Numerous enterprises, ranging from worldwide corporations and nonprofits to universities and startups have discovered the benefits of elearning and are replacing their outdated on-site, instruction-led model of learning and development (L&D) with a modern elearning platform.
What they’ve discovered is that elearning saves costs in the long run, increases productivity and, ultimately, boosts revenues. Isn’t it time you do also?
Related reading: Training Automation Is Your Ticket to B2B SaaS Growth in 2016
Indeed, the initial investment in elearning more than pays for itself, says Christopher Pappas, elearning expert and founder of elearningindustry.com.
“One of the most significant advantages of online corporate training is that it actually reduces training costs,” Pappas writes. “The upkeep costs of an online training platform are minimal when compared to traditional face-to-face employee development.”
For example, an IBM white paper, The Value of Training, digs deep into the ROI of skills development in I.T. in particular. Drawing on insights from its previous Smarter Workforce study, IBM finds that
- objectives are met 90% more often by increasing team skills.
- companies save $70,000 annually and increase productivity 10% when teams are well trained.
- product rollouts are 22% faster.
Beyond these significant cost savings, your organization should be aware of these seven important benefits of elearning.
1. It’s engaging
Unlike traditional classroom instruction heavily dependent on instructors’ lengthy lectures and thick printouts, elearning utilizes a variety of formats from text and animation to videos and gamification.
Not all learners process information in the same way. Some may prefer reading text, while others learn best by watching a video. An elearning program enables the learner to choose his or her preferred method. Engaged learners retain more knowledge.
And that pays off. For example, the same IBM white paper noted above found that learning technologies create a 19% increase in employee engagement.
2. It’s seamless
In any large business, training requirements and processes vary by department, leading to an unsystematic and siloed training program filled with too many moving parts.
Conversely, an elearning program organizes and centralizes the L&D function in one easily accessible online resource, which all departments can tap into for their instructional requirements. Modern platforms eliminate the need for separate L&D programs across the enterprise.
This seamlessness can also improve other business operations. If an employee, customer or partner has a question or concern, instead of calling a help desk or referring back to classroom notes, they log onto the elearning program or app to find the answer. When elearning is developed effectively, it removes the friction from that process.
Related reading: Focus on These 5 Areas to Show the ROI of Online Training
3. It’s cost effective
The cost of sourcing trainers and scheduling in-person classes on-site adds up to a significant bottom line expense. A big part of what a company is paying for is travel expenses for employees and instructors who must fly in from several locations to participate in the course.
elearning eliminates those costs by dispensing instruction online for fewer dollars. It reflects the way more companies work now with teams and individuals dispersed in multiple locations and on idiosyncratic schedules. elearning courses are anywhere, anytime, just like most modern work is.
4. It’s measurable
Because it’s all digital, it can all be measured at a granular level. But elearning outcomes shouldn’t be measured solely on how many learners completed the course, the time they took to finish or even their quiz scores.
The true strength of elearning lies in its ability to chart how the program impacts business KPIs. Before launching automated training, decide what goal or outcome you want to accomplish through elearning. This can be anything from reduced support calls and increased sales to faster onboarding of new customers or the ability of customer success managers to handle more clients.
Assess where you stand prior to elearning and then assess those metrics after the elearning program has been up and running for a specified time period. Improvement in those areas can be directly tied back to elearning.
Be strategic in your elearning program and use it to move the needle on a specific business objective. That’s far more precise a measurement, compared with merely logging the number of learners who went through the course.
Related reading: These 7 Metrics Tell How Effective Your Onboarding and Training Are
5. It’s scalable
As your organization grows, so does your elearning. Today’s digital learning tools easily and quickly accommodate new users.
Instead of waiting for the next off-site training course or an in-person class, new users log on and start the learning process on day one. It’s simply a more efficient way to match your L&D program to your organization’s growth.
6. It’s agile
Organizational training needs are in a constant state of flux as the marketplace changes at lightning speed. This requires a learning program agile enough to reflect those shifts on a near real-time basis.
Unfortunately, traditional instructor-centric, in-person training cannot meet that challenge since there’s typically a long lag time between the instructor gaining that new knowledge and then bringing it forth to learners. (Not to mention the time and expense required to update printed materials.)
On the other hand, elearning technology swiftly incorporates an organization’s updated training demands, which are then promptly distributed to the learners. Courses can be created or updated to provide your workforce with the emerging operational skills they need to compete in the marketplace.
7. It’s contextual
Every organization’s L&D requirements are unique. Even within an organization, the learning needs of each department varies as well. An elearning platform seamlessly adapts to those differences and can be customized to meet those needs.
Moreover, an elearning program accounts for individual learning requirements at every point in the user lifecycle. A recent hire or new channel partner requires a different training program than a more seasoned employee or customer looking to upgrade his or her skills or purchase a new feature or service.
This “in-context,” learner-specific instruction reflects where learners are in the user lifecycle. L&D is no longer a one-size-fits-all, HR-directed training effort. Today’s elearning supports a more contextual, customizable training experience.
Discover the top 7 elearning benefits now
All the above reasons make a strong case for embracing elearning. But perhaps the most persuasive reason is this: elearning is the current and future direction of L&D. Employers, customers and partners all expect to be able to meet their needs online and on-demand. A company without an elearning option in its training program is going to be left behind. Now’s the time to join the elearning boom and reap its benefits.