According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees stay with companies that invest in employee training and development. Businesses with proper training programs have higher employee engagement and lower turnover, resulting in an increase in revenue. Creating a culture of learning will help your business attract the best talent and ensure high-quality job performance.
Contrary to popular belief, creating your first employee training program doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. You don’t have to hire a trainer or fly your team across the country for group training in the same building.
Instructor-led training is not the only option for educating your employees. eLearning is a great way to create modern and updatable training, and the best part – you can create it for free. This article will show you how to build your first employee training program without spending a dime by leveraging the power of online learning.
How to build your first employee training program?
Step 1: Identify the Biggest Challenge
You can’t tackle all of your training needs at once. Building your first employee training can seem overwhelming if you think about addressing all training needs at once in a single program.
Although your overarching training plans can include developing the whole library of courses, you need to tackle them one course at a time. For your first training program, focus on the biggest challenge of your business.
Identify employees who need additional training and the corresponding challenges they are facing to see if there are any commonalities. We have a free MasterClass on our website guiding you through this process.
Remember that employee challenges aren’t related to the business goals you set for your team. If your employees aren’t hitting the numbers, that’s your challenge, not theirs. Their challenges may look like a lack of product knowledge. Ask your employees what exactly they want to learn.
Step 2: Create an Outline for Your Training
Once you’ve identified the biggest challenge, create a Learner Transformation Statement – the A to Z journey your Learners have to undertake to complete the training and gain the knowledge they need.
What steps will they need to take to get from where they are currently to where they need to be? Create a one-page outline for those steps; it will help you to keep your training structured. Every step can be turned into a module of your eLearning program.
We recommend breaking down your modules into lessons based on the principles of microlearning for the best learning experience, engagement, and retention.
Step 3: Utilize Free Online Resources
Many business owners believe that to build their first employee training they need to create the content themselves. In many instances, that’s not true. You can actually use content from MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), YouTube videos, and Open Educational Resources (OER).
Why create custom online training for employees when so much information is available online? Once you have your outline, search existing content and collect links to what’s relevant to your training program.
Step 4: Capture Existing Knowledge
Now, look at your outline and the content you’ve collected from different sources, and identify gaps you need to fill. Most likely, you or someone at your organization already have the knowledge required to create the content. Who are these people? We call them – Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
Once you’ve identified SMEs, connect with them to create training materials you need to capture for your first employee training program. In most cases, using free tools such as a screen capture tool Loom.com with PowerPoint slides or your phone’s camera for show-and-tell videos is sufficient to create training.
Step 5: Decide Where to Host Your Program
We often recommend Loom.com for small businesses because it allows you to create high-quality training content and hosts your videos. This helps if you don’t want to invest in a Learning Management System (LMS) at this moment. Instead, you can simply share the links to Loom videos with your employees or while training independent contractors.
eLearning platforms for small businesses can be costly, so having the option of hosting content for free is a fantastic deal.
If you do want to pick an LMS platform to host your content, opt for one that is specifically designed for employee training programs. Many companies focus too much on testing Learning Management Systems to pick the perfect one while neglecting what matters most — the Learners. Ask your Learners about what learning experience they are looking for and pick an LMS that’s specifically designed for a small business if you are looking for the best value for your buck.
Step 6: Encourage Peer-to-Peer Training
Establishing a culture of learning is much more impactful than developing an eLearning program. Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of developing training without active participation from employees and then demand that employees watch the training course. It doesn’t work in the long term.
Effective training programs are built by encouraging employees to participate in the creation process. Teach them to get in the habit of recording quick Loom videos to answer questions instead of simply walking a new employee through the process in real time. Collect these employee-generated videos and use them in your training.
This will save everyone time and make your employees feel more at ease focusing on their job responsibilities instead of getting distracted by newbies’ questions. It will also make your senior employees feel more appreciated.
Step 7: Create an Infinite Feedback Loop
Use a free tool like VideoAsk to interact with employees taking your program to keep them engaged and ask questions about their user experience. We call this an infinite feedback loop; in our view, it’s the most important step on this list. You should engage your Learners during the entire eLearning development process.
VideoAsk allows you to pre-record questions for your employees to answer after completing the program. They can share their feedback and the challenges they still struggle with. Then, you can address these challenges at the moment, add more relevant content to your program, or rework content so that it’s easier to comprehend.
Without continuous feedback, your first employee training may become outdated and irrelevant. So, make it your goal to collect feedback and update your program to keep it current at least every year, if not more often.
If you’ve been wondering how to create your first employee training program, follow these steps to save time and money. Start by identifying the most significant challenge your employees are facing and create an A to Z journey they need to complete to acquire the knowledge and experience they need. Then, look for existing content and identify gaps you need to fill. Collaborate with other team members on creating content using free resources. And lastly, don’t forget about constantly collecting feedback from your Learners.