eLearning is growing in popularity. Nine in 10 workers want eLearning to be part of their organization’s learning and development (L&D) program, and 79 percent of L&D professionals plan to increase their spend on eLearning. That’s because eLearning saves money, can be easily scaled, and works well with a distributed team.

But for all the benefits of eLearning, there are some hurdles you may face as well. Here’s how to overcome common eLearning challenges so you can build a stronger team.

Lack of motivation

Many of your team members may be interested in professional development, but held back by a lack of motivation. You can address this challenge in a few key ways:

  • Build career maps to show team members what’s in it for them. Career mapping demonstrates how your team members’ professional development can lead to future job opportunities and higher income potential. 
  • Offer microlearning opportunities. Breaking eLearning down into smaller chunks can motivate team members who may be intimidated by longer courses and certifications. As team members complete each module, their sense of achievement can provide some momentum to help them keep moving forward.
  • Acknowledge progress. Recognizing team members who have learned new skills or earned new certificates can help them stay motivated to continue learning. It also demonstrates the value you place in learning and the types of behaviors you reward, so others want to follow suit.
  • Check in around progress. Hold regular discussions around each team member’s development plan and progress toward their goals. If you find that someone has stalled, find out why they’ve stalled and how you can best support them to get back on track.
  • Offer an L&D budget. Covering the cost of your team members’ courses reduces the hurdles to participate in your development program, so motivation may come more easily.

Unengaging courses

The wrong courses could leave your team members feeling bored, hindering their ability to learn. Choose course providers that offer a variety of content for different workplace learning styles. This might include:

  • Diagrams, charts, and graphs for visual learners.
  • Lectures and podcasts for aural learners.
  • Manuals, reports, and lists for read/write learners.
  • Demonstrations, simulations, and videos for kinesthetic learners.

You can also make learning a social activity—whether your team members are colocated or remote. Team members may take eLearning courses together and swap notes via group chat or a video call, or they might each take a unique course and share their learnings with their peers. 

Lack of time

Your team members are juggling many professional and personal responsibilities and may not find the time for (or prioritize) eLearning. Here’s how you can help your team members fit eLearning into their routines:

  • Encourage eLearning during the workday. When eLearning isn’t competing with leisure activities, it’s more likely to get done. Make space for eLearning during work hours and encourage your team members to use it.
  • Make eLearning available anytime, anywhere. Your team members are more likely to engage in eLearning when it’s easy to access when they have time. That might mean completing a course throughout the week while they commute into the office, or completing a micro-learning opportunity first thing in the morning.
  • Lead by example. Company leaders should find the time for their own professional development and share their experiences with the team to encourage everyone to follow their lead. This is a strong indication that eLearning should be prioritized and is, in fact, encouraged.

No leadership buy-in

A lack of leadership buy-in can impact your L&D budget and make team members feel unsupported in their pursuit of career development. Here are some tips to help you get leadership buy-in:

  • Show the potential return on investment. Share some online learning statistics and data with your leaders to illustrate how an investment in eLearning can impact the business and help you reach your goals. For example, developing people’s strengths can lead to 17 percent higher productivity and 21 percent higher profitability. This kind of industry data can help you get some initial buy-in, but you’ll want to share some company-specific data when you have it.
  • Start small. If you’re just starting out, looking to expand your eLearning program, or trying to increase program engagement, you might find some success starting small. Pick a team to pilot your program so you can get a feel for how to launch and what impact you can expect when you roll out company-wide. Share results with your company leaders to show them why they should champion your program.
  • Measure your impact. Build and maintain buy-in by measuring your successes and sharing those with company leaders. For instance, how did your eLearning program impact employee engagement and retention, and how does that impact your organization’s top and bottom lines?

Final thoughts

Only 4 in 10 workers strongly agree they have opportunities to learn and grow at work. eLearning can make development more accessible, but it’s important to be aware of the challenges you may face so they don’t stand in the way of your team member’s growth. With the right foresight, you can build an engaging eLearning program your team members will love.


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How to Overcome eLearning Challenges