An introduction to e-learning: how your business can benefit (part one)

BlogBusiness EvolutionHR Advice Posted: Tuesday 3rd July 2018 by

In today’s digital world, terms such as e-hireability, e-learning, accessibility, and digital literacy, are commonplace. Couple them with the vast consumption of data and information in our everyday working lives, and suddenly, knowing how to best deliver training and education across the employee population can become a serious challenge.

As most L&D managers will attest, whilst their businesses are probably full-steam ahead with digital transformation, workplace learning may not yet be high on the agenda. And, for the benefit of the modern workforce, this is something that needs to change. In this short series of blog posts, we’ll tap into the business benefits of e-learning, and discover how it can significantly boost the career development of your employees, and positively affect your bottom line.

What is e-learning

E-learning is typically learning or increasing someone’s knowledge of a subject through bite-sized courses accessed through a secure online portal. This is particularly useful for companies with a large number of employees where it would be more beneficial for employees to learn at their own pace. Or, for a geographically dispersed workforce who all need to have an understanding of the same subject matter.

E-learning can be as simple as having access to a set of powerpoint slides that deliver interactive quizzes. However, the rise of the digital learning space has given way to more and more sophisticated systems and platforms to include things like gamification — game-like design and interactivity to increase user engagement and learning outcomes.

Typically, anyone with a computer or smartphone that’s connected to the internet can access e-learning materials, and therefore learn remotely, without the need for a physical classroom environment.

How e-learning can benefit your business

Introducing an e-learning platform brings with it a host of advantages to businesses and learners alike, so it’s no surprise that e-learning is playing a major role in L&D strategies around the world.

Flexibility is a key component in all aspects of employee engagement; the more flexible a company can be with their workforce, the more opportunities it offers for increased productivity. As far is e-learning is concerned, research by Deloitte suggests that the average employee can typically devote just 24 minutes a week to training. In the modern workplace where every second counts, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your staff don’t fall behind the curve when it comes to on-the-job education that will increase their industry prowess.

Additionally, there’s also the flexibility of teaching the same materials in different ways to suit different learning styles. For example, some may be visual learners and retain information better with videos, others through podcasts, and others through reading or interactivity. Delivery of e-learning modules can flexibly accommodate all of these styles, and more.

Information retention: By delivering ‘microlearning’ to dispense learning materials in very short, sharp bursts of between four and 15 minutes, you’ll not only deliver something that your employees really want (less time studying, more time doing their job) but you’ll also help them to retain information for longer.  Research suggests that microlearning is the most effective way for remote learners to focus, with benefits of improved test scores, greater ability to apply new-found knowledge, and better long=term retention of information.

Faster delivery and lower cost: More and more companies are swapping the classroom for e-learning platforms for two core reasons: cost and speed. Firstly, delivering learning at a pace and scale that suits the learner, removes the challenges of teaching a group of people who all learn in different ways and with different speeds. Faster learners will be able to progress at their own pace and those who are slower will learn without the added pressure from their peers. Additionally, when resources are stretched, there are immediate savings to be made with training staff, printing of course materials, hiring classroom facilities and the cost of travel.

Read more next week when we explore how e-learning can support your employees with career development to benefit your business. For advice on any aspect of employee engagement, get in touch with the expert team at Human Results.

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