“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.” – Peter M. Senge
When your organization intends to incorporate eLearning as one of your training methods, chances are that some of the senior employees might not be receptive to the idea. As Senge points out, they might not have anything against eLearning methods as such, but may not want to change their current ways of gaining knowledge. They simply are comfortable attending classroom sessions, enjoy the exchanges with peers during tea breaks and bond over lunch. However, given the speed at which technology and businesses are changing, one may not always have the luxury of having an elaborate instructor-led training program chalked out with opportunities to network and bond with peers during lunch and tea breaks.
So, how do you get your employees to be more receptive to the idea of eLearning or online training?
1. Start small with blended training
There is no need to have any flamboyant announcements or festive launching of an eLearning program. You can start small and this will enable you to test waters for a more elaborate and long-term initiative. Choose an existing ILT program and identify a portion of the curriculum that can be delivered online. This can typically be fundamental concepts pertaining to the course.
2. Develop the curriculum into an eLearning module of maximum 15 minutes duration
Once the topic or the content for the online module is finalized, you can get an eLearning module developed. Ideally, it is best to have the module short of about 15 minutes duration. E-learning modules need to be designed intuitively with interactive elements so that participants can get a hang of how an eLearning course would be.
3. Make completion of the eLearning module a pre-requisite to classroom training
Getting to the classroom with basic knowledge on the subject will enable participants and the instructor to delve deeper into the subject matter and use their time productively. This also provides an incentive to participants to come to the classroom after completing the online module. Therefore, completing this online module should be a pre-requisite to attending the classroom session.
4. Seek feedback during the classroom interaction on their online experience
Get employees to talk about their experience with the online module – how did they find it? Was it useful and helpful in terms of obtaining the preliminary information? A quick feedback on what was fine and what went wrong and the technical glitches that were faced by participants can be carefully documented.
5. Evaluate participants’ eagerness, readiness and acceptance for online training
Based on their inputs, you will be in a position to judge how enthusiastic participants would be to accept online training methods in future. What additional measures do you need to take to ensure a smoother online experience?
Since online training is subtly introduced through traditional training (that participants are already familiar), they are likely to meet with less resistance. Once they have the online experience, they may be more unbiased in their judgment about its effectiveness as one of the training methodologies. Do you remember when you first took your first eLearning course? Would love to hear your views on how your first eLearning exposure was.