In this digital age, where technology continues to infiltrate the workplace, using long, arduous manuals to train employees or utilizing unorganized shared drives to document a company’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a thing of the past. In fact, as more tech-savvy Millennials begin to enter the workforce, the majority of workers are showing preference toward concise, easily consumable materials that are both engaging and educational.
By converting existing operating procedures into eLearning programs, companies can save time and money training new hires while making sure all employees have access to the most up-to-date SOPs. The following provides some insight as to why “traditional” methods of sharing SOPs with employees may not be serving your company, as well as some tips on how you can easily transition these operating procedures to an eLearning platform.
Why “Traditional” SOP Training Methods No Longer Work
Despite the desire from workers for more technologically-based learning materials, many companies continue to use outdated, “traditional” methods for disseminating information to employees. This ends up being problematic for multiple reasons.
Shared drives are not efficient.
In spite of the technological innovations that are available to companies, many organizations continue to store their SOPs and training materials on shared drives. However, due to lack of oversight and inconsistency while labeling files, these drives usually end up unorganized and full of outdated, redundant information. As the company grows and turnover occurs, the knowledge of operating procedures and other information that is crucial to the company running smoothly ends up being buried or lost.
Baby boomers are retiring and taking knowledge with them.
As members of the Baby Boomer generation begin to retire, they’re taking years of valuable knowledge and experience with them. If this wealth of knowledge regarding company operating procedures remains poorly documented or is not shared with new employees, companies will experience a detrimental gap in training and operations. This lack of consistency in abiding by a company’s standard operating procedures has the power to affect safety and efficiency within the workplace, as well as client or business relationships.
Millennials have shown tendencies to change companies every two years.
Unlike previous generations, Millennials are much less likely to remain with a single company for long periods of time. The problem with this higher rate of employee turnover means companies are constantly having to train new hires. If these employees are not given the most up-to-date SOPs, this will affect their performance with the company. In addition, training new hires can be time consuming and cumbersome for seasoned employees, who may end up shirking training duties due to other work that takes precedence.
Learning habits are changing.
The reality is, Millennials—who have grown up with YouTube, Facebook, and the Internet—tend to prefer learning by watching engaging videos. Antiquated reading manuals littered with lengthy paragraphs and dry language are not the most effective or efficient way to get this generation up to speed on company operating procedures. By using interactive learning materials, companies can cater to the learning preferences of younger generations while saving time training new hires.
How eLearning Can Help
If your company is currently using outdated methods for storing and sharing SOPs, there is a solution. Converting an organization’s procedures to an eLearning program has proven to have a powerful effect on solving the issues listed above. eLearning offers the ability to capture and retain the company’s operational knowledge by storing it in a Learning Management System (LMS)—a software program that delivers and tracks training courses. Some of the benefits of utilizing a LMS include:
No need to count on humans to pass down knowledge.
Since all employees will have access to the same eLearning material, LMS-based training removes any chance of training messages or operating procedures being skewed over time due to employees essentially playing a game of “telephone”. This means your company can count on smooth transitions as older employees retire and new employees onboard.
Track progress and development of employees.
With eLearning, managers can track the progress and development of each employee through the LMS. This ensures that new hires stay on track with their training goals and gives managers a record of all completed courses and certifications.
Implement blended learning.
Many companies are making the choice to train employees both in-person and online using blended learning. Blended learning combines eLearning videos with traditional classroom training and is proven to be an incredibly effective method. In fact, a 2009 U.S. Department of Education meta-analysis found that blended learning is the most effective learning model.
Making the Transition to eLearning
Converting your SOP training to an eLearning program may take an initial investment of time and money, but over time, it can improve your company’s bottom line and make employee onboarding a seamless procedure. As you begin the process, here are a few key steps to help make the transition to eLearning as simple as possible.
- Identify areas within the organization that have been suffering operational errors due to a lack of training. Ask yourself—would proper training in these areas bring an increase in productivity and revenue? If the answer is yes, these are the areas that would reap the most benefit from an eLearning program.
- After deciding which SOPs you want to transfer to an eLearning platform, identify the high-level topics within these procedures. Create “Learning Objectives” for each topic and continue on to create a “Content Outline” of the program. This Content Outline is your roadmap and needs to be clear and complete before starting the Content Development for your eLearning program.
- Once you’ve reached the Content Development stage of the process, segment all SOPs into individual lessons and explain every step for each operating procedure in detail. Since it’s easy to overlook certain information as “common knowledge,” be sure to collaborate with multiple employees during this process to ensure that all necessary information is included.
- Once you’ve completed your Content Development, you can begin the final step in the process: creating videos. If you do not have an in-house video development team that specializes in graphic design, animation, and instructional design, partnering with a professional eLearning service, such as Chromatic Content, can help you create the most engaging and entertaining content for your company.
Chromatic Content helps organizations convert SOPs and other training materials to eLearning programs with the goal maximizing employee productivity and company revenue. If you’re interested in utilizing eLearning for SOP training, reach out to us today to learn how we can help.