There was a time when training was seen as a necessary evil. Necessary because no organization can function without it, and evil because it was a huge expenditure – of time, money and other resources. Employees had to skip work in order to receive training and that meant days of lost revenue for the organization.
Training is now an investment. Because knowledge and expertise is now an asset for the organization. The top 20 per cent of the workforce generates 80 per cent of the business, and the only way to reap the benefits of this top 20 per cent is by creating a vibrant learning culture. This works at two levels:
– First, a prolific learning culture is the prerequisite to retain the most skill full or talented employees. Because it’s not just the money that they care for. What they want is to be a part of an organization that grows them both personally and professionally.
– Secondly, a good (and ideally social) learning culture makes sure that the knowledge and experience of these 20 per cent is shared with rest of the 80 per cent, making them more productive.
In an aggressively competitive and maturing market with rapid shifts in technology, organizations are required to be on their toes all the time. Maximizing ROI is naturally a top concern for them because of shrinking margins. E-learning can maximize the return on training investment in a number of ways:
E-learning saves time simply because it is asynchronous in nature, while being just as effective as traditional training. Several independent researches have established that technology based training saves up to 45 per cent time than classroom based training.
E-learning means saying goodbye to physically travelling to the place of training. Organizations and employees thus save the money spent on the same.
Minimizes the time away from the job
When employees cover a course on their laptop or PC, they save those many hours of being away from the job. For example, if a manufacturing plant spends a day to train 100 employees who produce 1000 units in total per day, it incurs an opportunity cost worth of 1000 produced goods. E-learning can minimize this cost. In fact, interactive learning courses can be interesting enough to encourage learning to happen even beyond office hours.
With rapid authoring tools, e-learning is becoming one of the most effective, fast and economical methods to impart training. Though multimedia based training does require significant investment, it pays out in the long run considering the number of employees who benefit from it.
One of the most significant reasons of the growing adoption of e-learning is the flexibility it provides to both learners as well as course creators. E-learning can be delivered irrespective of geographical locations and in multiple languages. It allows learners to be more in control of their learning.
E-learning can provide consistent learning materials to all learners, irrespective of when and where they access it. The quality of the training material is the same for all employees, which may not be the case with classroom based teaching, wherein the personal characteristics of the trainer influences the learning experience.
Delivers Personalized learning
Classroom based teaching limits the amount of personalization that each employee can get in his/her learning experience. On the other hand, with learning analytics and educational data mining tools, e-learning can tailor and enhance the learning experience to make it more suitable and relevant for each employee.
Greater Information Retention
E-learning can achieve far more engagement and therefore retention than instructor led training, because the latter is often perceived to be ‘boring’. An optimal instructional design motivates employees to be participative and voluntary learners. For example, quizzes and situational analyses can be a great way to impart compliance training.
Greater Customer Satisfaction
E-learning can provide just-in-time training which significantly improves on-the-job performance. For example, using e-learning or mobile learning tools to keep sales or bank employees about new product offerings, who in turn can influence customer decision making by providing high quality client service. With an agile workforce comes greater customer satisfaction.
Lower Employee Turnover
A healthy learning culture that is perceived to be innovative and productive by employees naturally results in greater employee satisfaction and loyalty. Therefore, the organization minimizes costs incurred on hiring and training new staff.
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