As with any project, deciding on strategic goals for your eLearning process helps you create your action plan and decide what metrics will be used to determine when something is a success. Whether your eLearning will be used for employee training purposes, onboarding, or something else, strategic goals guide the development of your eLearning materials.
There are five primary steps to consider before outlining your strategic goals for eLearning across the different departments of your company.
Step #1: Know the Current State of Your Online Learning Venture
Start with the why - why do you want to create or update your eLearning courses? This often comes from pinpointed gaps in your current employee training and enablement programs, whether they are built traditionally (e.g. in powerpoint), are fully digital or happen to be a blend of the two techniques.
In order to understand your starting point, collect actual feedback from your employees, review knowledge check results from overall subjects and inner topic modules, and look at your LMS user data (if you use an LMS to deliver your content).
As you review this information for your current programs, ask the following questions:
- What reporting methods are being used? Are these presenting accurate and meaningful data for analysis and redevelopment?
- How many certifications or badges are currently offered? Do some have higher completion rates than others?
- What quality review process is used to review courses before delivery? How often are courses reviewed to evaluate the need for updates?
- How is stakeholder input being used?
Step #2: Think About the Employee Learner Experience from Day One
The last question in the previous section is so important because learner engagement is essential for positive outcomes from your eLearning strategy. When used the right way, eLearning in the corporate environment increases employee happiness, engagement, and loyalty. Beyond illustrating a positive ROI for your investment in an eLearning strategy, learner engagement is about the big picture for the overall company.
In a nutshell, no eLearning strategy is complete without first mapping out the learner experience. You have to anticipate their needs to best meet them. For example, a new member of your Sales team will likely need to be given information on why the company exists and what mission drives its numeric goals as well as learn everything there is to know about the current product and service offerings to be able to effectively communicate them to prospects - all in the first few weeks of their tenure. As they advance their company and product knowledge - and start to get on the phones - they’ll need help on how to best tailor their messaging and pitch. Eventually, they’ll want resources for how to successfully negotiate. Concurrently, a tenured salesperson’s training path is going to look much different.
Step #3: Evaluate Primary Learning Styles
An effective eLearning strategy encompasses the most meaningful and effective learning strategies for the target audience. VARK modalities can drive this portion of the strategic process. These modalities explain how learners perceive information in four ways:
- Auditory learning through emails, speaking, discussions, mobile phone use, web chat, or listening to lectures.
- Kinesthetic learning, which requires physical activity instead of listening to or watching lectures.
- Visual learning based on diagrams, maps, charts, and graphs.
- Reading/writing learning style involves the repetition of words and writing, which is often used to address visual and auditory learning styles.
Providing a mix and reinforcing information based on trends in the target audience will determine to what extent learning styles might be varied in your strategy.
Step #4: Decide on the Definition of Results
How will you know that your strategic goals align with meaningful results? Will learners spend a certain portion of their work time dedicated to eLearning? Will they be able to implement their knowledge on a regular basis in the office? Will results be judged by the number of modules completed? Are courses used for in-office advancement?
Knowing how results will connect to engagement not only assists in the process of outlining strategic goals, but helps direct learning activities, knowledge checks, and incentives.
Step #5: Name the Goals
During the course of analyzing past training programs, you will identify gaps and areas for improvement. All of this information should be used to chart out where the eLearning program in your company goes next. These strategic goals will help you to maintain consistency in developing new programs while also revising older ones in line with what you’ve learned through analysis.
The strategic goals should reference:
- Program development
- Promotional schedules for eLearning
- Registration target for online learning
- How often existing materials will be reviewed or updated
In summary, complementing existing training with eLearning, or developing a net-new elEarning program, for employee development requires starting with the end in mind. Those strategic goals influence every other action step on your roadmap for implementation.
If you need help along the way - that's where we come in.
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