How Parenting Prepared Me for Online Training Management

Recently, my family of four and I took a quick weekend trip to a cabin owned by my grandma. It’s not a particularly far drive from our home and, especially with the impacts of COVID, any opportunity to get out of the house and into a new environment is a welcome change. As we prepared to load up the car, I chuckled at the small mountain of luggage that had been piled near our front door. Stuffed animals, portable cribs, and suitcases were all precariously stacked on top of each other and ready to be squeezed into the van. 

Each of us enjoy the cabin differently

The cabin has been in my family for nearly my entire life and has always been a place of rest and relaxation. But as my own family has grown, I’ve realized that each of us enjoy the cabin differently and our packing habits reflect that. For me, the cabin has been a place to read a book, do some hiking and relax. As a result, when I was single, my trips to the cabin were influenced by a desire to be as lightweight as possible. I’d pack a few changes of clothes into a backpack, a couple books and stuff some sandwiches into a cooler and go. It wasn’t perfect, but it met my needs.

When I married my wife, the items we packed changed to accommodate the way she enjoyed the cabin. Like me, my wife enjoyed hiking and books, but the cabin also offered the opportunity to avoid cooking meals for a weekend. So, as we packed, some street shoes were tossed in the suitcase to be worn for a dinner or two at a local restaurant. 

For our two daughters, the cabin offers a chance to sleep somewhere new, to play with new toys and to get dirty exploring the surrounding woods. As a result, a portable crib and white noise machine, extra changes of clothes and stuffed animals have been added to the packing list. 

So, what does any of this have to do with online training management? 

That’s a valid question

And here’s the answer: Each member of my family benefits from a weekend trip to the cabin. But the benefits and the “tools” necessary to experience those benefits are different for each of us. For me, a portable crib isn’t necessary to enjoy the cabin, but for my daughter, it’s a requirement.

Just like how we all benefit from our trips to the cabin, I believe any organization, regardless of size or maturity, can benefit from online training. However, how a team benefits from online training and the tools they use will likely change based on the size and needs of the organization. For some, the best online management courses may be ones they can find for free. For others, those free courses may not be enough. 

Small teams

For small teams focused on remaining as lean as possible, one of the plethora of free online business management courses could be a great training option to level up their leaders. Like my solo trips to the cabin, a free course may be stripped down and minimal, but it could allow the organization to offer management training and provide an online management certificate to their employees at a low cost and low level of effort.

Growing teams

Like trips to the cabin with my wife, as a team grows, their needs will become more complex. For example, a mid-sized team may be more likely to hire managers of various tenure. As a result, in order to realize the benefits of online training, they may need to invest in a learning management system that allows them to build content in-house to target both first-time supervisor training, and ongoing training for managers and supervisors. Instead of free, off-the-shelf content, the best courses for new managers may be courses that the team develops themselves, blending general management best practices and the specific culture of their team. 

Large teams

Lastly, let’s touch on how large teams can benefit from online training management tools. Like trying to pack for the cabin with my wife and two kids, large organizations and teams have to take the needs of numerous people and groups into consideration. While a small organization may be able to find adequate leadership and management courses online for free, a large team is most likely to have a need to offer new manager training courses alongside additional leadership development training for managers, all with different experience levels, and different responsibilities. In order to truly see the benefits of online training, a large team may need a robust LMS, with content creation tools, integration capabilities, and the ability to segment users by responsibility or team.

Regardless of the size of the team, I believe any team can benefit from online organization. But like packing for my family, knowing who I’m planning for and how they enjoy the cabin allows me to pack the right things to ensure a fun weekend for everyone. 

For any organization looking to benefit from online training, choosing the right tools will require understanding who the training is for, and also the objective of the training. For a small team, those two things may be simple, and the online learning tool that is selected may be resultantly basic. But a large team may have a much more complex framework of users and objectives. As a result, their online training tool of choice may need robust capabilities for content creation, user management and training distribution.

What’s your experience been? Have you had an opportunity to work with both a small and large organization? How did their online training needs differ? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a line at evan.wible@lessonly.com.

 

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