The most obvious benefit of eLearning is that it is a great way for organizations to save on the cost of training. But the paybacks are far beyond just cost and there is so much more that can be achieved through eLearning with the right focus.
Employees are one of the greatest assets of an organization and upskilling them is the best way to ensure that the business is competitive in today’s ever-changing corporate landscape. Training is a necessary investment. But let’s face it! It is also an expense that requires a healthy influx of time, money, energy, resources, planning and the likes.
It is no secret that several companies have taken to eLearning because it is a great way to save on training costs while ensuring that the workforce is updated. Traditional training options (read ILT) appear to show lesser investment in the short term, but in the long term, they prove to be more expensive with recurring cost on trainers, travel time, lodging, time required for training etc. On the other hand, eLearning helps save a major chunk of training budgets by nearly eliminating all these expenses.
Benefits of eLearning – for beginners
eLearning has myriad benefits. Studies have shown that eLearning can reduce the overall training time by as much as 40% to 60%. This can help businesses cut down on the assorted expenses and experience a rise in productivity and in turn profitability. Besides the cost part, eLearning also offers several other paybacks for organizations. It provides easier tracking and record keeping, which means L&D can gauge the progress of learners, examine their weak areas and plan future courses based on this analysis.
Most importantly, eLearning offers the flexibility of anytime, anywhere training, considering today’s workforce is a busy lot and may not have the time to take training sessions tethered to workstations or training bays. Another advantage is that in a dynamic market where time matters the most, eLearning provides quicker delivery cycles as compared to traditional classroom-based instruction. Learners can set their own pace of learning and can focus on specific elements of the program while skipping what they already know.
Looking at eLearning beyond cost reduction
Nonetheless, while cost reduction is one of the biggest positives of eLearning, the real issue may arise if organizations decide to focus solely on this aspect while overlooking all other factors. Employee engagement is one of the most crucial aspects in eLearning. If the training content is not capable of engaging the learners, there is every chance of a high dropout rate. Learners may feel bored and may simply be taking the training to tick it off their list of ‘mandatory’ projects. In the absence of engagement, learners may actually feel de-motivated, which could lead to lower retention rates.
ELearning for capability building, behavior change and performance support
There is so much more that can be achieved with eLearning if the focus is on other important areas like capability building, behavior change, or effective performance support. Well-designed eLearning that is created keeping learner motivations and relevance in mind which includes meaningful interactions in it, can lead towards capability building for the workforce.
Creating ‘Learning Campaigns’ instead of traditional eLearning is a great option for bringing about behavior change. Learning Campaigns work pretty much on the lines of marketing campaigns. They are packaged to excite and engage the staff. They are delivered in short bursts repeatedly over a period of time. And they clearly focus on bringing about behavior change.
Performance support (learning aids to help employees with on-the-job support at the ‘precise moment’ of need) is another area where eLearning can provide stellar support. ELearning can offer tools at the exact moment of employees’ needs, which they can access anytime, anywhere to ease out work-related doubts. With mobile phones coming into play, it has become an even more powerful option now.
In conclusion, eLearning is great way to reduce the costs involved in training and can benefit an organization immensely. But it is hardly a good idea for companies to adopt eLearning with the single rationale of reducing costs. There is so much more to eLearning and its advantages are plentiful because it helps companies create qualitative and efficacious training at a more affordable cost. Companies need to think beyond just the cost factor and design training to make the most of eLearning!