is a success. Contact us at 866.706.8665 if you want to bounce ideas off us or if you want to share your success story.

Tags: "career progression", elearning, incentive, manufacturing, online, "Tooling U-SME", training, workforce