6 Essential Features In An Online Corporate Training Platform – And Why You Can’t Afford To Compromise
The platform you choose can either make or break your employees’ corporate training experience. In this article I list out key features that can help make your online corporate training program a success.
What You Need In An Online Corporate Training Platform
Employees who build their professional training skills are more likely to increase their productivity. And increased productivity leads to thriving businesses. No matter the industry your business is in –entertainment, travel, or financial– your employees should be given the opportunity to polish their skills and acquire new ones. By what means can this be achieved? Through quality online corporate training. Note the keyword: Quality. While there are plenty of training programs that promise better engagement and performance-based results, few deliver long term results. Even companies that ambitiously sink in the effort and funds for training often come up short when it comes to the “return” on their investment.
While I’m not going to delve into reasons why businesses struggle with their corporate training –this is best explained by corporate training experts–, I will give you some tips to help make sure the technical end of things go smoothly. After experiencing my own failures and successes while training a team of software engineers, as well as helping many businesses to develop their corporate training solutions, I’m always eager to share about the key characteristics of a quality online corporate training platform.
Without further ado, here is my checklist for the top platform features to help make your employees’ corporate training experience a success.
1. A Platform That Is Customizable
Let’s start with the obvious: There is not one content training provider out there that can solve all of your training problems. While a platform may have an impressive library of courses, tools, and resources, companies will still need to make modifications to the system in order for it to meet their specific needs.
For instance, you’ll want to have the capability to personalize your employees’ learning environments – such as the login page and dashboard. Also, it’s good to have customization options when you create professional training courses.
Another aspect you’ll need to consider is white label. While many platforms allow their product to be white labeled, only some will provide customers with the tools to do it themselves. If you choose a platform that doesn’t give you this capability, you will be left with the task of hiring a developer to take care of that for you.
2. A Platform That Is Accessible On Mobile Devices
Design is said to be one of the single most important elements of online corporate training programs. That said, find out if the platform has been developed by professional Instructional Designers and is recognized for its user experience. The design should be simple, clean, and intuitive.
All of the professional courses should be viewable on any mobile device. Being 100 percent responsive in its design means that the layout will adapt across devices such as smartphones and tablets, and can can run on different OS (iOS, Windows, and Android). This is especially beneficial for employees in retail and restaurant businesses who are constantly on the move – and where they have to use the device in their work environment.
3. A Platform That Tracks Progress And Generates Custom Reports
Monitoring your employees’ progress helps determine ways to improve the employee learning experience – which is why analytics for learning outcomes should be readily available to managers and executives. But don’t settle for basic data reports; make sure the system allows you to create and export custom reports for specific data.
The system should also give your employees opportunity to evaluate their progress through assessments – and generate the feedback needed in order for them to improve. This, in addition to assessment review, will lead to better learning retention.
4. A Platform That Is Easy To Setup And Can Scale To Thousands Of Users
Many learning management systems take months –sometimes years– to get professional training courses up and running. (In a previous article I shared my experience of learning things the hard way with an open source learning platform).
To avoid falling into this pit, do your due diligence by making sure the platform is in the cloud and scaled for a high amount of traffic. The system should also let you standardize training materials across company locations. If it’s not in the cloud that means you don’t have the ability to clone your infrastructure – which forces you to set up new servers, move the application to the server, and then configure the application. Trust me, you don’t want to have to do that.
Also, make sure the platform is compatible with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Having a system that seamlessly hooks up with your database of users will save you a lot of time and headache. On the same note, the platform should also have the capacity to migrate your existing data into your new training program.
5. A Platform That Integrates With Other Systems
Most corporations run multiple systems to administrate their business requirements. Your platform should be able to integrate with employee databases, financial support, and product development. Including data from your other systems will help you provide better training – which will lead to an all-around impact (for the better!) on your business.
6. A Platform With Tools That Help Reinforce Learning
A common frustration with online corporate training is that employees often forget what they’ve learned. One way you can avoid this is to reinforce knowledge through peer-to-peer interaction. The platform should have a variety of means for employees to interact and share ideas. This can be facilitated through discussion boards, video and chat rooms.
Another way employees can actively retain their knowledge is having access to their courses for at least one full year; this will allow them to revisit topics and refresh their skills. When knowledge is reinforced, a successful transition can be made into application on the job – leading to increased productivity.
People are your most valuable resource and contribute your the success of your business. Whatever platform you choose for your employees, remember that choosing the right one makes all the difference in their online corporate training experience.