6 Online Training Program Mistakes to Avoid

To paraphrase Zig Ziglar, the only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them. Your employees are your biggest asset, the more you invest in them, the better it is for both of you. Hiring the best talent is only half the battle –  the real challenge lies in nurturing their growth and motivating them.

An employee’s performance can almost always be directly tied to their morale. According to a recent survey, 74% of employees believe that they are not reaching their full potential at work –  and that can contribute to high attrition rates. Simply put, people will always choose to work at a place where they are learning something new, and feel like they are adding value to an outcome that they can see for themselves. Conversely, they will underperform and stagnate at workplaces that don’t acknowledge their effort or encourage them to do better.


One of the best ways to get your team to work “with” you and not “for” you, is to have a solid training program in place for both new and existing employees. This creates opportunities for them to expand their knowledge base, and hone their skills over time.

When done right, you can avoid these online training program mistakes. Overall, productivity goes through the roof, morale is sky-high, and your entire organization adapts to performing at a high-functioning level. 

online training statistics
Source: Prezentt

But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

There are certain pitfalls you want to avoid when designing a training program. You also need to ensure that each employee (and ultimately the whole team) benefits as much as they possibly can from it.

6 Online Training Program Mistakes Mistakes To Avoid:

1. Not Conducting a Training-Needs Analysis 

When designing a training program, you need to ensure that there is a careful assessment of what is to be included, prioritized, and excluded from the session.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all when it comes to employee training. There are myriad variables involved in the planning process, and all of them are important in their own way. Planning something on this scale might sound daunting at first, but implementing a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) will save a lot of time, resources, and effort.

A TNA is a process that identifies the training and development needs of your employees across different departments, skill levels, and specialized requirements. It involves three key phases:

i) Deciding on skill sets required in a particular department

First, ascertain the basic, necessary skills required by each employee in a certain department. For instance, for customer service professionals, a few of those skills would be communication, handling complaints under pressure and sufficient product knowledge. Establishing this foundation allows you to design trainings that reinforce the basics of each employee in every department.

ii) Evaluate the Skills of your Employees

The second stage is to broadly observe the extent of these skills in your team members. If a large majority of them appear to be struggling with the basics, you can immediately focus your trainings there. Conversely, if everyone appears to be miles ahead of the foundation you laid down, it’s possible you set the bar a little too low. Consider increasing the base level, to make sure they don’t stagnate.

iii) Highlight the Skills Gap

Once you have ascertained the core strengths and pressure points of your team, you can design specific courses. For example, if a customer service employee has good communication skills with no experience, you can develop a separate course. It could be on customer relations role-playing, which simulates the real experience, in a safe environment that’s conducive to learning.

2. Unclear Learning Objectives

If you don’t have a clear idea about the training goal of your employees, then your employees won’t either. The entire process will be haphazard and disorganized, which will only confuse your team and make the process harder.

While your end goal is to have an effective training program, each individual training course must also have specific objectives. For example, employees working in sales must have sufficient product knowledge and be comfortable with customer interaction. This means that you can allocate a number of sessions towards demos and trainings for each and every product, over a period of time.

This will allow you to prioritize the areas that are most relevant, time-sensitive, and essential to a specific department in the company. 

3. Monotonous Training Courses

When you look back at the many things you’ve learned over the years, you’d come to realize that all the most memorable lessons were those that you didn’t even realize you were “learning”, because they were just so much fun. Try to apply the same reasoning to your employee trainings. People remember experiences and feelings a lot more than they remember soulless keywords and jargon.

If you can tie the objective of the training to an interactive, enjoyable, and inspiring experience, it makes the learning process much more organic and meaningful.

Siminars allows you the freedom to add all kinds of mixed media elements to each of your training courses.  You can add helpful images and videos to every topic you cover, infographics, podcasts, and quizzes for employees to evaluate their own progress, and effortlessly embed Youtube videos, to further refine the scope of your sessions. 

4. Cognitive Overload

You have to optimize each training session with the right amount of information and the right delivery. There should also be enough downtime within the training to process everything learned. Trying to cram too much information in a short period will make it difficult for employees to retain anything by the end of the session. The pace is paramount.

Share bite-sized pieces of content that are easy to digest, and make sure you are selective about what you share. Avoid any irrelevant information, and have a “cheat-sheet” of all the important notes in the form of bullet points at the end of every course. 

5. Bad User Experience

Your training courses need to be planned with a definitive start point, body, and conclusion. Presenting the information is not enough – you need to ensure it’s being received in the right way as well. These courses do not exist in a vacuum – every person will respond differently to each one.

The training might have all the content your employees need, but if, for example, your employees felt that the questions they had were not adequately answered, much of the information they received will remain unprocessed or disregarded.
This is especially important for online courses – pay close attention to the UI / UX (User Interface/Experience) elements of whatever course you intend to offer. The easier it is to access and use, the better the chance of a successful training.

online training program mistakes
Source: TechSmith

Siminars can help with avoiding these online training program mistakes. It has a simple interface that makes the entire process approachable and easy to interact with. For added convenience, it also has a mobile version that lets learners easily access resources and study material at any time, anywhere.

6. Lack of Room for Feedback

Getting feedback on your training program will highlight what worked well for your employees, and what didn’t. This allows you to list and rework all the unfavorable elements, and the positives to be reinforced.

Send out a survey or an email to your employees at the end of the course asking for feedback. You can also ask your employees for their suggestions on what more can be done to improve their training process. Encourage fair criticism and honest feedback. If your employees are afraid to speak their minds, their feedback will simply be a placeholder for a deeper problem that will ultimately go unaddressed.

Conclusion 

While the knowledge and skill of employees are crucial to any industry and every organization, employers often lack the right tools to take their teams to the next level. Developing an online training program is a great place to start, but isn’t a piece of cake.

Careful planning can and will work wonders. Start by understanding your employees’ learning needs, and you will soon have a clear picture of how to fuel their growth.

We hope this sheds some light on how best to go about planning your training programs. Do your best to avoid these online training program mistakes, and you will be well on your way to perfecting them. Siminars is a valuable tool to use, in order to make that happen.