If you haven’t read a business blog in the past 20 minutes, the following news may shock you: Workforce composition has changed a lot over the years! Okay, maybe that wasn’t so shocking, but it’s definitely true. Gone are the days when a company would house all its employees in a single office building in a single town, where everyone could gather for an in-person training.

Today, businesses large and small might have locations in multiple states or countries, and/or a team of work-from-home employees scattered just about everywhere. In other words, you can no longer gather the whole team in the conference room and have Darren from HR lead an in-person training. You also can’t have Darren fly to everybody’s individual town to train them one-on-one. (It’s too expensive, plus Darren is afraid of flying. Long story.)

The solution is using online employee training software, which gets entire companies on the same page, regardless of where team members may be located.

What is online employee training software?

Online employee training software is software that delivers educational material (think courses and learning programs on various topics) to a company’s employees digitally.

Some employee training is mandatory. For example, the state of California requires employers to provide sexual harassment training. (Other states have similar requirements, as well.) Other types of training aren’t legally required, but they can still keep your employees — and business — out of deep trouble. For example, data privacy and protection training can teach your employees how to protect company data.

You can use online employee training software for both required and non-required (but very important!) use cases, including:

  • Employee onboarding. Many companies require their new hires to complete a series of training modules to learn about the company, its story, its practices and expectations, and more. You might consider pairing this with or rolling this up into a training on your company’s code of conduct.
  • Skills-based training courses. Employees may have to develop new skills to keep up as a company pivots to new initiatives. Online training courses like Ethena’s Hiring & Interviewing training can teach those skills.
  • Harassment prevention. Harassment prevention training is required by law in some states. Even if it’s not a requirement in yours, it’s still important — because everyone wants a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination.
  • DEI training. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training aligns a workforce around a culture of respect where people’s diverse backgrounds are a source of company pride. Companies that prioritize DEI efforts are predicted to do better, and attract and retain top talent.
  • Health and safety compliance. Human Resources and People Ops departments use online training software to ensure workplace compliance on topics like Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is required of some employers by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Special certifications. State and local laws may require a workforce to have skill-certified or safety-certified employees on staff, such as a lab manager trained in chemical safety. Software-based employee training programs (usually branded as an Environment, Health, and Safety training or EHS) may be enough to get an employee certified, or help them pass an exam.
  • Industry-specific training. Businesses that operate in certain industries may need employee training based on the nature of their industry. For example, Anti-Money Laundering training is recommended for finance companies, and Anti-Bribery & Corruption trainings for nonprofits and state/federal governments.

What to look for when choosing an online employee training software

You have a lot of choices as you begin shopping for online training platforms, which means you can afford to be picky. Compliance training done right can help employees navigate tricky situations, solve issues, and save your business from costly problems. Done wrong, it can lead to backlash and worse employee behavior.

Here are some things to look for in an online learning platform competing for your business.

  • Real-life (not cringe-y!) content. Let’s be honest. Most employees don’t exactly look forward to mandatory trainings. A primary driver of training-related dread is cringeworthy content. You know the stuff: hypothetical scenarios that are so on-the-nose that they make you wince. Good, realistic, and relatable employee training software shows employees that you respect their intellect and their busy schedule — and yields better metrics. Speaking of busy schedules…
  • Training content that respects an employee’s time. Pick a software that can be delivered in micro-lessons, and auto-saves their progress when they leave and come bac to it. Bite-sized pieces of training delivered with modern technology can allow employees to take trainings at their convenience. From their phones, from their computers, during breaks while meeting a deadline — whenever. No more setting aside large blocks of time to watch hour-long training modules that employees attempt to skip-through — while retaining nothing.
  • Easy access for team members. Employees should be able to access online trainings without having to log in. Ideally, training modules should be delivered via magic links in email, Slack, and other platforms your team is already using. Spare your employees the headache of remembering yet another username and password, and spare your HR team the headache of helping people who accidentally locked themselves out of the training program.
  • Helpful automations. Most leading online training platforms come with automations that streamline enrollment, completion tracking, and reminders — that will save time and hassle for everyone (especially the HR team).
  • Options for customization. You may select employee training software that already comes with standard training content. This works for compliance trainings, but may not work for voluntary trainings that you want customized for your company. Ethena’s code of conduct training, for example, is configurable so you can choose modules that are most relevant to your company. Its enterprise customers can:
  • Configure each course to make it feel even more homegrown with your branding
  • Have an in-platform video message from leadership
  • Have configurable attestation tracking and policy slides.

You can also customize trainings based on locations, so your workers in California get training that aligns with that state’s laws while your workers in Nevada get training designed for their own state. No more manual tracking of all the different state requirements!

  • Real-time analytics with ability to cut data. HR managers and People teams need easy, reliable ways to monitor employee compliance as they go through a new training. Your HR staff shouldn’t have to manually sort through a massive spreadsheet to find out whether Angie from accounts receivable finally completed her last training module. Instead, platforms like Ethena can cut data by function, manager, and location to identify at-risk groups and automatically follow up with the right people

The 10 best online employee training software platforms

The online employee training software market has exploded in recent years, and that means you get a lot of great options to choose from. Here are ten particularly strong platforms competing for your business as we speak.

1. Ethena

Ethena is an online employee training software designed from the perspective of HR managers, legal departments, and chief technology officers. The platform’s designers understand the pain points that these professionals face in getting their workforce into full compliance.

Ethena starts with an effective and efficient user interface, because getting your team up to speed on critical topics shouldn’t be in conflict with getting work done. The platform also provides a library of courses designed to minimize the cringe factor that often accompanies employee training. Courses come with original videos, timely real-world examples, vibrant comics and graphic novels, and audio lessons styled like podcasts.

The platform’s automation features quickly produce relevant reports, automate compliance workflows, and send follow up notices to the right people, letting HR departments get lots of time back. Ethena courses include Harassment Prevention; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and data protection, among others.

Ethena is our baby, so we naturally think it’s the best tool on the market.

2. iSpring Learn

iSpring Learn is a learning management software (LMS) that covers employee onboarding, sales training, product training, channel training (which gets select teams updated on company standards), compliance training, and safety certifications. Its authoring tool even lets you create interactive lessons.

3. EasyLlama

EasyLlama is a popular compliance training provider whose catalog also includes code of conduct, unconscious bias, cybersecurity, leadership, and more. Its bright colors and fun-themed branding make it another modern solution for today’s workplace scenarios.

4. Everfi

Everfi’s course offerings include Global Ethics & Compliance, DEI, Harassment & Inclusion, and HR & People. Each of these categories features highly targeted classes so you’re addressing everything your organization needs and nothing it doesn’t.

5. Emtrain

Emtrain offers both full courses and also microlessons, which present timely topics in easy-to-digest offerings. The company has an extensive course catalog that you can peruse before committing.

6. Traliant

The Traliant course catalog runs the gamut from interview and hiring compliance to bloodborne pathogen training, and everything in between. All courses run through an LMS interface called the Traliant Learning Center.

7. Absorb LMS

You can use Absorb LMS software to train your own team, and you can also use it to train business-to-business (B2B) customers outside your organization. It offers an authoring tool called Absorb Create LI and an AI-based tool called Absorb Pinpoint that guides users to the exact training modules they need.

8. Cornerstone LMS

The Cornerstone LMS platform has an AI component that can deliver customized recommendations to individual workers looking to further their careers. It also allows for an integrated blend of online training and in-person training with a live instructor.

9. Leapsome

Leapsome provides a mixture of learning management software, performance reviews, engagement surveys, team-building tools, and employee guides for career advancement. The Leapsome platform presents onboarding, training, and compliance courses from the class-taker’s point of view, helping employees understand they are investing in themselves.

10. SkyPrep

SkyPrep is designed for companies with broadly distributed workers who may never all be in the same room at the same time. It offers interactive virtual classrooms with premade courses developed by partner organization OpenSesame. You can also use the company’s in-house software, SkyPrep Studio, to design training modules that look great but don’t require a coder’s base of knowledge.

Don’t settle for less than the best

Your employees and business deserve better than a second-rate solution — they deserve the best online employee training software. Fortunately, we already built it for you. Now, you just need to get a hands-on demo to see it for yourself.

Schedule a time with a member of our team to see how our compliance training platform can help your employees avoid issues, navigate tricky situations, and save HR and Compliance leaders time and resources.

Want to see a sample first? Make a request, and we’ll send you a fully-functioning sample straight to your inbox.