How to successfully implement an online academy

Implementing an online academy is a big challenge for many organisations. Added to this, how does one ensure that employees have a learning mindset, with an intrinsic motivation to learn? With experience in many kinds of implementation projects, Lisan van der Lee, implementation consultant at SkillsTown, shares her experiences and tips for successfully implementing an online academy.

Measurable objectives

In order to assess whether your learning platform is a success, you must first determine the success factors. Learning itself must be a means to increase the performance of your organisation. Your objectives must therefore be linked to your performance results. Do I want higher sales figures? Or do I want to be an attractive employer and ensure that fewer people leave the organisation? Make the objectives as clear and concrete as possible. This way you give direction to your online academy and can immediately plot your path to success. 

Support from the right people

The most crucial factor in the implementation of an online academy is support from your employees. To make your online academy a success, you need the right people around you. These are both people who can support you in your project as well as ambassadors within the organisation. These people can also get others in the organisation to start thinking about their personal development. It is important to think carefully beforehand which people you will gather around you to make the academy a success. These are generally the people who can influence other people or processes within the organisation. Involve these people in your plans at an early stage, and talk to people about their needs and challenges so that you can solve these to the best of your ability. 

The right content

Before deciding what content you need, it is important to have mapped out what your objectives are and where the needs in the organisation lie. This way you can focus on finding the right content for your online academy, to suit the needs of your business. This may involve general skills, such as effective communication or teamwork, or more practical skills. In addition, you must be able to easily create and include organisation-specific knowledge to your e-learning platform. In this way, you can quickly create your own content in an accessible way that meets the wishes and needs of your own organisation. 

Blended learning

In order to achieve optimal learning efficiency, you can link the online academy to face-to-face learning forms – in other words, blended learning. By linking these forms of learning to each other, both forms of learning can be used more effectively. For example, prior to a training course employees can be offered the theory via an online module, so that the training time can be set up more effectively. 

Professional appointments

As a manager, you may have expectations of your employees in terms of learning and development. That is why it is important that managers are intensively involved in the online academy. They should have a clear vision on learning for individual employees, the department or the entire organisation itself. The development objectives of employees must be visible on the platform itself so that people are continually encouraged 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. It is important that you pay attention to this in as many ways as possible. For example, make a teaser video, publish an interview, hand out a flyer or use social media. Use all of the different communication channels available within the organisation to spead the word! A launch event is also a great way to generate anticipation and excitement, as well as buy-in of the platform. Do this in a festive way with as many employees as possible at the same time and where necessary at multiple locations.Workshops can be given, personal learning goals can be brainstormed, or a fun opening function can be held.

It is important to continue to communicate regularly about the academy even after the launch. Choose different times throughout the year to continually draw employees’ awareness back to the online learning platform. Place an active user of the academy in the spotlight, publish certificates of achievement or advertise new courses. 

Keep developing

In order to continue to meet your organisation’s needs, it is important that the academy continues to develop. Themes that are relevant within the organisation must also be placed at the centre of the academy. For example, a change in the law can be reflected in an online seminar in the academy. By continuing to offer current content, employees have a good reason to take a look more often. 

Stay focused

Keep focus on the academy alive in all kinds of ways. Top-of-mind awareness will help to keep employees alert and you as an organisation will continue to stimulate their development.The implementation consultants at SkillsTown take care of the implementation and success of online learning environments 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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