7 tips for developing an online training culture in your organization Christopher Pappas Published on July 21, 2016 Every building needs a solid foundation and the same is true for a successful online training program. Your employees need a structured training culture in order to develop skills, fill performance gaps, and master work-related tasks. In this article, Christopher Pappas shares seven tips that will help you to create and promote an online training culture in your organization. An online training culture can improve workplace efficiency, increase employee satisfaction, and help employees to adapt more easily to new tasks and challenges. That's achieved by cultivating a strong sense of community within your online training program, encouraging corporate learners to improve skills and expand their professional knowledge on an ongoing basis. It also provides them with the support they need to achieve goals and improve on-the-job performance. Here are some ways to create and cultivate an effective online training culture in your organization: Host monthly online meetings There are a number of video conferencing tools that help you to connect with corporate learners. Corporate learners can also use these platforms to connect with their peers and benefit from one another's expertise. Rather than making meetings exclusive by only inviting a select group of employees, try to conduct at least one open meeting a month to get everyone involved. That also gives participants an opportunity to address questions and concerns, some of which may be shared collectively. Give learners plenty of notice so that they've time to prepare suggestions or comments. Be open about the goals, expectations, and mission of your organization Each and every employee on your team should know as much as possible about the objectives and expectations of your organization, particularly when it comes to your online training program. Make your goals clear and let employees know exactly how and why they need to reach goals in order to achieve success. In some cases, employees may simply be unaware of what you're trying to accomplish and how they fit into the big picture. However, if you create a succinct mission statement and give them the online training tools they need, the potential for growth is much higher. Set up a virtual suggestion box Employees like to know their thoughts and ideas matter, which is why a suggestion box is an invaluable feedback tool. Staff can simply leave comments anonymously whenever they feel a need to voice their opinions. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create a contact form that doesn't ask for any personal information. You may even wish to read the comments aloud during monthly meetings and address them directly at that time. Just make sure that you let staff know about that beforehand so that they aren't caught off guard when you share their inputs. Offer voluntary refresher courses. Ongoing online training is essential, regardless of your industry, staff size, or budget. In many cases, organizations only offer online training to new employees, then expect them to improve their performance after they've gained more experience. However, offering voluntary refresher online training courses that employees can access whenever they choose can significantly enhance your corporate eLearning culture. In comparison to mandatory online training courses, optional online activities can boost motivation and engagement because employees aren't forced to participate. It also stresses the importance of continual skill development, which can create many benefits. Turn managers into mentors. Managers, supervisors, and other employees who act in a leadership capacity should be ready to offer guidance and support. These staff members must also know the ins and outs of the online training platform and tools, as well as which resources are at their disposal. In many ways, managers serve as role models in your organization. Therefore, if they play an active role in your online training program, those they manage are likely to follow suit. Give personalized praise to employees who excel. We can often lose sight of the fact that employees who excel need a pat on the back every now and then. It's relatively easy to identify corporate learners who are struggling and give them the constructive criticism they need. However, staff members who out-perform may start to lose motivation and drive if you don't offer them personalized praise. That can cause them to disengage from the online training culture and their work performance may suffer as a result. If a standout employee passes a task assessment with flying colors or breezes through a simulation, let them know that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. Create a supportive and compassionate online onboarding training program. New employees typically need more support and guidance than experienced staff members. That's why you need to develop a compassionate onboarding training program that takes their specific needs into account. Pair them with more experienced employees who can help them, or give them access to online training scenarios and simulations that highlight every step of a work related task. Above all else, emphasize the fact that you are there to offer them the help they need to adapt to their new work environment. There's nothing worse than starting a new job, only to discover that you're being thrown into the thick of things without any help. Creating a successful online training culture starts from day one. An online training culture is the backbone of an effective corporate training program. Without it, your online training courses, activities, and resources are merely disjointed pieces of a larger puzzle. That's why it's essential to have a solid plan of action in place and to cultivate a supportive online training culture that encourages lifelong learning. Now that you know how to develop and promote an online training culture in your organization, take a moment to learn which skills your employees really use on a daily basis and what abilities they lack. Read 6 Tips To Conduct A Successful Skills Assessment For Your Corporate Audience to discover how to successfully conduct a skills assessment that can benefit both your corporate learners and your organization.