Smiling woman employee wears a headset and takes notes in a notebook while using her laptop computer.
There are several ways to train your staff online, but the best virtual learning platforms make the process effortless and enjoyable. — Getty Images/PixelsEffect

Employee training is critical to your organization. Yet, in-person instruction can be expensive and isn’t an excellent fit for a remote or hybrid workforce. The best virtual training platforms are user-friendly and accessible from desktops and mobile devices.

An employee training system helps businesses educate their team, whether onboarding new employees or upskilling current staff. Virtual learning software also provides tracking and reporting options while delivering well-organized and interactive experiences.

There are several ways to train your staff online, but the top methods make the process effortless and enjoyable. Use the resources below to select the right solution for your virtual learning program.

What is an employee virtual learning platform?

A virtual learning platform for employees is a tool that delivers training materials online. In its simplest form, it is an e-learning system that can be any digital software your company uses for online collaboration and communication. In its most robust form, it is a learning management system (LMS) that helps human resources (HR) create e-learning programs, assign courses to staff and track participation rates.

In short, the best online learning solutions unify all training resources into a single platform, making it an essential element for employee training and development. Small business owners may use one or more tools for staff education.

Common software used for workforce instruction include:

  • Video conferencing tools for instructor-led training, such as Zoom.
  • Collaboration programs for ongoing education, like Microsoft Teams.
  • Learning management systems for comprehensive training, such as Degreed.
  • Online learning platforms for one-time classes or certificates, like Coursera or Udemy.

[Read: CO— Blueprint: Recruiting and Managing Employees in a Virtual World]

Don’t forget about the importance of an easy user experience. If the virtual learning platform is complicated to set up and use, it will be more challenging to incorporate it into your current training workflows.

Online training systems: factors to consider

If you’ve already created an employee training program, it’s crucial to consider how it translates into an online format. In some cases, interactive webinars can replace on-site instruction. On the other hand, you may want an all-in-one tool with an integrated knowledge base, multimedia courses and personalized learning paths.

Choose a virtual training platform by thinking about your:

  • Goals: Consider your educational objectives, including which employees require training, how often their training is needed and the desired outcomes.
  • Budget: Virtual training software varies significantly in price, from free to hundreds of dollars per month. Decide what you want to spend, then look for tools within your price range.
  • Training format: Employee education may include presentations, quizzes, audio and video recordings, games, and discussion groups. Narrow down your choices by thinking about your preferred formats and training methods.
  • Training material: Some learning platforms provide a course library with out-of-the-box lessons for workplace safety training, marketing and more. Others let you upload your instruction materials or create new ones.
  • Integrations: Training tools can connect to your HR systems and document storage programs. You may want integrations for compliance reporting or industry-specific software.
  • Features: E-learning systems may provide skill assessments, employee portals for tracking accomplishments and tasks, pre-built onboarding programs and robust data analytics.

Lastly, don’t forget about the importance of an easy user experience. If the virtual learning platform is complicated to set up and use, it will be more challenging to incorporate it into your current training workflows.

Explore workforce development tools and resources

The market is flush with educational software for businesses. Virtual lessons through LinkedIn or Coursera help train employees for new jobs, but offer fewer options for customization. In comparison, dedicated online training platforms work as an extension of your business.

Here are three well-known training applications:

  • EdApp: It’s free for unlimited users and comes with an editable content library. EdApp provides built-in gamification, virtual classes and social learning tools.
  • Degreed: This upskilling platform costs $10 to $12 per user. Degreed delivers skills-based training, employee development and career mobility features.
  • Moodle: As a free, open-source learning management system, Moodle is a flexible program. It helps manage compliance and regulatory training while tracking learner progress.

Invest in the future of your employees

Employee development plans and training programs give your team the skills they need now and in the future. Moreover, you can improve onboarding and training experiences by picking the right virtual learning platform. Look for budget- and user-friendly services that support your business goals and shift your training to the cloud.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO— is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Published October 28, 2021