Most corporate executives know the value of developing the intellectual capital of their employees. However, they still think the best was to do this is through traditional classroom instruction and training. The problem is that there are better training solutions available. E-learning, or web-based training is one such solution that is both more effective and costs less than live classroom instruction. In order to implement this new technology in your workplace, you may have to convince the higher-ups of the advantages of e-learning. Here is how you can build a solid business case for e-learning.
One of the most attractive advantages of e-learning is the cost reduction involved.
- Live instruction is expensive. It requires setting aside space, bringing in an instructor and getting your employees to one location.
- With web-based training, no one needs to travel to courses. If you have a geographically dispersed workforce, the saving in travel expenses alone can make e-learning worth it.
- In addition, live classes involve many time wasters. There are getting-to-know-you ice-breakers and a lot general housekeeping announcements that take up time. With web-based training, your employees get what they need to know and then get out. They are not trapped in a classroom for a few days.
- Furthermore, with e-learning, you only pay for the content once. You create your course content and materials up front but you can deliver them again and again without the help of an instructor. In live training, you have to pay the instructor each time the content is delivered.
- E-learning is a scalable solution. It works for small companies, but it also works well for large companies. The more people you train, the lower is the training cost per person.
A second advantage of e-learning is its increased effectiveness. Reports indicate that e-learning increases the rate of information retention by 60%. So not only is e-learning a cost saver, but it is also a more effective means of training employees.
- With e-learning, you can deliver high-quality instruction every time. In live classroom, the instructor might have an off day, or you might not be able to secure your preferred instructor for the training. With web-based training, you can produce the best content, save it and use it every time.
- Your training will be consistent and standardized. You know that everyone who takes the training will receive consistent information.
Another advantage of e-learning is the increase in productivity in your workforce.
- Because employees are not traveling to take classes, they are spending more time doing their job.
- With web-based training, employees can choose when to participate in the training. They can do it at non-critical times.
- Because the training is easy to access, more people in your company can receive the training. You won’t have to decide who gets to travel to a class. You can make sure that everyone that needs the training gets it. So the intellectual capital of your company can grow more rapidly and make everyone more productive.
- Employees can fill gaps in their experience. If some employees feel like they need additional training in one area, it is easy to get this training. This keeps everyone at the top of their game.
- Web-based training is easy to track. Your human resources can easily monitor who is getting training and measure their progress.
- One common objection to e-learning is the large upfront cost to create the training. You can point out that once the system is up and running, the ongoing costs are much less. It is better to spend the money up front to reduce costs in the long run.
- Your higher-ups might be worried about the technical problems that might occur in implementing the e-learning system. The answer to this objection is that a set of technical standards exist for e-learning systems, called SCORM. These standards ensure that e-learning content modules can be integrated well into an overall learning system. You will not be creating a collection of courses with no support. Everything you create will seamlessly fit together into an overall learning platform.
- Another concern is whether or not employees will use the online training. The answer to this concern is to create incentives for using the system. For example, you could make taking some web-based training a prerequisite for taking a live course.
With all the advantages of e-learning, it is no wonder that more and more businesses are turning to it as a solution for training employees. With these key benefits, making the business case to your higher-ups should be easy.