It’s an unfortunate, all too common scenario for high-performing businesses like yours. You’ve invested in an e-learning platform for your business to further your team’s manufacturing education, but unexpected projects come in, urgent deadlines approach, and the priority you wanted to place on upskilling your employees inevitably takes a backseat.
Don’t be discouraged if you’ve made the investment months ago and have yet to fully implement a strategy to get your team’s learning on track. The only way to fail is to tell yourself it isn’t possible, that there isn’t enough time, or that you can’t keep your team accountable.
You CAN steer the ship back on course, and it’s essential that you take things one step at a time.
When planning out an e-learning program for your team, it’s crucial that everyone understands the short-term and long-term benefits of doing so. Here are the steps we recommend after seeing what’s worked for our clients.
1. Work with your team to decide on manufacturing education coursework and assign it to appropriate learners
An obvious first step, right? Just because it’s obvious, doesn’t mean it will be quick and easy. In fact, you’re going to want to put a real effort into working with your learners to decide which coursework and what timelines make the most sense for them, both in their day-to-day with the company and their long-term employee growth path.
Involve your learners in the process of deciding on manufacturing education coursework. They understand what takes too long for them in their day-to-day workflows. They know that there is tribal knowledge that has been passed down that involves inefficient processes, and they may surprise you with their knowledge of new functionality or benefits to the software package you have already purchased and aren’t utilizing.
Lastly, involving them in the process from the start will give them a much higher buy-in than if you were to decide on your own and delegate. With the right balance of employee involvement, organization, and communication, you have the highest chance of success with this investment.
2. Schedule a team onboarding session with your Customer Success Manager to understand the functionality and benefits
Your e-learning platform may be an intuitive and out-of-the-box solution, but that doesn’t mean your learners will be off to the races without proper onboarding and guidance. This is why proper onboarding is so crucial for new solution investments – it ensures faster adoption and a quick return on your investment.
Your learners all have busy day-to-day schedules, and it’s important for you to communicate up front that this is an investment the company has made in them and that it is necessary to dedicate the proper amount of work hours to utilizing this tool.
This onboarding will give you and your e-learning administrator the ability to excite and activate your users, as well as give you an opportunity to gauge the interest and involvement of your team. On this call, remind them that this investment in learning is for them as much as it is your company! Learning will make their daily efforts more efficient and allow them the time to innovate and become the best at what they do.
This session will allow your team to ask any questions they have or request further clarity from your dedicated CSM directly. This will set you up for success and accelerate your path to reaching those investment goals.
3. Set goals and track progress weekly
It’s been two weeks since you assigned coursework and this is the scenario: 50% of your team has completed all their coursework, 25% have looked at assets, and the remaining 25% haven’t even logged in! It’s going to take more than a Friday afternoon email to get all those learners back on track.
You’ll need to communicate milestones and timelines with your team upfront. Then, you need to put an active effort into keeping your team accountable to that on a regular basis. Getting the most out of this manufacturing education investment is contingent on goal-setting with your end users in mind. How much of their weekly time can you honestly expect them to dedicate to learning? Think it through, involve learners in the process, and set a cadence to consistently check their progress and communicate your thoughts in person with your team.
By setting goal milestones with your CSM you have a teammate working alongside you, helping you stay committed and aware of your progress. Sometimes goals need to be adjusted, and that’s ok. Remember, making goals isn’t what gets us to success – it’s the systems we follow. That’s why you’ve got a CSM in your corner, continuously supporting your system execution.
4. Use data for better decision-making
There’s so much more you can do with the metrics that come with e-learning. Of course, you can track your users’ course progress, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
For example, there’s a lot to learn from what your users are searching for. If you see an obvious trend in searches, you’ll know that it would be beneficial to assign some relevant coursework or even schedule an in-person training session for those affected. On a similar note, you can also learn from what content your team is accessing the most.
Take note of when users are logging in, how much they’re getting done in a session, and how long on average it takes them to finish a course. Address this information with the learners who aren’t keeping up and offer them specific advice as to how your top users are staying on track. Knowledge sharing among the team is key here.
If the majority of your learners are struggling to keep up with the timeline you set, the best course of action may be to adjust the plan. Perhaps a big project came in, or another project’s deadline gets moved up – be flexible while continuing to communicate that this e-learning platform is an investment that the company takes seriously.
5. Reach your goals, put your new knowledge to use, and repeat!
Congratulations – you’ve hit your first round of goals! Now it’s time to put this new knowledge to work.
Meet with your team both individually and as a group, to discuss what you’ve learned and how you can make your processes more efficient and innovative. Decide on quantifiable metrics that will prove a tangible return on your e-learning manufacturing education investment.
It may not have been easy, but you were able to think critically and use all your resources to power through. Now it’s time to take advantage of this momentum and return to step one, involving your learners even more heavily now considering their hands-on experience.
Your new challenge is to fight off the potential desire to take your foot off the gas and revel in your team’s success. Don’t slow down! Use the momentum from your manufacturing education to push forward and continue to put your e-learning investment to work.
6. Stay engaged with your CSM
We understand the challenges of adding e-learning to the already busy schedules of your team. KETIV Customer Success Managers are dedicated to partnering with you to set reachable goals, track measurable milestones, and provide support and additional resources along the way. We define our success by our customer’s success with the solutions they choose to invest in – and that includes e-learning!
If you are not already partnered with a dedicated CSM, connect with our team of knowledgeable, experienced experts who are ready to help with your custom, e-learning journey. Contact our team today: firstname.lastname@example.org