Workers today are juggling more tasks than ever before both in and out of the office. With what can feel like an ever-growing to-do list, it’s important for employees to be encouraged to fit in eLearning in a way that truly works for their schedule and that addresses training needs across the company.
These five tips can help companies and workers who want to consistently work towards accomplishing eLearning goals even with busy schedules.
Consider Downtimes Before or After the Workday
The average worker spends just over 26 minutes commuting to work a day, one way. That means there’s over four hours of time per week that a driver could listen to audio training before jumping into the job for the day. eLearning modules can even be designed around typical commute times, targeting the 20 minute mark.
For commuters on trains, subways, or ridesharing, video training that’s mobile or tablet-friendly is a great option, but make sure not to request that someone use their personal cellphone data allowance for streaming it without making accommodations.
Build in eLearning Time Between Meetings or at Lunch
Workers are also likely to have an easier time fitting in a 20min - vs. full hour or multi-hour long - training throughout their day if they prefer to leverage their commute as personal time. Perhaps that twenty-minute lapse between meetings or report reviews isn’t enough to catch up on phone calls or dive into a new project, but it could be the perfect window of time to complete a training module.
Before the end of the current workday, workers should be encouraged to take a look at their schedule for the following day and to flag any potential windows where there’s that perfect time for knocking out some of their eLearning modules. These little pockets of time can add up and can lead to better employee productivity and engagement overall, which is a key goal of providing eLearning opportunities to your team.
Research shows that only one in five employees take a true lunch break. If workers prefer to sit at their desk anyways, eLearning can be accomplished during this time out from meetings or other distractions. Gamifying or making the training interactive - when the subject matter suits that style - increases the likelihood of an employee going through it during this “working lunch” time.
Create a Company Podcast
There’s a beauty to podcasting: with headphones and a smartphone, listening to a podcast can happen just about anywhere. From an outdoor run to cooking or doing the dishes to arriving twenty minutes early to work, a podcast is a great opportunity for companies to introduce their own content to their workforce in an easy-to-digest format.
Companies that leverage the audience of hungry podcast listeners might achieve higher rates of listenership and contribute to meaningful workplace discussions on weekly topics raised in the podcast.
Schedule eLearning for Quiet Times at Work
If it’s ever felt like the work has already piled up by midday Monday morning or that every customer with a crisis tends to call on Friday afternoons, target dedicated learning times at different points throughout the week.
With better processes and consistency in place, a worker who knows that Thursdays tend to be quiet will feel more confident to learn and study during that period.
When all employees involved in regular eLearning are on the same page about the value of professional development time and are respectful of one another’s schedules, employers can support the individualization of the learning process.
Some companies even use an “off the phones” approach that rotates through employees who get one morning or afternoon off of any phone communication each week in order to get caught up on more focused work.
Don’t Forget Remote Employees
While many of the tips above will help with your in-office workers, don’t neglect how eLearning can fit into the day for a remote employee. In fact, 70% of people globally work remotely at least once a week. To ensure you're including remote workers as part of the larger team and company - both from a training and cultural perspective - we recommend:
- Creating a detailed eLearning manual; this includes examples of exemplary work to establish a benchmark for what's expected of them, as other colleagues will not be there to tap on the shoulder as easily.
- Giving them a project; provide scope and a tight deadline for a project to gauge their understanding and ability to meet expectations without direct supervision. You can even build this as an online assessment with the proper tools.
- Providing detailed feedback; for at least the first few projects, provide comprehensive feedback and supplemental training as needed.
- Promoting transparency; use collaborative tools to ensure progress is tracked and surfaced to all team members, both in-office and remote, so everyone knows where all projects stand.
Gutenberg Technology (GT) is well-versed in supporting of the above. If you need help creating or revamping your employee training programs, we're here to help!