A budget sheet that is in the red, a plummeting customer satisfaction rating, a rise in employee turnover…these are all things that strike fear into the hearts of organizations. Unfortunately, many companies have also added “online training” to this list. But there is nothing to fear. In this article, I will share 5 reasons why organizations should not be afraid of online training, as well as some tips to help you get the most out of your online training program.
There are a myriad of myths that surround online training, and some organizations have taken them at face value. In fact, the mere thought of moving their training online might rattle their nerves. Sadly, they’ve also forfeited the many advantages that a corporate eLearning program can offer their employees AND their bottom line if they use online training. If your company is still resistant to online training, read the following 5 convincing arguments.
Many organizations do not use online training because they believe it requires a sizable investment. In reality, it is typically more affordable than traditional classroom training. This is attributed to the fact that you no longer have to foot the bill for instructor travel expenses, such as airfare and accommodations, printed training materials, and site rental fees. The only budget you’ll have to consider is the up-front online training course design and development expenses and regular maintenance costs. No matter where your employees are located or what skills and tasks they need to know, you can provide them with the online training they require quickly at a fraction of the cost.
Tip: Carefully analyze your online training needs before you make the switch to online training. This will ensure that you target the right goals and offer employees the information and skills they need to boost productivity.
All of your online training content is in digital form if you opt for using online training. As a result, your materials can be repurposed time and again, or even modified based on the evolving needs of your organization. For example, if you are offering a brand new product line you can update your online training course to include demos, specs, features, and benefits of your top-sellers. Another benefit is that online training is easily scalable. Whether your company employs 10 or 10,000 staff members, your online training program can be offered to each individual without any additional costs. If you decide that your employees need to improve a specific skill set or learn a new work-related task you can just add it to your existing online training course. Some Learning Management Systems even send out automatic notifications to employees when new online modules or activities become available.
Tip: Create mobile-friendly online training support resources, such as serious games and online tutorials, that employees can access on-the-job. For best results, together with the online training use a responsive design tool that automatically adjusts the online training course layout to provide the optimal viewing online training experience.
There are times when your employees need immediate access to information, even if there is not a regularly scheduled online training session on the agenda. This is when online training becomes an invaluable asset. Instead of having to wait to acquire new knowledge or master a new skill, employees have the opportunity to login to the online training platform and access a wealth of online resources. A secondary benefit of this is being able to get trained at their own pace. Rather than trying to keep up with their peers, your employees can take their time assimilating and retaining the information. They can choose when it’s right to move onto the next online training activity without having to worry about competing with their coworkers.
Tip: Create a list of online training resources that employees can access anytime, anywhere. Be sure to organize it by topic, task, or skill so that they can pick-and-choose the tools that are right for their needs.
Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most significant advantages of using online training is allowing your employees to follow personal online training paths. Every member of your staff has different needs, goals, and areas of improvement. So, why would you offer them a “one-size-fits-all” program when online training allows for complete personalization? Customer service associates are able to participate in online scenarios that improve their communication skills, while your management team can access simulations that focus on conflict resolution. Online training can cater to specific training needs and preferences.
Tip: Give employees the chance to choose their own online training path. Encourage them to set their own goals, objectives, and areas of improvement. If necessary, invite them to take self-assessments to identify performance gaps.
Traditional training has limited tracking abilities. In fact, you usually have to rely on assessment, on-the-job observations, and customer surveys to determine the effectiveness of your traditional training program. Online training, on the other hand, offers you the power to track virtually every aspect of your online training strategy. Many Learning Management Systems are equipped with analytics and reporting features, which allow you to closely monitor employee progress, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and offer support when the need arises. You can even customize the reports based on the needs of your organization, meaning that you can maximize your online training ROI on a regular basis.
Tip: Never rely on LMS tracking alone. Pair it with more traditional assessment and feedback methods, such as surveys, focus groups, and exams to continually approve your online training program.
Online training benefits all parties involved, including the clients who will receive better service as a result. If your organization is still doubting the effectiveness of online training, use this list to convince them otherwise. Your staff, managers, and loyal customers will thank you.
Are you thinking about hiring an eLearning consultant to help with your online training program? Read the article How To Choose The Ideal eLearning Consultant For Your Online Training Program to discover a variety of valuable tips for choosing the ideal consultant for your corporate eLearning initiatives.