9 key components to look for in online manager training programs

The Benefits of Online Management TrainingThere is no shortage of options available for online manager training programs. You could spend days trying to sort through the clutter.

For business and professional organizations with motivated learners, here are nine key things to look for when evaluating online training programs for your managers.

1. Real-world information

The single most important aspect of online training is that it conveys the information managers need to do their jobs better. In business, this must be focused content created by practitioners who’ve been there. Look for real world; no ivory tower and no beating around the bush. For instance: You can have a training program that discusses every aspect of illegal retaliation, or you could have one that’s focused on the eight protected activities that your managers must be aware of to avoid retaliation lawsuits. Which is best? Clearly the latter.

2. Convenience

The best online manager training programs are available any time and anywhere, for anyone who needs to take the course. On a plane, at a desk or on the couch at home, learners need simply boot up the computer, click a mouse and class is in session. No more trying to coordinate the schedules of a dozen different managers.

3. Quality topics

Some companies can afford to have courses created and tailored just for them. The rest of us buy off the rack, and the quality can vary from a luxury clothing boutique to a five-and-dime. Be sure online programs cover the must-have skills leaders need to improve on, such as handling difficult conversations, interviewing, motivating, avoiding workplace bias and harassment, etc.

4. Cost

 Cost for online manager training varies widely. Some colleges charge $3,000 or more per course for a single learner, while some online vendors charge as little as $50 a month for unlimited users. The price often bears little relationship to the quality of the content.  The best advice: Buy only what you need. For instance, there are vendors that offer 50 or more training programs at one price, but you might only need 10 to 15 of them.

Don’t buy what you don’t need.

 5. Ease of use

Online programs should look attractive and draw the learner in with simplicity of use. The program should be easy to share with all managers, regardless of their locations. It should boot up simply and the user should be able to navigate from beginning to middle to end at any time. The ease of use will impact the amount of time spent administering and learning on the course.

6. Interactivity

Great online training puts learners behind the wheel.  Well-designed, interactive training requires managers to succeed at solving ever-more-challenging scenarios. These interactive components should not be impossible, or needlessly difficult or tricky. Instead, they should challenge the learner to build on what’s been taught so far, and they should take the manager logically to a place of understanding when the course is done.

7. Engaging speakers

Even motivated learners will tune out a boring presentation. Online program design should include speakers who can grab and keep the attention of even your busiest managers.

8. Tracking and record keeping

Training managers need to keep track of who took what, when they took it, and how they performed. Online programs should have built-in features that allow you to automate the administration of the training, let users self-guide through the training and deliver content in an easy format.

9. Retention and refreshers

One of the more attractive features of online training — versus traditional classroom training — is the learner can go back and refresh at any time. No need to track down your professor and have to bribe him to go over it again. What’s more, when the learner does backtrack, the online course presents the exact same information in the exact same way. No forgetting or omitting what was taught the first time.

This is the last in a series of articles on the benefits of online management training. To see the other articles, please go to The Benefits of Online Management Training page.

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