Are you making the most of your online resources to develop your workforce? Here are 6 types of employee training that can be done online.

Employee training is an investment—in the individual workers, but also in the business as a whole. When employees feel supported in their jobs, they not only enjoy their work more, they are more likely to stay with a company for longer. And when employees are satisfied with their work, they are often more productive as a result.

Many businesses recognize employee development as an important internal initiative. However, many have struggled to move these programs forward in the midst of a pandemic that has cut off many of the traditional in-person training courses that these companies have relied on for years. Instead, businesses are turning to online courses to help develop employees—both new and old—as they adjust to changing work conditions.

The good news is that the vast majority of training programs can be done online without any loss of quality. In fact, offering these courses online is often an advantage. If you’re thinking about what kinds of employee training courses you might develop for your workforce, these six types of training courses might give you an idea of where to start.

1. Orientation: introduce new team members to your company and help them find their place.

No matter how skilled or qualified a new hire is, they still have a lot to learn about your company and your processes. An orientation course should introduce them to your organizational structure and the leadership team, teach them about your core values, and guide them through the necessary paperwork for them to begin working with you.

A poor orientation program can leave a new hire struggling to find their bearings during the first early weeks on the job, while a well-planned orientation program can help that same employee feel more confident. Most importantly, handling orientation right can forestall complications down the road and prevent early mistakes or miscommunications from having long-term consequences.

2. Onboarding: train your employees in their new job roles and help them learn about their department.

If orientation and onboarding seem like the same thing, that’s probably because they usually happen at the same time. But while orientation is for your whole company, onboarding programs happen department by department. Even a long-time employee might go through onboarding when taking on a new role.

Onboarding should also include information about a new hire’s specific job role. By the time they finish, they should understand what the expectations are around their new position, and what they must do to exceed them.

3. Products and services: train employees, both new and long-term, in your products and services.

For some businesses, employees need to learn a lot about specific products and services in order to be able to pass on this information to customers. If these products and services are particularly complex, or if they are regularly updated, then you will need to train your team to be experts.

This training is especially important in sales and customer service roles, where employees will be interacting with customers and need to know the product inside and out, so that they can accurately answer questions.

4. Technical skills: help your workforce gain hard skills that will advance their abilities.

Some of the most valuable training you can offer your learners comes in the form of technical skills. Employees understand that career training makes gives them more marketable skills, which is good for their own career advancement. And employers understand that the more skilled their workforce is, the more capable they will be in their positions.

Examples of technical skill training that are in high demand at the moment include SEO, programming skills, and data analysis.

5. Soft skills: give your employees a toolkit for working with difficult customers, taking on a leadership role, or improving their productivity.

Although harder to quantify, soft skills are just as valuable in helping employees grow on the job. Most people tend to think of leadership training first, but other areas are just as important.

For instance, helping employees build communication skills so as to better function as a team can help, as well as programs to help an employee de-escalate a tricky situation with an irate customer. Even courses for employees who are struggling with personal time management can boost productivity and job satisfaction.

6. Compliance, safety, and security: give your workforce the guidance to follow best practices.

Finally, some courses are required in industries that have high compliance standards. Your business may need to demonstrate that employees have undergone training in areas as diverse as cybersecurity, diversity and inclusion, or food safety.

An online program can help you verify which employees have taken mandatory training. This can be especially useful if you are working in an industry with regulatory standards to meet, as online training can give you more metrics to show how employees have performed.

Online training courses make it easier for employees to grow skills on their own terms.

One of the greatest benefits of online training is that employees can self-direct their own professional growth. While you may want to guide some employees toward certain programs, others can elect into training on their own terms, based on their needs and interests.

Online training also helps you keep track of your workforce’s capabilities, including who has completed compliance training, or how many of your employees or qualified for certain positions. With this information in hand, businesses can make better high-level decisions about where to direct their resources.

Laura Lynch photo

About Laura Lynch

Laura is a marketing specialist with experience presenting at WordPress events in Ann Arbor and Vienna. She speaks Russian and German and holds a double MA (Hons) in History and Russian Studies from the University of Edinburgh.

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