The benefits of effective learning and development (L&D) programs are extensive and well known. Developing your team members can boost everything from engagement and retention to innovation, productivity, and profitability.
But your team members’ L&D preferences may be changing. Nearly half (46 percent) want to see a blended approach of virtual and in-person training, 31 percent want more on-demand virtual training, and 10 percent want more group virtual training. Just 13 percent want only in-person training. It’s no surprise that 79 percent of learning and development professionals plan to invest more in online learning.
Building out a more robust training program that includes eLearning opportunities has many benefits, to both your company and your team members.
Benefits of eLearning for your company
eLearning offers employers some of the same benefits found in traditional training, as well as some that are more unique to the format. These include:
1. More engaged learners
Digital learning uses a variety of formats including animations, videos, and games that are more interactive and engaging than traditional training. This can help your team members maintain an interest in their development plans and get more use out of your eLearning platform so you can build a stronger team.
2. Centralization across teams
Training requirements and processes can vary by department or team, though many organizations have company-wide training as well. Rather than maintaining separate learning programs, an online learning platform can organize everything in the same place, making it easy to access, customize, update, and share content quickly.
3. Cost savings
Online learning and development is very cost effective, especially compared to instructor-led training and conferences. With eLearning, your company can save money on instructors, travel, training rooms, catering, and overtime. This can help you expand your L&D program to more people without a significant increase in budget.
4. Ease of measurement
eLearning is digital, so everything can be easily measured and analyzed. You can see how many people have completed a given course, how long each course takes to complete, and team member evaluation scores.
But the real benefit lies in the ability to connect how eLearning impacts your company KPIs. This could be anything from reducing support calls, increasing sales, or even onboarding new customers faster.
Your learning and development program will likely need to expand as your team changes and grows. New team members can access your eLearning platform and begin their employee development journeys from day one.
Digital learning and development opportunities are available anytime, anywhere, allowing them to support team members distributed across multiple time zones or geographic regions. In fact, 61 percent of organizations report the primary factor for using eLearning was to better serve geographically dispersed learners.
7. Agility to remain innovative
Eighty-five percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. And nearly nine in 10 executives and managers say their organizations either face skill gaps already or expect gaps to develop within the next five years.
eLearning is agile enough to allow companies to quickly pivot when an emerging skill is identified, allowing them to remain innovative, relevant, and competitive in the market.
Benefits of eLearning for team members
Nearly half (46 percent) of workers say the pandemic caused them to reevaluate their skill sets. One in five (19 percent) say it has made pursuing education or learning a new skill a greater priority.
eLearning has many important benefits for team members who are eager to expand their skill sets and reach new career goals.
1. Convenient, flexible access
On-demand eLearning opportunities give your team members flexibility to participate in your L&D program when and where it’s most convenient for them. That could mean they learn first thing in the morning, while sitting on the train to work. Or it could mean they log on remotely from their couch during the workday.
This flexible approach to learning allows your team members to fit development into their busy schedules, and to learn when their energy levels and focus are maximized for retention.
2. Saves time
Eight in 10 remote workers said their career development has been negatively affected throughout the pandemic. The top two factors cited were burnout and work-life balance.
eLearning can reduce your team members’ time invested in professional development. Anytime, anywhere access eliminates travel time to and from live training sessions, as well as time spent on breaks and meals during training sessions. Plus, micro-learning opportunities through eLearning partners can make it easier for your team members to squeeze in professional development when time and energy are limited.
3. Supports different workplace learning styles
Everyone has their own workplace learning style. Some are aural learners, preferring to hear and discuss learning topics, while others are read/write learners, retaining information best through the written word. eLearning comes in many different formats, including videos, infographics, games, and notes, to appeal to a variety of learning styles.
4. Self-driven and self-paced
eLearning allows your team members to learn at their own pace. They can take as much time as they need on each given course, and move on only when they feel they’ve mastered the topic. This could mean one team member completes the course straight through, while another views course material several times and spaces out lessons by a few days to let the information absorb. That way, nobody feels under-challenged, and nobody feels rushed, to complete courses with their peers.
5. More inclusive for diverse teams
Flexible access and a variety of content formats also make eLearning more inclusive. Neurodiverse individuals may retain more information if they can learn when, where, and how it best suits them. Professionals with vision, hearing, or mobility limitations may benefit from the greater accessibility that comes with digital learning. And working parents may appreciate reducing or eliminating work travel that takes them away from their families to attend training sessions.
6. Improved information retention
eLearning helps employees to better retain information through the use of compelling images, videos, animations, and more. The requirement for interaction ensures that your team members are engaging with the content, rather than just sitting and scrolling. For example, Kallidus courses are based on the psychology of learning and a deep understanding of how the brain works, so you can be sure your team is getting the maximum results.
7. Feedback and recognition
Best-in-class eLearning solutions often have feedback and recognition features built into them to encourage team members to continue in their development journeys. Online assessments following a development course can help your team members gauge their mastery of the subject and identify additional areas for improvement. Gamification features such as leaderboards, badges, and certificates also help provide a sense of recognition and achievement that improves motivation.
Final thoughts on the benefits of eLearning
As everything around us continues to be digitized, it’s no wonder that your team members want to see more eLearning opportunities to help them develop. Virtual training fits into people’s lives in ways that traditional training simply cannot replicate. There is a time and place for both, and it will become increasingly important that employers offer both solutions to their team members. As you can see, there’s a strong business case for doing so.