When we started offering online courses about 3 years ago, we had not even considered that our courses would be useful to employees wanting to fill embarrassing skills gaps.
During appraisals, an employee can easily bring up the desire to attend a conference detailing the latest techniques or latest research. But how easy is it for a senior manager bring up the fact that they need a little help with their presentation skills? How will a newly promoted manager feel when they have to raise the fact that they feel they have lost control of their team and could do with some management training? While some of us would feel comfortable to raise the issue, many of us would recoil at the thought.
We can see from our online course stats that some of our most popular courses are filling these types of skills gaps. One of our most purchased online courses is 'Managing Your Emotions at Work.' Interestingly, more males purchase this course than females, which initially surprised us. However, when you think about it a bit more deeply, maybe there is a very good reason for this. Perhaps females feel more comfortable speaking with their managers about their emotions and therefore gain assistance with managing the situation, whereas males may feel less comfortable to do so. Or perhaps it could be that males prefer a more structured approach to managing their emotions, whereas females rely more heavily on their social support systems. Research would need to be conducted to know for sure, but it raises some interesting questions.
Filling these types of skills gaps is invaluable to the individual and the organisation. Online training opens the doors for individuals to take charge of their professional development and enjoy higher levels of success. Online training platforms like OpenSesame are a great resource. You can just type your term into the search field and a variety of courses are at your fingertips. After completing a course you are left feeling confident and armed with a tool kit of techniques to take back to the workplace.
Louise Palmer is a qualified Business Psychologist. She is the Managing Director of People Tonic Limited, a training consultancy based in the UK. Follow her on twitter @peopletonic.