Your company’s training budget may very well be inadequate. Budgetary restraint will cripple even the most well-intentioned online training program in an organization. When you are given bad budgeting your eLearning selection pool becomes rather shallow. This leads to limited options when shopping around, culminating in the purchase of a below-average training program that was “all that could be afforded.” Training budgets don’t materialize out of thin air. In fact, there are three reasons that lead companies to present inadequate budgets when it comes to online training.
1) Following Policy
In some instances, a company will seek to employ an eLearning program for no other reason than because they have been mandated to have one on the books. It is well known that however well staff performs their jobs, there is always room for improvement. Therefore they figure that offering courses online, their people will benefit. The powers that be however, have failed to understand that simply presenting employees with an eLearning course with no structure or support, will not improve performance.
Often employers who fall into this category have no intention whatsoever of tracking employee progress. They have no interest in following up upon course completion to determine the training’s effectiveness The ability to track staff progression requires an LMS, which means more cost, which is not acceptable to organizations who are on a shoestring.
This situation usually sees the company hunting around for the cheapest, bare bones eLearning they can find. Any “frills” or “bells-and-whistles” are completely unnecessary. Even though they may represent a better quality course, their presence is unwanted because they cost more and will never be used. Bottom line is that quality eLearning for employees comes in second to saving money up front.
2) Lack of Knowledge
Organizations new to eLearning may have only employed traditional classroom style training in the past. They may fail to understand that even though it is orders of magnitude less expensive to employ, eLearning programs come in a variety of flavors, many more effective than others. The factor that becomes fixated upon is not “How can we offer our people the best quality digital training at least expense?” Instead, it devolves to “How can we save the most money on a new eLearning program?” They make the classic mistake of forgetting the euphemism that “You get what you pay for.”
In some cases companies (especially younger ones) may lack a definitive idea about what their specific learning goals are. According to the Bersin study Predictions 2014, “fewer than 45 percent of companies have a written business plan for training.”
They know they need to improve employee performance but lack any training experience and don’t know where to begin. They simply randomly cast about, often reeling in the most convenient candidate. In the case of a fledgling organization who may be operating on a limited budget, the convenient candidate will also many times be the least expensive.
3) Past Problems
Unfortunately, a vast majority of companies who have had dealings with online training in the past have walked away with a bad taste in their mouth. This negative experience may stem from the fact that the program failed in one way or another to satisfy its advertised training outcomes. Or possibly employees didn’t want to take the course, resulting in poor attendance and completion rates.
Regardless of what the shortcoming of the training was, these companies are now under the impression that all online learning is a waste of time and money. Unless this opinion is changed through education, they are more than likely to allot minimal funds when and if they decide to purchase any eLearning in the future.
In all three cases, your company will indeed end up with an online training program to offer to its employees. The question begging to be asked however, is will the training be effective in engaging staff in the learning process and improving overall employee performance? Most research performed indicates that the answer is going to be a definitive “No.”
If you are driven to excellence, and desire the same for your employees in their professional training, it would be highly recommended to not allow your choice of online training programs to be dictated by budget alone. While cost will always be an important factor in all business decisions, it should not manifest itself as a limiting factor when it comes to course quality. There is no cutting corners when it comes to learner engagement. Employees are either involved in the training or they are not. Imagine how much more you can achieve by investing in a digital training program custom made for your employees that will perform at an outstanding level, giving everyone the most bang for their buck?