How to Minimize Stress for Successful Employee Training

Employees face pressure throughout their workday.

Moderate amounts of stress can make your employees more alert and increase their productivity in complex tasks.

Mild stressors can also boost learning and memory, helping employees to retain facts better.

However, tight deadlines, demanding roles and your management practices may result in an overly stressful workplace.

A stressful work environment undermines your employee training efforts because it breeds anxiety and lowers knowledge retention.

Your training program shouldn’t add to your employees’ stress.

Here’s how to boost your team’s learning capacity by creating a calm online training environment.

1. Set Clear Training Expectations

One of the leading causes of stress is unclear expectations.

Lack of clarity on what’s expected places conflicting demands on your employees.

If you want your employee training to be successful, inform them of what is expected before, during and after the course.

Start by showing them the opportunities available to them once they complete the training.

Will the course improve their performance at work or prepare them for that promotion they’ve been dreaming about? Let them know.

Second, make sure your LMS navigation includes a progress completion bar to show them how much they’ve covered so far.

Third, share the course outline with your staff so they know what to expect at every stage.

Your staff will be eager to begin training once they know how much it will transform their careers.

2. Use Subtle Colors

Selecting the right color for your LMS platform can enhance the navigation and improve readability.

Aggressive colors such as orange are great for strengthening calls-to-action, such as “start here” or “launch quiz”.

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Red attracts attention, so it works well for messages and error notifications.

Yellow invokes intellect. You can use it to highlight key points in your course.

Use blue, indigo, green, purple and brown color schemes to create a calming eLearning environment.

One way to build an instant connection with your employees is to utilize your brand colors.

Softer hues of your brand identity will make them feel at home when they log into the course.

Follow it up by painting the office with a relaxing palette to further de-stress your team throughout the day.

They’ll be in a better headspace when they settle down for training.

3. Keep LMS Navigation Simple

Image: Circa Design

In Thinking Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize Laureate Daniel Kahneman identifies two thinking systems:

  • System 1, or Cognitive Ease State: A mode of thinking that’s fast and automatic.
  • System 2, or Cognitive Strain State: A mode of thinking that requires cerebral effort and concentration.

According to Kahneman, how we feel about an event is affected by the level of cognitive ease we attach to it.

If too much mental effort is required for your course, your employees will switch to System 2.

The cognitive strain will make your employees tense and less delighted to learn.

Your team will be more receptive and confident if your training environment is familiar.

The best way to implement this is in your LMS. Make it easy to navigate. Steer clear of jargon, blinking animations, flyout menus, and bizarre layouts.

What key tasks would you like your e-learners to accomplish when they start a course topic? Use that as a guide for what items and elements you’ll add to your LMS design.

Clutter and complexity complicate an employee’s learning experience. Don’t forget to think mobile-first when you’re designing your course.

World Manager’s training and assessment templates are 100% mobile so your team can access the course on any device at their convenience.

You can track their progress anywhere, anytime, which makes for stress-free employee training.

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4. Deliver Employee Training in Bite-Sized Chunks

Digital lifestyles have significantly reduced the human attention span.

The average attention span is reported to have reduced from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds by 2013.

Goldfish have an average attention span of 9 seconds.

How do you contend with short attention spans when you’ve got so much material to cover?

Break your course into bite-sized nuggets instead of bombarding your trainees with information, and segment the chapters based on your employee training objectives.

Every time a course is completed, you’ll know that a learning objective is fulfilled.

Microlearning gives your trainees an opportunity to pause and reflect on what they’ve just learned.

It gives them some form of control over their learning experience, which lowers their stress levels.

5. Incorporate Humour in Your Employee Training

Laughter is the best medicine, especially for a stressed-out employee.

Give them something to look forward to in the training by incorporating instructional humor.

Funny videos and comic strips are some of the elements that can emphasize key takeaways. They’ll grab attention and invoke positive feelings, allowing your employees to loosen up.

Employees will be in a better position to remember the topic when it’s delivered with a light touch.

Make sure your humor is correctly understood by your employees. Use the Instructional Humour Processing Theory.

It explains how instructional humor may lead to different results based on a learner’s ability to understand your message.

If the trainee perceives your message as humorous and sees how it relates to the course content, they’ll think more deeply about the topic.

They’ll process their new-found knowledge and retain it

Humour is only recognized as instructional when it’s appropriate and related to the course.

Learners who understand the humor but fail to see how it relates to the course get distracted or confused.

If learners don’t get the joke and don’t understand how it relates to the topic, they can’t process your message or retain information.

6. Use Background Music

Your employees are more likely to retain acquired knowledge if they are emotionally connected to a course.

You can use upbeat music at the beginning of a course to set the scene and spark enthusiasm.

Their tension levels will reduce since listening to music lowers cortisol, a stress hormone, and improves mood.

Music has been proven to increase concentration. It can help your trainees to pore over big chunks of text with laser focus.

Utilize sound effects in your simulations and live scenarios to further drive learner engagement.

For instance, when a learner achieves a milestone, they can get a round of applause.

Just make sure that you install audio controls so your learners can alter the volume as they please.

7. Validate Your Employees

Resilient and confident employees are more likely to have lower levels of stress.

Cultivate optimism in the workplace by giving your employees constructive feedback on their learning progress.

Solicit ideas on how you can improve your training program and let them feel included in the design progress.

When the training is complete, offer incentives such as:

  • Certificates
  • Gift cards
  • A promotion
  • Paid time off

Employees who haven’t yet completed training will be encouraged to do so when they see what’s in store.

Stress management in staff training requires an effective LMS.

World Manager is a leading LMS because of its engaging scenario-based training, electronic sign-off and achievement awards feature.

These are the components of an LMS that will start you on the path of successful employee training. Book a demo today.

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

The best companies use World Manager to train staff, maintain standards, and set the company up on the road to success.