It is often said that people never stop learning, but as the tools to achieve this are constantly developing, it can be difficult to know which are the most effective.
One concept that has really come to the fore over recent years is e-learning. Companies are drawn to the flexibility that these platforms allow, but just how good are they at enabling your staff to develop their skills?
Corporate e-learning has real value in the workplace, providing of course that you know what training is needed for your staff, and that the right platform is chosen for your specific organisation.
Here are some of the main reasons why e-learning has proved such an effective way for the nation's businesses to train their staff.
Training is a necessary part of running any successful company, but it can prove costly. There is a considerable expense associated with sending staff on training courses, and there's always a risk that you might not be happy with the end result.
E-learning is typically more affordable than traditional training strategies. It eliminates the need for printed materials, and of course paying for the time and expertise of the person delivering the programme.
Downtime is another issue you're likely to face when sending workers on training courses. Spending time away from the office leads to a loss of productivity that can, in some cases, be difficult to justify.
With e-learning, workers can build new skills at a pace you're happy with, therefore causing minimum interruption to your day-to-day working activities. The cloud-based system may also mean workers can continue with their learning in their own time, further reducing disruption to your business.
Many training schemes are devised to be used by a wide variety of companies, meaning they might not necessarily be tailored to your particular business. However, with e-learning packages, you can specify certain modules and themes that are going to be most beneficial to your staff.
There is no longer any need to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to training, as e-learning is the ultimate in flexible and relevant skills development.
It is human nature that some people pick up ideas and concepts quicker than others, and this is certainly the case when it comes to workplace training. A one-day course might be ideal for some of your employees, while others might need a little longer to get to grips with what they have learnt.
An e-learning package gives workers the chance to work at their own pace. If they're struggling with one particular area, they can look over the learning materials over and over again until they have fully grasped the concept.
How many times have you attempted to schedule employee training, only to find that someone who needs to attend is on annual or sickness leave? E-learning means this no longer needs to be an issue, as the programmes can be followed according to each person's individual agenda.
It does help to put a deadline in place for when the modules need to be completed, but thanks to the true flexibility of these systems, this can be as soon or as far into the future as you like.
Boost your environmental credentials
Going green is high on the agenda for many businesses, and e-learning is one way of minimising your carbon footprint. Giving staff the chance to learn on site means you no longer have the transport costs associated with sending them to training sites across the country. You will also be able to reduce the amount of paper needed for printed materials.
Looking deeper into the benefits of e-learning you will also recognise that it cuts down on the need for heating and lighting typically required at an external premises. It's a win-win for businesses and the environment alike!
Many e-learning packages come with testing and assessment capabilities. This can give employees the motivation to make sure they keep up with their studies, while it also provides you with an opportunity to see how well they are performing.
Using external training providers doesn't lend itself well to continuous assessment. You could easily provide staff with a quick test on what they have learnt, but there would be no guarantee that this would lead to ongoing development. E-learning is a much more interactive way of training staff, while also giving peace of mind that the information is being used to a proper end.
Keeping the best staff on board is a challenge for any business, but with e-learning, you could find that turnover is reduced. People like to feel they are developing in their role, rather than just coasting along and performing the same tasks day after day.
By offering the opportunity to learn, you are demonstrating to employees that they play an important part in the business – and that their existing skills are worth developing. E-learning is also likely to appeal to a much wider scope of learning styles than more traditional training initiatives.