How to successfully implement an online academy

The implementation of an online academy can be a challenge for many organisations. Ensuring employee engagement and motivation for learning is key. Drawing on her extensive experience in various implementation processes, Lisan van der Lee, a learning professional at SkillsTown, shares her insights and tips for successfully implementing an online learning platform.

Define measurable objectives

To evaluate the success of your academy, you first need to establish what success looks like. Lisan shares: “Learning should be a means to enhance your organisation’s performance. Therefore, your objectives should be linked to performance results. Do you want higher sales figures? Or do you aim to be a good employer and reduce staff turnover? Set objectives as specifically as possible; this gives direction to your online academy and marks a clear target to aim for.

Gain support from the right people

Gaining support from the right individuals is crucial in the implementation of an online academy. Lisan emphasises: “To make your online academy successful, you need the support of key people from within the organisation. These individuals are there to assist you with the projects, but also to be ambassadors who can influence others within the organisation. It’s important to carefully consider which individuals you would like to involve in making the academy successful. Make sure to involve them at an early stage of your plans.”

Make sure the right content is available

“Selecting the appropriate content requires a clear understanding of your objectives and needs within the organisation,” says Lisan. “By doing so, you can purposefully seek out the right materials to introduce into your online academy. This can include general skills, such as effective communication or teamwork. Additionally, the online academy serves as an ideal platform for preserving organisation-specific knowledge. You can effortlessly create custom content that precisely meets your organisation’s desires and requirements, with our authoring tool Create.”

Blended learning

“To achieve optimal learning outcomes, you can link the online academy to face-to-face learning methods. This is called blended learning. By aligning these methods of learning, you enhance the effectiveness of the learning process of your employees. For example, employees could access theoretical knowledge through an online module before attending a training session, making the in-person training more efficient and focused.”

Make agreements with your employees

Lisan: “As a manager, you are entitled to have expectations of your employees regarding learning and development. Therefore, it’s crucial that managers are heavily involved in the online academy. They need to have a clear vision on learning for individual employees, the department, or the entire organisation. The development objectives of the managers should take a central place in the academy, enabling them to guide this process. With this focus, you motivate your employees to work on their personal and professional development.”

Communicate about the academy

The launch of the online academy can be seen as a product launch. Lisan explains: “It’s important to draw attention to this in as many ways as possible. For instance, create a teaser video, publish an interview, or distribute a flyer. Use the various communication channels available within the organisation.

Additionally, you can create a festive moment where you inform all your employees that they will have the opportunity to work on their development. This could involve hosting workshops or brainstorming sessions on personal learning goals.

Continue to communicate regularly about the academy even after the launch. For example, publish figures on the academy’s usage at fixed times of the year or highlight an active user of the academy.

Maintain the attention

To continue meeting the organisation’s needs, it’s crucial that the academy keeps evolving. Lisan says: “Themes that are relevant within the organisation should be central in the academy. For example, a relevant change in legislation could be featured in an online seminar within the academy. By continuously offering new, relevant content, employees have a good reason to frequently visit the academy.

The main message here is: keep drawing attention to the academy in various ways. This way, employees will remain engaged, and the organisation continues to stimulate their development. The learning professionals at SkillsTown ensure the implementation and success of online learning academies on a daily basis.”

At SkillsTown we can provide you with the right advice throughout this process. We would love to tell you more about our online platform and the way we work during an online demonstration

Prefer direct contact?

Gijs or one of his colleagues will be happy to help you.

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