How to create online training programs for employees - your step by step guide!

Creating online training programs for employees can be daunting, especially if you have to make the courses from scratch. But not if you follow our six-step plan! You will see that creating online training programs can be rewarding too!

Caroline
Written by Caroline Communications
Posted on
Updated on
Reading time 9 minutes

Table of contents

  1. Phase 1: Prepare
  2. Phase 2: Make a choice
  3. Phase 3: Create training content
  4. Build your online training with Easy LMS

Phase 1: Prepare

Step 1: Define your training goals. 

What should your employees be able to do after they complete your online training program? This question should be your starting point. You will gain focus when you define clear and measurable learning goals. It also makes it easier for you to decide what instruction to add to your employees' training program. 

How do you define training goals? Most often, it's driven by something that isn't going as expected in your organization. For example, suppose you notice that your support consultants are giving inaccurate advice based on outdated information. In that case, this is a trigger to update their product knowledge. Or if you were to notice that your support consultants are overwhelmed by the number of incoming questions. If these questions should be easily addressed with help articles, it'd be a signal to improve the help center's quality. 

Let's end with some examples of clear training goals for support consultants based on these scenarios: 

  1. I want my support consultants to write clear step-by-step articles for our Help Center. 
  2. I want my support consultants to have multiple conversational methods to deliver bad news to clients.
  3. I want my support consultants to be completely up-to-date about our product's new features. 
Teaching your employees new skills requires a different approach than refreshing their knowledge

Step 2: Define the purpose of your course to decide your learning approach

You need to take your course's purpose into account to determine your learning approach. You could have different purposes like: 

  1. Updating current knowledge
  2. Acquiring new knowledge
  3. Improving current soft and hard skills
  4. Acquiring new soft and hard skills 

Teaching your employees new skills requires a different approach than refreshing their knowledge. Let us explain using the examples above. Example one is about acquiring a new skill: writing. As you can imagine, this requires real-life practice with teammates, along with some theoretical background. A blended learning approach is a good match here. Example three is about updating current knowledge. For this purpose, you can encourage an asynchronous learning approach. Your employees learn at their own pace, place, and time. You can test their updated knowledge with a final exam. 

Step 3: Define your audience to tailor your training program

Knowing your audience is crucial. What are your employees' needs and knowledge level? What are their strengths and weaknesses? You can figure this out with questionnaires, assessments, or a one-on-one conversation. This information will sharpen your training goal, personalize your training content, and highlight new learning opportunities. 

Phase 2: Make a choice 

Step 4: Prioritize your training goals

Always choose a training goal that solves a specific issue in your business

You finished the preparation. Now it's time to roll up your sleeves. To ensure that your topic is related to your training goal, pick a training topic that your employees haven't learned or cover the skills and knowledge they lack. 

Most of the time, you want to cover multiple training goals as soon as possible. Always choose a training goal that solves a specific issue in your business and will deliver the most significant benefit. Prioritize your goals and work through them one at a time! 

Let's go back to the examples. You can prioritize these as follows: 

1. I want my support consultants to be completely up-to-date about our product's new features.

Reason: Due to incorrect information, your sales conversion rate decreases by 5% each month. 

2. I want my support consultants to write clear step-by-step articles for our Help Center. 

Reason: Due to unclear articles, one support consultant spends two hours a week answering recurring questions. 

3. I want my support consultants to have multiple conversational methods to deliver bad news to clients. 

Reason: We plan to phase out a specific product in 2023, which will harm ten clients. 

Step 5: Determine the length of your training program

The topic of your training program determines its length. If it is possible to break down your training program into logical blocks, do it! According to research, concentration declines rapidly after 90 minutes [1]. It's better to have three 60-minute online courses than one extensive course that lasts half a day in terms of retention rates.

Learn more how long employee training should be.

Phase 3: Create training content 

Step 6: Gather your resources and structure the training 

With a customized program, you have full control

At this point, you are at a crossroads. Do you purchase a ready-made course or create a tailor-made one? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A ready-made training program will undoubtedly save you time, but it is expensive. Also, it's isn't easy to assess the quality of the course in advance. Does it meet the needs of your employees? With a customized program, you have full control. You can tailor it specifically to your company and your employees' learning needs. Not to mention, you can ensure that it is inspiring rather than boring 🙈. Plus, you can update it yourself and keep it current. Of course, it will take some time to create your program, but it will be worth it when you see your employees' smiling faces 😀!  

Let's assume you choose to make the training program yourself, then we will advise to: 

1. Outline what you want to discuss in the training program. Make a distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge. Decide if you need to include face-to-face training in the online training program. 

2. Organize it cohesively and try to make a learning path. You should base each course on the skills and knowledge they gain in the previous one.

3. Decide what kind of information you need and create! To save time, try to (re) use resources your company already has, or use free resources. For example:

  1. Manuals
  2. Presentations
  3. Articles
  4. Videos
  5. Infographics
  6. Blogs
  7. YouTube / Vimeo
  8. Research reports
  9. Audio clips (e.g. SoundCloud)
  10. Journal articles
  11. Google Books

4. Use an exam to assess their knowledge level after the training program. Read how you can make challenging exam questions

5. Make it engaging and fun! No one wants to spend their spare time on a boring course without any sparkle or humor. Put a little more effort into it, and your employees will do the same! Some tips: 

  1. Add to the point with GIFs.
  2. Include inspirational quotes of famous people or philosophers. 
  3. Add test questions and (individual or group) tasks to your course.
  4. Use gamification.
  5. Make your course short.
  6. Balance friendly written text with video and audio. 

Build your online training with Easy LMS

Get comfortable and use an online learning management system, like Easy LMS, to create your employee training program. The advantages of using an LMS are apparent: 

  • Centralized content. You can organize your training programs in one central, cloud-based location. 
  • Excellent Course creation with a built-in editor. Is your training content ready? You can include all the information you need in your Course with content slides. Combine text, images, audio clips, videos, and links to web pages to make it engaging.  
  • Certificates to reward performance. If you want to measure performance, you can add an Exam or just a few practice questions in the middle or at the end of your course. You can reward your employees with an official certificate when they have completed the training. 
  • Learning paths. In Easy LMS Academy, you can design learning paths, which is ideal if your training consists of multiple Courses. With a learning path, you can specify the order you have in mind. All your Courses will be tied together, but your participants must complete them in that order. It also helps you to keep your courses small and your audience engaged. 
  • Stylized training in your corporate brand. Your company's logo and style will ring a bell to your employees! And isn't that better than just an anonymous training program? A perfectly styled course makes sure your audience is more engaged! 
  • Easy delivery of your training program. It's basically one click. Your employee will receive a unique link and password that will give them access to the training program.
  • Trackable progress and results. Training is only valuable if your employees have acquired new knowledge. Easy LMS gives you the ability to see individual progress throughout the program. 
  • Self-paced learning. Anytime, anywhere. Employees love having flexibility. An LMS gives them that. They can access their training content in their own time and place. Plus, an LMS supports distraction-free learning. Let's focus! 

Why is Easy LMS the best solution for you?

Easy LMS has all the features you need to take your training to the next level. Besides, Easy LMS is very user-friendly. It is designed with the end-user in mind. We have set up the administrator's dashboard logically so that even not-so-tech-savvy people can easily create training materials. Also, the participant interface is designed to support distraction-free and self-paced learning. It has been stripped of distracting elements, without being boring! Easy LMS is the opposite: it's fun and engaging! 

Easy LMS is also reasonably priced compared to competitors. We have subscriptions that start from $ 50 per month. You can upgrade anytime, anywhere! We don't charge per user but per participant session! 

Curious? Try it for free or request a demo

Useful resources

1. Huffpost

Frequently Asked Questions

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