icon How to Design an Effective Virtual Training Program for Employees Skip to content
How to Design an Effective Virtual Training Program for Employees - HRDQ

How to Design an Effective Virtual Training Program for Employees

Virtual training is becoming more and more common. With a variety of benefits such as cost-effectiveness, convenience, and improved retention, it’s no wonder that many companies are switching to this method of learning. However, to obtain these advantages, you need to know how to design an effective virtual training program for employees. In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know!

HRDQ offers a fully customizable virtual training library, so you can provide specialized training content to your team no matter where they are. Explore the Reproducible Training Library.

Identify Problem Areas

To design a virtual training program, you first need to identify key areas where training is necessary. A good area to start is to identify weaknesses in your team. You may have some perceived weaknesses in mind, but before you create an entire program around them, you should assess if they are actual concrete weaknesses.

To do so, consider administering assessment tests to determine if there is a real performance gap. Assessment tests are also useful in helping you identify problem areas that you may have overlooked.

At HRDQ, we offer a library of online assessments that are designed to test your team’s soft skills. Not only are they easy to distribute, but you can easily track employee progress, receive instant test results, enjoy organized consolidation of data, and provide customized reports to your participants.

Explore the HRDQ Online Assessment Center

Set SMART Goals

After identifying problem areas, use them to set SMART goals that have a direct relation to your business. These goals should stand as the foundation for your training. At the end of the training session, you can refer to your goals and re-assess your team to ensure that they have been met.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, say you identified poor customer service skills as a team weakness. Your business-related SMART goal could be to increase customer retention by 30%. This is a specific goal that you can easily measure by tracking if more customers stayed with the company over a set period of time (meaning it is also time-bound). With the right training it is achievable, and it is certainly relevant in regards to improving the company.

Convert Goals into Modules

Each goal you’ve created can be used as a different module in your training program. Modules should outline clear objectives for your employees so that they understand the overall purpose of each section of the training. That said, think through what your employees need to know in order to reach your SMART goals.

For instance, say the team weakness is low efficiency and the SMART goal is increased productivity. To train your employees to be more efficient in a task such as data entry, perhaps they need an overview of the data entry system, a step-by-step walk-through of the company’s specific data-entry process, and thorough definitions of industry-related and system-related terms. These are all items that employees should know to be more attuned to the data-entry system, hence improving their efficiency.

Create Your Presentation

When you use HRDQ’s Reproducible Training Library, creating your presentation is simple. You will be provided with tools such as a customizable PowerPoint presentation, participant workbooks, and other supporting materials that allow you to easily set up your virtual training program and customize it to your specific needs. Simply plug in your modules and the information you’ve determined that needs to be relayed to reach your goals.

However, as you customize your presentation, you still need to consider how best to engage your audience. Be sure to incorporate elements that are interactive and entertaining to hold your participants’ attention, such as fun animations and practice with the provided participant workbooks. Engagement is key in terms of improving retention!

Practice Your Delivery

While it may seem simple enough to just read your notes to explain the content you’ve laid out, that’s not a great way to hold your employees’ attention. In terms of increasing retention, the delivery is just as important as engaging your team with interactive elements. Here are some tips to nail the delivery of your presentation:

  • Be energetic. Being energetic about what you’re teaching will better entice audience members to listen. Some ways you can show excitement include making hand gestures, talking with enunciation (avoiding a monotone voice), and even telling a relevant joke about the subject matter from time to time.
  • Make it personal. If you’re teaching the content, you likely have some firsthand experience with it. Feel free to recount these experiences! Interesting stories and details really help to make the information stick.
  • Ask questions. To ensure your participants are staying focused, ask questions throughout the presentation. This will keep them on their toes and make them more inclined to pay attention.
  • Take pauses. It’s important that you don’t speed through your presentation. Covering a lot of information in a short amount of time will make it nearly impossible to learn. Every few minutes, take a beat to let the content sink in.
  • Do a test run. Finally, you should do at least one test run before you deliver your presentation. But the more times you practice, the better. Record yourself to assess the clarity of your voice and your energy level, and note if you completed the presentation in a reasonable time.

If you need assistance, HRDQ also offers training consulting services. Our experienced training coaches can help to train your trainers or even deliver expert training sessions on your behalf.

Test Again and Track

Finally, after the training program is complete, circle back to the concrete weaknesses you identified with your online assessments. Consider asking your employees to retake the test to see how their score has improved. Improved assessment scores are a good indicator of a successful virtual training program.

In addition to assessments, you also need to track your SMART goals. After the period of time you set to reach your goal(s), run the numbers to see if your goals have been met—or if your employee’s skills have at least shown some improvement. If you are seeing progress but your goal has not yet been met, consider a follow-up training session.

Start Virtual Training with HRDQ

We hope you have a solid understanding of how to design an effective virtual training program for employees!

To create your training program:

Related Products of Interest

Previous article Instructional Design Guide: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.