E-Learning is fast becoming the most effective way to onboard, train and develop staff. There are e-learning platforms available for just about every sector and very role within those sectors. Even where practical skills are essential, the theory elements can be supported, or entirely delivered, by e-learning.
E-learning typically means the delivery of training or educational material in a remote, technology-based format. This can include audio, internet, DVD and video to name but a few. The most common formats today are via internet learning platforms and webinars.
Time efficient and affordable
Running a business is challenging. Running a cost and time efficient one, even more so! E-learning supports businesses by making training more affordable.
Most businesses can facilitate this type of training within the workspace instead of sending staff away on expensive residential courses. This saves additional costs of travel, subsistence and accommodation.
You can schedule their training time in a way that doesn’t conflict with the needs of the business. This means that the cost of providing cover for staff who are training is reduced. In turn, your staff can implement their learning immediately.
A great example of this is the festive period. Most businesses fall into two camps. Those for whom the festive period is a super-busy, all hands on deck period. And those for whom there will be a noticeable reduction in workload as it begins to look like the world is taking a month off to eat, drink and be merry!
If you fall into the second category, and don’t operate a company shut-down, now is the perfect time to plan some staff training. Refer to your teams’ learning and development plans, identify the gaps and source suitably e-learning packages for them to complete whilst things are a little slack.
Who would benefit
The beauty of e-learning is that it really can meet the most varied needs.
For example, part-time staff, or people with caring responsibilities may find attending structured, classroom training stressful to juggle.
Staff with accessibility issues can train in locations or using technology that meets their needs.
If space is an issue, people can train remotely.
When you start to think about it, it’s far harder to imagine who wouldn’t find a benefit in e-learning.
Is it as good as face to face training?
There is a strong argument to support that not only inappropriately used e-learning as effective as classroom training, but it can also be even be more effective. Who hasn’t got home from a training course full of enthusiasm and knowledge only to find that a few weeks later, the notes you hastily took in class make no sense at all!
Always look for reputable training providers who been approved by relevant assessment and awarding bodies. This gives you peace of mind that the training provision meets the standards that would be achieved in a classroom environment.
E-learning platforms usually have inbuilt assessment modules to measure the progress of learners. What’s more, because lectures and training modules can be revisited in the future, the benefits are longer lasting.
Whether you are a large, multi-national organisation, or simply have staff working different patterns, a considerable challenge is achieving company-wide consistency. This is probably closely followed by engendering a spirit of collaboration!
E-learning allows you to ensure that a consistent message is shared whether that is about the standards your company commits to deliver to customers, or the level of knowledge staff are expected to achieve and maintain at different levels within the organisation.
In terms of performance management, you benefit from having a clear record detailing what training has been delivered. Using everyone’s personal assessment outcomes means that you can put effective learning and development plans in place which support your in-house appraisals, any performance related pay scales and, of course, the ongoing development of your team.
On the flip-side, should you encounter problematic behaviour from any staff members in the future, you can identify whether it stems from a lack of knowledge and understanding (which you can correct with training) or from a lack of willingness to comply with company standards (which allows you to implement the relevant disciplinary processes).
Boost your green credentials
E-learning is a great way to evidence your organisation’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact. E-learning is usually paperless and doesn’t require people to travel from all directions to a single point of delivery as would be required from classroom training.
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that the last 30 years have seen the work and study landscape change more rapidly, and significantly, than at any other time in history.
Millennials are taking the workplace by storm and demanding that businesses innovate in order to attract new talent. This means that, in order to keep up with the marketplace, you need to deliver training and development in ways that meet those expectations.
In a world where everything is available online and on demand, the ability for people to undertake professional learning and development must be too.