5 reasons why e-learning has become a corporate must-have

Learning is important to every company for many reasons. Companies need to onboard new employees, bring onshore new activity from locations all over the world as well as outsource current activity to different countries. All of this poses a linguistic and cultural challenge. Moreover, spreading business knowledge among employees is essential in order to improve the quality of the final product or service and ultimately increase returns and gain new clients. Enabling and encouraging employee development is the best way to achieve these goals!

One might ask, why should we choose e-learning over other means of development? Why is it more advantageous than, for example, traditional classroom courses?

1. Time savings

Time is a unique and precious commodity, one you cannot manufacture or recycle. This is why saving time should be as essential to companies as saving money, and here is where e-learning comes into the picture. It allows for time saving for both trainer and trainee because the training can be delivered without any need for travel, and at a time convenient for both parties. Trainees get the additional benefit of an individual learning pace and can slow down or fast forward as needed on their own. E-learning can reduce employee training time by up to 60%. Rather significant, don’t you think?

2. Cost reduction

A good e-learning course should activate the learner’s brain the most efficient way possible. Variety helps: interactivity, real-life examples and self-assessment are significant contributing factors. It must be said that preparing a good course is time consuming and can be relatively expensive but, when done right, a single course can help hundreds if not thousands of employees, and can be adapted and reused as the training needs change over time. How’s that for efficiency? And think of the savings on professional trainers, physical training materials, training rooms, travel and so on. All the employee needs to benefit from e-learning is to get online — whenever and wherever they are most comfortable to do so. Cost reduction is the main reason why companies are switching over to e-learning.

3. Quality and consistency

The traditional classroom training is based primarily on the knowledge, experience and presenting skills of the trainer. Since no two people are alike, the consistency and quality of training delivered by different trainers cannot be guaranteed. One might be a great speaker but not really up there in terms of subject-matter expertise, while another might know the ins and out of the subject but will bore the audience to tears before the first break (if they are allowed a break to begin with). And even if you find a trainer that is both competent and engaging, you can never be sure they will do their best at all times. We all have a bad day every now and then, you know. Training quality and consistency are genuine concerns that e-learning helps to alleviate. SMEs can and should be engaged to verify the content of e-courses, but they need not participate in the actual preparation and delivery. E-learning professionals will ensure the SMEs knowledge is packaged and presented in such a way as to maximize the training gains with no undue strain on the learner. Courses can be organized into levels and modules to further facilitate self-paced learning.

4. Maximizing knowledge retention

Traditional university-style lectures and courses can get boring even with the best of academics on the floor, and can be downright discouraging at times. Sure, everyone who’s attended college or university has tons of fond memories, but the classroom isn’t necessarily a prominent feature. Offering training that is reminiscent of one’s classroom days may not be the best way of encouraging your employees to take up the self-development challenge. E-learning retains the benefits of professional education while doing away with the daunting aspects. Dedicated e-learning software from Adobe, Articulate, Techsmith, Trivantis, Ispring offer numerous interactive and visually appealing solutions for presenting highest-grade knowledge without any need to dumb it down.

5. Minimizing employee turnover

Finding great talent is hard; retaining your high-flyers is even harder. And does the term “burn-out” ring a bell? One of the reasons talented employees burn out is that their work is monotonous and/or not challenging enough. One of the ways to prevent this and to keep employees engaged and enthusiastic is to provide them with development plans that have been discussed with and tailored to the needs of each individual. Two-way communication between employer and employee is key here! Once you’ve established development plans, you should consider using e-learning to put them into practice. A rich and diverse e-learning platform enables employees to further themselves in areas that they are actually interested in, and this in turn contributes hugely to their commitment and productivity in the workplace. A proactive and enthusiastic employee is much more likely to propose improvements to the organization, and even if they should desire a change, they would probably first seek a new role within your company rather than with the competition next door!

It can be safely said that e-learning is a must-have in modern business reality, as the arguments presented here have hopefully made you aware of the any ways in which eLearning can contribute to your company in general. Just in case, though, let’s have a look at some numbers to back up all of it. And always remember, e-learning is a long-term investment!

- The size of the e-learning market was estimated to be over USD 165 Bn in 2015 and is likely to grow by 5% between 2016 and 2023, exceeding USD 240 Bn.

- According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the size of the global corporate e-learning market is predicted to reach an approximate amount of USD 31 Bn in revenue by the end of 2020.

- According to the Pew Research Center:

o 73% adults consider themselves lifelong learners

o 63% of the workforce (or 36% of adults) are professional learners (that is, they have taken a course or received additional training in the past 12 months to improve their job skills or expertise to advance their careers.)

(source: ELearinng market trends and forecast 2017–2021, docebo https://eclass.teicrete.gr/modules/document/file.php/TP271/Additional%20material/docebo-elearning-trends-report-2017.pdf )

Justyna Tofilska