Online Learning - The Key to Successful Behavior Change

Designing Digitally



Whether you need to train new skills, roll out a change in procedures, improve leadership skills, or introduce new technology, you are seeking to create a change in employee behavior. No matter what change in behavior you seek, an effective training program will help your employees make the shift, producing meaningful and long-lasting results for your organization.

Elearning has become a useful tool for delivering new information and training, both quickly and cost-effectively. Given that your employees are adults, they have deep-rooted behaviors that drive their productivity and decision making. Therefore, you are not impacting new behavior and skills in a vacuum. Instead, you are helping them shift from the behavior that they already exhibit to foster an improvement.

Unfortunately, not just any training program can create a habit shift. A poorly designed learning course will either create a short-lived shift in behavior or none at all. An ideal training program should make the new behavior too compelling for the employees to resist change. The human mind is inherently resistant to change. Therefore, you need to touch on the right pain points to deliver a lasting change of behavior.

Here are a few best practices that can be incorporated into online learning programs to enhance employee behavior change.

Aligning learning goals with knowledge gaps at the workplace

First, determine if the change in behavior you are seeking from your employees has actual benefits to your business. Do not implement the change if your findings fail to identify any positive impact on your business goals. Before putting together any training course, make a needs assessment of the target audience for the program. To establish the needs assessment, collaborate with a variety of members of your company.  Talk to supervisors as well as those who you seek to train. Then, engage an eLearning service provider to develop custom training solutions that will meet these needs.

Strike a balance between micro learning and macro learning training. The microlearning training works best for quick topics to help deal with practical challenges and answer questions at the moment. Macro learning focuses on a long-term change in work behavior or approaches. Mixing the two helps you to experience immediate results and a lasting employee behavior change in the long-term.

Delivering vivid content

The human mind is notorious for forgetting boring content or very long sessions. Therefore, if you need the employees to retain what you have shared with them, you need to aim at activating various memory centers. In addition to their cognitive memory, you also need to appeal to emotional memory. Emotions are very powerful and make the topic more memorable. The aha! moments will be remembered after everything else is forgotten.

Empowering practice

Habits are formed by repetition of the same action. A successful behavior change is only possible if employees put the information they have acquired into practice. Unfortunately, most learning programs just talk about acceptable behavior and not ways to put the new habit into practice.

Effective web-based training programs include lots of practical instructions with a measurable outcome. Whether it is a new production skill or management style, it makes it easy for employees to implement what they have learned into actual practice. According to behavioral studies, it takes about forty days for an action done once a day to get easier. It may take longer if the action is done fewer times. The more you practice the new skill, the easier it gets for the skill to become a behavior.

Leveraging innovative technology into your learning program

There are innovative technology tools in the market that can help you enhance your online learning program. Unlike the traditional training methods, there are several ways you can measure the success of your web-based training program. Here are some options:

  • Software programs help people practice skills as they learn.

For example, if you are training in public speaking, use software tools that measure the skill as they talk and grade them accordingly. If the skill learned is complex, break it down to steps and have employees practice each step.

  • Use modeling tools to illustrate the ideal behavior that we need to see in the employees.

Most effective modeling programs make use of interactive videos to demonstrate the ideal behavior as well as an authentic assessment of the behaviors learned. Virtual reality also helps build realistic scenario-based simulations where the skill being learned is put into practice. VR also helps learners engage in critical thinking around a given problem in order to develop a solution. Doing so not only creates confidence, but it also kickstarts a behavioral response towards similar issues.

Successful behavior change does not happen overnight. It is a painstaking process of learning, practicing, and learning again. If there is a compelling reason to change behavior and information is delivered the right way, employees will be open and eager to make a change. Take time to create innovative and emotionally appealing online learning content with the help of a reputable web-based training expert.

Designing Digitally, Inc. delivers custom eLearning training solutions that enhance understanding and memory. We combine serious games, gamified modules and training simulations to get your employees motivated and eager to learn new skills.

To learn more about custom training solutions and how Designing Digitally, Inc. can help change the behaviors in your workplace, live chat with our team or request a free quote today!