Many supervisors who are at consistent pains to reconcile effective employee training with ever – shrinking budgets are faced with the all important notion of how to maintain top-drawer training at a reduced cost. In many cases of traditional classroom training methods, cost reduction does indeed translate into loss of training quality and in numerous instances, reduced quantity. Training programs that may have been held quarterly or semi-annually are pared back to once a year. And gatherings that may have been once hosted by third party experts are now run by in house staff, called up to fill the void of professional instructors.
This is of course one method to employ when facing budget cuts. We actually have a solution we feel is much more effective and will not cut into the quality of your organization’s training.
The growth in the elearning industry in the past ten years has been linked directly to rising costs of traditional training. The more expensive it has become to host a traditional training program, the more leaders have been turning to alternate solutions. Elearning just happens to be such a solution that supervisors can employ for staff training which does not compromise the quality or quantity of the training at all. And it is considerably less expensive compared to traditional training solutions.
Statistics from ASTD published by Bersin and Associates corroborate what many supervisors already know. “Corporations today are investing more in elearning and less in classroom training.”
In fact, over the last 12 years elearning has steadily been replacing classroom training as the dominant form of delivering employee training. Almost two of every three hours of staff training is being presented in an elearning format of one kind or another. This is not a passing fad and it is not going away.
So some supervisors may be asking themselves why elearning? Why now? In today’s post industrial world paired closely with all things digital, corporations are facing increased competition from traditional industry adversaries, as well as further competition from new areas such as dot com startups. This results in two consequences: A greater workload for everyone in the company and smaller profit margins. This of course leads to reduced budgets and the need for employees to not only work harder, but also to work smarter.
Smarter, it can be theorized, accompanies the phenomenon of Knowledge Acquisition and the resulting new skills that are derived from the learning process. Elearning, primarily a training vehicle, is by its very foundation a knowledge transfer medium. Its very existence and purpose is to enhance employee’s knowledge base, thereby allowing them to operate at increased levels of performance, maximizing productivity, product quality and customer service viability.
“Corporations need to improve overall performance to stay competitive and their day to day primary issues are TIME and Money.” -Bersin and Associates
A recent study on training trends clearly illustrates the direction in which the training industry is decidedly moving. Corporate training expenditure grew from $40 billion in 2006, to $51 billion by the end of 2011 – a 27% spending increase. Spending on learning professionals (speakers, trainers, consultants and coaches) declined 42%, down from $16 billion to $9 billion over the same period of time.
To some, these figures may not jive. If companies have smaller training budgets, how does total spending go up? The answer is simply, that while elearning is definitively less expensive, those who participate in digital learning get way more bang for their buck – quality training results, reusable training content and reduced overheads like travel costs, training material costs etc – and become return customers, investing further in a training process that has proven itself to be effective through quantifiable results.
Until very recently, learning professionals would deliver less than 3% of their training in an elearning format. It was a century-old practice for trainers to deliver training in a traditional, classroom style setting. However, as a result of shifting paradigms in the training industry (A.K.A digital revolution), learning professionals are being forced to adapt their training to a digital format in order to meet the dynamic needs of their corporate clients.
As is so well known throughout the ranks of Proctor and Gamble, the expression “Whatever initiative you are marketing – let the market itself drive it!”
The market is definitely driving a growing trend to an elearning market, and managers and trainers are responding.