Online Employee Training: Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them


Research has shown that there are two major factors that have been proven to decrease the effectiveness and efficiency of online training: low engagement and low retention rates. Let’s face it, no matter how much we invest in employee training, it can have little to no impact on employee performance if these two are not addressed effectively. 

Apart from the two key areas mentioned above, there are other issues that most organisations fail to strategise in order to maximise the benefits of online training. Here are some of the common challenges faced by employees in their digital learning journeys, as well as tips for how organisations can leverage e-Learning without compromising engagement and retention.

PROBLEM #1: Lack of training flexibility

Employees tend to have a lot on their plates, spanning from their day-to-day tasks to hitting their monthly KPIs. While many appreciate the efforts done by the organisation they belong to to add value to their skill set, many may disregard or completely avoid training due to a lack of time to fully leverage on the perks of online training.


  • Implement microlearning. Microlearning is a means of delivering learning materials in bite-sized formats, which can significantly minimise the number of hours required for employees to complete training. It can be delivered in many forms, such as short videos, infographics, and bulleted lists, allowing employees to engage in a variety of learning experiences.
  • Make it mobile-friendly! With mobile learning, employees can access their courses and training materials anytime, anywhere, whether it be during their lunch breaks, or on their way home. 

PROBLEM #2: Lack of engaging content

In the past ten years, our attention span has rapidly decreased, plummeting to a meager 8 seconds and losing about 25% in just a few years. This greatly affects the way employees approach their online training. While repurposing old paper-based learning materials and converting them to e-Learning may appear to be the most cost-effective alternative, a better long-term approach could be to invest in digital training materials that provide higher levels of accessibility, interaction, and engagement.


  • Offer rich media content. In 2020 alone, 98% of consumers and employees alike have increased their online video consumption, and organisations could be prudent to exploit the format to boost the value of their training materials.
  • Integrate assessments or quizzes before or after an individual’s completion of courses to improve knowledge retention and recall.
  • Use live discussion boards and other informal online spaces to encourage workplace collaboration. This motivates employees to participate in the discussions and the learning process.
  • Integrate gamification elements, such as earning badges after completing a lesson, and gaining points when hitting a milestone. Display such badges and points among employees to increase their learning experience, making it more entertaining, intriguing, and rewarding.

PROBLEM #3: Lack of hands-on experience

Experience is always the best teacher when it comes to imparting real-world application in online training. Today, however, many instructors continue to employ passive pedagogy, which causes some learners to excel in theory, but struggle to apply it in actual situations.

SOLUTION: Incorporate augmented reality (AR)! Augmented reality allows learners to become immersed in their training and get practical experience without the usual risks. Employees can access AR applications with just their mobile devices, giving them a unique learning opportunity to explore and interact with virtual objects and information.

PROBLEM #4: Lack of personalisation

Today’s workforce includes at least three generations: Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials, each with distinct characteristics and training requirements. While it’s permissible to provide the same online learning activities and support tools to these various groups of learners, the effectiveness of training may suffer. 


  • Conduct surveys or assessments to determine employees’ training needs and skill gaps.
  • Incorporate various online content into e-Learning courses. For example, if you have auditory learners, you can provide them with podcasts. Visual learners can benefit from e-Learning videos or demos. Those who prefer to read can be offered text-based modules. 
  • Utilise a learning management system (LMS)! An LMS is a platform where learners can access their learning materials whenever they need it on a 24/7 basis. It can be an interactive platform where instructors can create personalised learning environments for learners through different learning paths and activities that respond to their needs. With the use of an LMS, instructors can also have the ability to monitor employee activity and progress through data analytics, identifying potential weaknesses easily. 

These are just a few of the common challenges that many employees face during online training. While low engagement and low retention rates can put a wrench in our training initiatives, there are various ways to turn things around! Hopefully, the strategies mentioned above can assist you in creating a positive and effective learning experience for your employees.

Ready to empower your employees through engaging and interactive training? At SSA Innovations, we find and fix performance gaps by providing relevant e-Learning solutions tailored-fit to meet the needs of your business. From immersive learning scenarios to animated videos, we can transform your outdated courses into interactive experiences! We also have a learning management system, SSAVANT, that can house all your courses and materials in one place! Contact us right away!

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