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Friday, July 31, 2009

E-learning?…. What's Hot!, What's Not!

What do you hate about all of the current e Learning websites and options? Employees make plans to spend time on an e Learning program, but do not give it the priority they give to a conference or training seminar they sign up to attend. They allow other things, almost ANYTHING, to take precedence and the learning gets put off, week after week. Tracking completion and offering incentives for completing e Learning programs should be high priority. Even better, offer incentives for improved performance that results from the e Learning program.


JGood said...

Note: Try Lynda.com for software learning. It is easy to use, great information, and very affordable.

Ginger Taylor said...

Why should employers offer incentives for employees to do things that are already in their job descriptions?

In the current economic climate there are hundreds of job applications for every open position, yet you suggest that procrastinating employees be offered carrots to do their jobs? Even when they are being given free educational opportunities from their employers that will improve their skills and career track?

I am all for valuing employees and keeping morale up, but this recession necessitates working hard, smart and streamlined to stay afloat.

Workforce Echoes News said...

Reply to Ginger Taylor:
The suggestions regarding eLearning were in response to the very common complaint that people often do not complete eLearning courses. They watch part of them, but never finish. There are often just so many interruptions in the office. It’s a problem we hear about from clients, from individuals who have taken eLearning courses, and at the many eLearning conferences we have attended. It was not meant to say that employers must always offer tangible rewards to employees who simply do what is expected. We are in complete agreement that in these tough economic times, we must all band together, tighten our belts, and weather the storm. It’s not the time to expect those big bonuses. I also most certainly agree that there are procrastinating employees who deserve repercussions for poor performance more than rewards for meeting expectations.

There were two suggestions in the blog. One was to offer incentives for IMPROVED performance. Obviously, the starting point for the employee’s performance will determine what type of incentive we are talking about. Someone who marginally improves over that level where he or she was about to be fired won’t deserve the same recognition as someone who already excelled and goes above and beyond the call of duty. Also, perhaps I should have more fully explained what I meant by “incentives.” I do not believe incentives have to be tangible rewards. It could be recognition in the company newsletter. It could be crossing off one of the requirements that must be completed before a promotion will even be considered. It could be a well deserved pat on the back from the boss, saying “job well done.” Some employees will even view a new challenging assignment as an incentive.

The second suggestion in the blog was to offer an incentive for completing training. Again, this is ONE suggestion to consider if completing eLearning is becoming a struggle. The length, complexity, reasons for the course, and other factors will ALL come into play when determining what type of recognition is or is not deserved. The blog also suggested that employers track completion. That is, take note of whether employees do what they are supposed to do. Perhaps the incentive would simply be to make sure your name doesn’t end up on the list of people who never completed! If I knew my boss would see this list, and if I knew it mattered to him or her, that would be incentive enough for me to complete the course.

I do believe that you get more enthusiasm and engagement from employees if there is SOME recognition for learning, accomplishments, and improvement. But again, “incentive” does not have to mean big cash reward. Even if it IS tangible, small gifts often go a long way. I’ve seen many enthusiastic smiles from a reward of a $20 gift card to go out for lunch.