Published in RV Executive Today
Training your employees efficiently and effectively doesn’t have to come at such a painstakingly high price. The days of shutting down the dealership so you can send your employees off site for training is a distant memory of early 2013. With the rise of easily-obtainable technology at low prices, are you changing with the times?
It is a good idea to consider an Online Training Platform this year. Online training is an integral part of any credible employee development program. Zig Ziglar once said, “The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.” Online Training lets you effectively train more people for less money and, best of all, you get to maintain production while they are being trained. It’s winning from every stand-point.
I’m not just talking about training your employees in online safety and mandatory subjects for compliance either. I’m talking about every facet of your dealership, from the secretary to the GM. There are plenty of platforms to choose from, with some of the nation’s top trainers such as Tony Robbins, Joe Verde, and Tom Hopkins. But before you go out and invest in a new training platform, there’s a few things you need to look for.
- A platform that utilizes one on one video. This is very important. You don’t want to subject your team to mind-numbing slides with a voice-over droning on and on for who knows how long. It’s not personable, and it sends out a message that training isn’t really all that important. You need a speaker delivering content directly to your employee in an engaging way that is memorable.
- Interactive questions and checkpoints. This is to ensure your employee is getting the most out of the training session. It helps them retain the information imparted. It also increases their engagement, which is key to effective training.
- Progress Quizzes. The best thing about an online training platform is the ability to assess the progress of your employee in real-time. Find something that offers a variety of quizzes, not just the simple multiple choice questions. This way you can mix it up to prevent boredom. A system that will take the employee back to the content they scored poorly on is a definite must so they can relearn the material until they are proficient with it.
- Content Structured for the adult learner in the online world. The way we consume information in the online world is completely different from how we do it offline. Your online training platform should realize this, and structure accordingly. No one wants to sit there in front of their computer for hours while a ton of information is given to them. Rather, it needs to be given in small, easily-manageable chunks. This will decrease abandonment rates and increase sustainable learning.
- Trackable Progress. There is nothing worse than not knowing where your employees are with their training. You need a platform that logs the time they spent in each module, as well as one that lets you know their successes. This way the manager can ensure the employee is in the review, repeat, rehearse, retain, remind, and reinforce mode rather than just watching and forgetting.
- User-friendly and Intuitive. The best program will have a minimal learning curve. It’s good to find one that you can easily pick up right from the first day. It needs to be flexible and responsive to reduce frustration and prevent employees from quitting right off the bat.
- Ability to Co-Brand the Platform. While not the most important thing to look for in a training platform, it helps to have a platform that allows you to customize and brand it. No one wants to see a generic training module. It’s boring and makes the employee feel like training is just going through the motions without any importance.
- Optimal Streaming with No Buffering. It’s a pain to have to sit though a video as it buffers every 10 seconds. Our attention spans are not built for this kind of frustration. Ask your potential platform about this. Make sure the videos will come with little to no wait time. Your employees will thank you.
- Diversity. Try to find a platform that offers a diverse amount of options. I’m talking one-on-one, role-play situations, guidance simulations, and skill-drill simulations. This way you guarantee that your employee will get the most out of their training. It’ll save you precious time trying to re-train and correct missing information as well.
- Ability to test-drive. A good training platform will let you test-drive it without a sales pitch. It’ll speak for itself. Obviously, it won’t give you complete full access to the platform, but you should be able to get in and look around to see if it’s the right fit for your company. This way you can check to see if it is easy to use and efficient.
Changes in technology has provided a huge opportunity for you. The cost-advantage alone should be enough to encourage you to make the shift. Effective implementation of a blended employee development curriculum will allow you to train more people at a fraction of the cost. It’s time to stop living in the stone-age and welcome in the technology age with open arms. We have finally reached a time where new technology is creating a real value in employee learning.