No matter how you approach it, technology touches every aspect of our lives, particularly when it comes to gaining an edge in business. And while not every organisation needs to be a tech-disruptor, there are several proven benefits that make e-learning an essential tool in producing engaged and high-performing employees, no matter the industry.
What are the Advantages of E-Learning?
From the high cost of printed materials to trainer fees, coordination of participants schedules, travel and meeting cost, there’s no doubt that one of the biggest benefits of e-learning is the cost-savings to your organization. E-learning is scalable to any size of organization and money saved through lower training costs can better be spent putting the new skills of your employees into practice.
9 in 10 employees consider the ability to incorporate flexibility into their work as a major motivator, even more so than financial incentives. Because e-learning can be done at a time and place that works best for the employee, it makes participation easy—which in turn increases retention of key concepts learned. When learning can be done in manageable portions, it helps to solidify the concepts, rather than dealing with the overwhelming data dump seen in more traditional forms of learning.
For the successful transfer of knowledge to occur, the type of learning offered needs to match the learner’s style. Offering a wide range of training options that appeal to visual, auditory or hands-on learners is difficult in a traditional setting, but e-learning makes it accessible for employees of all technical skill level. And because e-learning programs are easy to update and make changes to, learners are getting the most timely and relevant information to help them succeed.
Gamification closes the learning loop by providing instant feedback, which allows employees to implement behavioural changes on the job sooner—not to mention it’s fun. In fact, adding gamification elements improves learner satisfaction in 84% of cases, and significantly improves test scores in learners.
5. Improves Retention
Learning is best achieved when it is relevant, directed towards a goal and interactive. One of the best benefits of e-learning is that it improves retention by design. Immediate feedback, smaller modules and a variety of learning methods that match a learner’s style and energy have been proven to improve the ability of employees to transfer the information learned to the job.
6. Provides Ongoing Access
E-learning supports students by providing immediate access to information when they need it. Providing a simple interface for employees to find what they need quickly helps job performance and is a great resource for accurate solutions to typical problems. Unlike a paper manual, e-learning modules reduce the time needed to search for answers and ensures that the answers they find are relevant and up to date, which can reduce workplace errors.
7. Boosts Participation
In classroom learning environments, it can be difficult to solicit group participation. Many learners are hesitant to contribute in a group environment, and hesitation in doing so can affect positive learner outcomes. Because of its interactive nature, e-learning boosts both participation, confidence and completion rates for learners—which means a net benefit for the organizations they work for.
Consistency of training can be a challenge for employers, particularly those who have a distributed workforce. E-learning offers a level of standardization that ensures every employee receives the same materials, techniques and practical examples throughout the educational experience.
9. Promotes Autonomy
Trust and autonomy are significant drivers in employee retention and engagement. Employees who feel they have control over the work they do are more likely to feel valued and produce better results at work. Through an e-learning platform, learners can register and access courses on their own time when it suits them and can easily be accommodated throughout the workday.
10. Simulates Real-Life
Virtual Reality has become a major player in e-learning because it creates useful links between theory and practice that traditional methods of learning, such as role-playing, can’t replicate. The adaptable nature of virtual learning also allows for an endless number of customized scenarios based on learner inputs to ensure that employees can handle any number of challenging situations with confidence.
11. It’s Eco-Friendly
The reduction in print-based materials alone are enough to make forests everywhere sigh in relief, but studies show that e-learning consumes, on average, a whopping 90% less energy and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per learner. Aside from the previously mentioned cost-savings, integrating e-learning into an organization provides ample opportunity for a business to include corporate social responsibility as part of the return on investment.
What are the Challenges of E-Learning?
Given the current world of work, e-learning is here to stay, and for good reason. But there are some challenges that corporations will want to consider when adopting a new learning system for employees. Because of the nature of self-directed learning, adequate follow up is essential to ensure the learning is being completed and that successful transfer of learning onto the job has occurred. Additionally, for divisive or complex topics with many moving parts, there may be some instances where traditional, trainer-led education is best.
For corporations that want to remain competitive, the overall benefits of e-learning tend to outweigh any challenges that crop up during the process. The best way to gauge the effectiveness of any training program is to schedule a demo before you buy. Whether you’re looking for a plug and play option or a customized approach, a demo will provide an inside look at how e-learning can boost growth in any organization.