Things To Incorporate In Your eLearning Design
Learning practitioners in the cannabis industry often focus solely on getting leadership support for learning. While necessary, what’s often left out is what employees want and need. Stop taking for granted employees will unquestionably accept whatever their leaders expect. This is a recipe for a learning failure.
Does this sound familiar? You’re the cannabis industry eLearning Project Manager meeting an internal dispensary manager for the first time to discuss, in detail, their training needs and overall requirements for a proposed eLearning course.
You’re not expecting the client’s approval but rather, want to finalize budget requirements and, more importantly, address precise employee performance expectations. But what gets left out of the conversation is what the actual user, or the employees, expect from learning effort.
Every learning effort should focus on what the users need to achieve their objectives. When you forget what actual users need, or worse, assume they’ll accept whatever is fed to them, you’re on a certain path to failure. Even though you receive leadership endorsement, the ones who can, and probably will sabotage your efforts, are those who will actually use your learning solution.
Successful eLearning implementations are less about leadership endorsement, focusing more on the user, or employee, needs. Address the following four (4) employee needs, and you’ll increase eLearning acceptance and ultimately, find success.
1. The Need For Speed
The need for speed is about ensuring employees in the cannabis industry receive immediate support and answers. There are many reasons for the ‘need for speed‘ but the most relevant are pressures employees face to get things done fast and well.
Think about the last time you had a problem. Chances are you needed to find answers quickly. Simply, you had to learn something fast to complete your task. But too often, learning practitioners forget to address to empathize when designing their learning, especially eLearning, solutions opting for overly involved or complicated designs.
When faced with a problem, it’s human nature, especially under pressure, to seek out for answers and solutions on a convenient and reliable source. Today, social networks give us the ability to cast our knowledge nets farther through a variety of social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, as well as through private communities.
The answers through these networks are immediate. The downside is it may not be accurate, or appropriate. This is where your learning expertise and the convenience of eLearning gets to shine.
2. The Need To Engage Employees
Making a conscious decision to move forward with eLearning requires aligning with employee attitudes who are working in the cannabis industry to ensure they fully invest in learning.
It’s true, employee engagement doesn’t solely rest upon training since it’s usually part of a larger change management initiative. But, if learners don’t know why they need or are taking the cannabis industry training, and/or they don’t believe they need it, their behavior won’t change no matter how good the content is.
Before isolating yourself in your cubicle designing the next eLearning course, here’s a thought, how about going to speak with the users themselves? You know, the actual people your learning effort intends to improve performance?
It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Simply ask them questions like, “What are the expectations from your role? What should be improved? What are you missing to do a better job? and What would you like to know to add value to your work?” These are just a simple few examples to help you build a more robust learning and eLearning solution.
3. The Need For Relevant And Applicable Content
Far too often learning practitioners are content knowing participants liked the training or if they understood the content in the cannabis industry. The problem is that most people are polite and say they were satisfied; and, if they weren’t satisfied, they’ll probably respond by saying they understood the content, avoiding to have to go through the pain again.
Practitioners address these issues by focusing more on the learning, or eLearning, design, and development rather than how it actually improves an employees’ job performance. While you may feel good knowing people liked the course, if participants don’t apply what they learn and change their behavior, what’s the point? This is your “So what?” moment.
Your fundamental role is to conduct a comprehensive needs and skills assessment. This is about communicating with and taking into account what employees want and what they believe is relevant. Be sure your eLearning design considers and integrates their needs if you want to gain their support and satisfaction.
By incorporating this one simple item, you’ll not only gain their genuine satisfaction but also get them to pull your learning effort rather than forcing it upon them. Stop making eLearning slides or information that is heavy (regretfully, it still is). Every eLearning solution you develop must be relevant and immediately applicable.
4. The Need For Flexibility
eLearning is the answer to your learning flexibility woes! Similar to how social networks and learning provides immediacy, your eLearning success in the cannabis industry is completely about adaptability and flexibility in design, approach, and applicability.
This is fundamental when you’re designing and developing learning solutions and it is an opportunity to adapt to the needs when working with a diverse group of learners. There will be some who will see immediate relevance in some of the content where others will see the relevance at a later time or pick and choose as they need.
Some will expect it in real-time where others will want to have it drip knowledge over time. Essentially, when it comes to learning, one size doesn’t fit all and eLearning allows you the opportunity to adapt accordingly. Understanding employee and learner needs along with the limitations and expectations within the organization will contribute to growing your internal business credibility.
But if you’re successful in accommodating everyone’s learning requirements in terms of relevance, adaptability, and immediacy, you’ll become the ‘go-to‘ resource for the people having a direct impact on the business itself. Now that’s how you define learning success!
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