How to boost your leadership development program with online training
Great leaders make things happen and keep their teams engaged, happy, and performing at the highest level.
That’s why creating a robust online leadership development program makes good business sense. But when you’re starting at square one, the prospect of developing an intensive leadership development program—and the leadership training at its core—may be daunting.
In this article, we’ll show you how to define your leadership training goals first. Then, we’ll share some tips for making sure your online leadership training supports those goals. Next, we’ll offer concrete suggestions for keeping your learners engaged and inspired along the way. Finally, we’ll explain how choosing the right online training system can help you launch a new leadership training program, quickly and affordably.
Start by defining your training goals
When you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want to define which topics in your leadership development program are best for online training, and which ones are better suited for other kinds of training modalities. That means you need to define the goal of training for each component of your program.
IInstructional designers have a trick for doing this: they start with the end result in mind. What do you want leaders to accomplish after taking this training? What specific situations will they need to navigate and master, both in their current and future roles? What unique skills are required for certain jobs?
For example, new managers may need to learn how to transition from peer to boss, communicate with their teams, and avoid rookie mistakes. Seasoned leaders, however, might need training on growing their employees and building healthy team dynamics.
It’s also a good idea to get input from employees and management on your training goals. They’ll have different perspectives on what skills your current and future leaders need to master.
By understanding your training goals, you can determine what training assets and activities you’ll actually need as part of your leadership training program.
Make sure your training goals are measurable
Once you’ve defined some training goals, you’ll need to make sure they’re achievable and measurable. Setting achievable, measurable goals is important for ensuring that your training is effective.
So, ask yourself, “How will we know this training is successful? And what data will tell us whether the training is having an impact once it’s rolled out?”
For example, if one of your training goals is to improve the communication skills of up-and-coming leaders, you could measure employee satisfaction scores or employee retention rates. You might even compare a leader’s training completion rates with the ratings they receive from their team on performance evaluations. If leaders with low employee evaluations completed their leadership training and scored well on it, it could indicate that your training needs some tweaking.
Make training interactive to engage leaders
One of the criticisms some people have of training is that it can feel tedious and boring. Whether training is delivered in person or online, learners won’t be engaged if training doesn’t invite them to interact or offer them useful, practical information. When you create interactive and relevant training, people won’t have to struggle to pay attention.
Here are a few ideas to try that can help you create online leadership training that grabs your learners’ attention and keeps it:
- Recruit seasoned leaders at your company to share their expertise on specific leadership topics via video. Videos typically keep learners engaged. And when they feature credible experts, your learners are even more likely to tune in.
Incorporating video content into online training is easy to do, especially if you’re using an all-in-one training system like Rise. With Rise, you can upload video content to your online training in a couple of clicks. You can also add closed captions to videos to make your course accessible to a broader array of learners. And you can embed videos if you have publicly posted videos like TED Talks you want to incorporate.
- Help learners check their understanding. Even the most helpful content can feel dull or droning if there’s no space for learners to reflect on what they’re learning. One way to avoid that trap is to add periodic knowledge checks to your online training.
Knowledge checks are interactive, requiring learners to stop, think, and make a choice based on what they’ve learned. You can also give learners feedback on their choices, which can help emphasize nuances and prompt deeper reflection.
When you add a knowledge check, you’ll want to make sure that learners don’t rush past it. In a system like Rise, you can pair a knowledge check with a continue block that prevents learners from moving on to other topics before completing the knowledge check. That way, you can be assured learners will fully engage with the material.
- Create scenarios with realistic characters and situations, challenging choices, and candid feedback. In a classroom setting, trainers use role-play exercises to give learners a safe way to practice handling tough situations that require adept decision-making and communication skills. In online training, you can use scenarios to practice these same skills. In some cases, online training scenarios are even more powerful because they help people learn from their mistakes in a low-risk way—without scrutiny from peers.
The best interactive scenarios present realistic situations featuring characters and language that ring true for your learners. When you’re thinking about what to include in your scenarios, your goal should be to simulate, as closely as possible, the complex situations and conditions your leaders will encounter in real life.
Creating rich, interactive scenarios should be easy in your training system. If you’re using a system like Rise, you can add a scenario block to your lesson and customize it in minutes with a background image, character, dialogue, answer options, and feedback. You can make your scenarios as challenging or as straightforward as you want by tweaking a few simple settings.
Bottom line: When learners relate to the training they’re taking, and it offers opportunities for them to interact, reflect, and practice what they’re learning, they’re more likely to engage with your training—and remember what they’ve learned.
Choose the right training system
Choosing a comprehensive online training system that’s elegant and easy to use solves many logistical problems. Systems like Rise let learners access training wherever they are, and in their time zone. That means you can roll out leadership training at a global level in record time.
And speaking of time, future leaders don’t have loads of it to spare for classroom training. They can take online training when their schedule permits from any laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. It’s the kind of flexibility busy leaders need—and love.
Rise solves another big problem, too. When you’re trying to get a leadership development program off the ground quickly, creating online training from scratch can be time-consuming. Buying off-the-shelf leadership training from vendors might be faster, but it’s not customizable and may not hit the points your leaders need. Hiring a freelancer or content agency to create it won’t really save you time, and it’ll cost you a lot of money. That’s one reason Rise is so unique. It’s a comprehensive training system that includes professionally designed training content of exceptional quality that’s fully customizable.
With built-in content right at your fingertips, Rise makes all kinds of training easy to create, enjoyable to take, and simple to manage. Here are the three fastest ways to use Rise to create online leadership training:
- Start with prebuilt business lessons. Rise includes hundreds of prebuilt business lessons on a wide array of topics, including leadership development. Rise business lessons are written by pros, and they’re full of media-rich, interactive, and engaging content. You can use Rise lessons as is or customize them, then consolidate them into a course. Or you could use a combination of prebuilt Rise lessons and lessons you build from scratch.
- Customize a course template. Sometimes, starting with a blank page is the hardest part of designing training. Instead of letting writer’s block set in, kick-start your work with a Rise template. Rise course templates eliminate the time-consuming task of outlining content and conceptualizing your course.
For example, clarifying expectations, connecting and developing your team, and leading day-to-day activities are topics highlighted in the New Manager Training template that you see below. The main points and topics are already outlined in each lesson, saving you hours of work. Plus, Rise templates feature gorgeous images, engaging interactions, and beautiful text layouts. So, your course will look and feel like a training design pro built it.
- Use a sample course. Rise sample courses are full, ready-to-go courses, and they cover a variety of topics, including cultural sensitivity, project management, workplace communication, and more. You can use these courses as inspiration for your leadership training, or customize them with your own content.
An all-in-one training system has many benefits, but flexibility and speed in course creation are two of the best. With Rise, even people with no training experience can develop gorgeous courses quickly.
Modernizing, streamlining, and improving your leadership development program are all possible with timely, relevant, and mobile-friendly online training. Thankfully, creating it doesn’t have to be cumbersome or complicated. With an all-in-one training system like Rise, you have everything you need to get your leadership development program off to a quick start.