5 Steps To Turn Your Managers Into e-Learning Champions

If you’ve had experience of rolling out new training initiatives you’ll already know that getting your management team on board is crucial. When it comes to e-learning, it simply won’t succeed in the long term without their support.

Staff need to know that it’s ok to learn at work. Sounds obvious but do people really feel comfortable brushing up on their skills in a busy office? Especially on a topic they haven’t been asked to learn. If management are not seen to support e-learning then the answer is, probably no. e-learning works best when managers are aware of the benefits and courses available so that they can encourage staff to learn, right when the need arises. They also need to be able to deal with negative views of e-learning. In these challenging economic times e-learning is THE most cost effective way to learn and more expensive options may simply not be available.

So, how do you get them to champion e-learning? Here’s some of the key steps you should take to get management buy-in:

1 Get them involved early
Ask what courses their staff need. Communicate the benefits of e-learning in terms that will make a manager’s job easier and make them look good. For example “staff will be more productive as they’ll spend less time away from the workplace and more time working on your core priorities.”

2 Make it fly
Reassure managers by piloting e-learning before the organisation wide roll-out and if possible include some in your pilot group. Feedback the results and focus on ROI type benefits.

3 Get endorsed

If an influential senior manager or director gives e-learning the seal of approval that will really help get the other managers on board. If they have usage targets to report back on in the next quarter that will ‘focus the mind’ further still.

4 Align with strategic objectives
What are the core strategic objectives that your management team are tasked with delivering on? How can e-learning help you to achieve these objectives? This will of course depend on your organisation’s objectives and your e-learning curriculum but it’s worth spending some time on this to make it really powerful.

5 Management briefings
This is where you bring together everything you’ve done in the above points and deliver a compelling presentation to ‘sell’ your e-learning programme. It’s a great opportunity to raise your profile in the organisation too but if the prospect of it is overwhelming you could ask a supplier to do some of it for you – they sell e-learning for a living and most will be happy to help out.

It’s important to showcase at least one e-learning course so that they have all had experienced what good e-learning looks like. If they send staff on a classroom course they’ll know what they’re doing so don’t forget to explain that this is also possible with your learning management system. Leave plenty of time for Q&A too – it’s easy to get carried away with product demo’s. It’s useful to lead this by asking them a question like this :

“we discussed several general e-learning benefits earlier but how do you think this will help your team?”

This usually ensures that the first person to speak out is positive about e-learning and that can have a big impact on the others. It also avoids the silence that often follows when you ask if anyone has any questions!

What’s your top tips? If you’ve launched an e-learning project how did you get your managers involved? What barriers did you come across along the way?

Photo Credit: jscreationzs

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