Don’t let negative thinking about e-learning derail your health worker training project. Use these strategies to foster a positive attitude.
When the coronavirus pandemic landed, agencies everywhere had to shift to online training and close the conference room doors.
Moving training online is a positive move for most organizations. It’s cost-saving, effective and lets agencies transition quickly and keep their staff trained.
However, not everyone who was suddenly transformed into an online learner was happy about it. Some people miss the comradery with their cowokers. Others wonder if they’re getting the same quality of education.
If you’re at an organization like millions of others that shifted learning online, you’re probably not going to move all your training back into rooms. At least not all of it.
What you can do is help your learners feel more comfortable with learning formats.
You may find that the online training you provide to naysayers can become one of your best benefits if you follow these simple strategies for keeping attitudes positive.
A Practical Guide to Remote Training: A Toolkit by Talance
Gain the tools you need to feel confident developing a remote training program for your health organization or transitioning from in-person to virtual learning with your staff.
Positive Attitude About Remote Training
Having a positive attitude means that your staff and other learners look forward to and see the benefit of learning online. Having a positive attitude about work matters–for the team, for each individual’s career, and for your program’s success.
Positive attitudes are contagious. They rub off on people around them. When you’ve got a whole team that’s happy about learning and what they can do with their knowledge, then everyone’s job gets better and the work you do is more impactful.
5 Ways to Keep Your Staff’s Positive Attitude About Remote Learning
- Provide extra support.
- Offer blended learning.
- Reinforce learning in the workplace.
- Make the training experience usable and accessible
- Make benefits clear.
1. Provide extra support.
Fear is often the seed of negative feelings. And technology, warranted or not, is often the seed of fear. Many people worry about technology: How hard will it be to log in? Will they understand how to use the course? Is it going to be a challenge to keep up with the assignments? It’s understandable, especially since many people value their time connecting with individuals.
To help your learners develop a positive attitude, provide extra support, comfort and guidance when you start a new online training program. By making sure your learners understand that they’ll receive just as much help as they need, you’ll quiet many of their fears.
New technology also seems scarier in concept than in reality. You can soothe apprehension by providing an orientation to learners, either a pre-recorded version or in an in-person session.
2. Offer blended learning.
Many people resist online training because there’s a lot to like about in-person training. They like seeing the instructor in person. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to network with colleagues they rarely see. The break with tea and cookies is delightful.
But launching a new online training project doesn’t mean you have to abandon your in-person training. You can marry the two by providing blended learning. Many programs, especially longer ones, often include in-person elements, such as a live kickoff session or a conclusion together to practice new skills.
3. Reinforce learning in the workplace.
The best hope you have of workers retaining what they learn is to reinforce learning in the workplace. Another benefit of reinforcing new skills right away is that other health workers will see the effects of the training. That could be enough to generate a positive attitude.
4. Make the training experience usable and accessible.
Not all online training programs were created equal. Some are, simply put, horrid. Many people have a bad attitude about e-learning because they’ve had a bad experience with it before. They’re too long, they’re boring, they don’t relate to an employee’s job, the technology is awkward.
You can, and should, address each of these issues in turn. Align your material to your organizational goals so it will relate to each learner. Use a good, dependable system to limit technology problems. Hire the right curriculum developers to create engaging content so you have courses that people want to take.
5. Make benefits clear.
Employees rarely jump at any extra work simply because. They want to know what’s in it for them, so tell them. Make sure they know what the benefits of the training are and why they should be taking the course.
Benefits can be anything from new skills in the job (“You can receive this new equipment if you learn to use it”) or tangible items, like a certificate of completion or a recognition plaque. Even the smallest reward can make learners feel like they’ve received something worthwhile from their course.
Dealing with Negative Attitudes
Try as hard as you can, and some people’s attitudes will not be positive. That’s true with training or with any other aspect of their job. Even if you can’t change a person’s attitude, you can do something about how they affect you and the other people in the office.
A few ways you can deal with negative attitudes include:
- Address or remove any disruptive messaging from emails, forums, group chat or other organizational forums.
- Pull aside people who are very upset about training and have conversations with them about their attitude. Sometimes people just need to be heard.
- Remember that not everyone is the same, and each learner should be treated individually.