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How Businesses Can Benefit From Online Learning.
More and more businesses and organizations of all sizes are embracing e-learning. You will see e-learning used by some of the world’s largest corporations to the newest startup companies. Universities, government agencies, and nonprofits also use it extensively.
The reason that large and small businesses have implemented e-learning is because of these three very important reasons:
- It enhances productivity
- It saves money in the long term
- It helps to increase revenues
So if your business is not currently embracing e-learning then isn’t it time that it did? Yes, you will need to make an initial investment in e-learning, but it will not take long for the increased productivity, cost savings and increased revenues to pay for this many times over.
When you employ people it is essential that they are efficiently trained and up to date with all of the changes that affect your business both internally and externally. Conventional training is very expensive, and when you implement e-learning you will save a significant amount on your training costs.
Computer giant IBM certainly believes in e-learning and the value of training. They produced a white paper which took an in-depth look at the return on investment in training and skills development. Most of the focus of this white paper is around training and development in IT. After making the transition to e-learning IBM saved around $200 million.
The major findings were as follows:
- Increasing team skills helps to achieve objectives 90% more often
- The rollout of new products happens 22% quicker
- Well trained teams save companies around $70,000 a year with a productivity increase of 10%
The statistics for eLearning are mind-blowing. According to Forbes by 2025 the e-learning market is estimated to be worth $325 billion. Back in 2017 around 77% of corporations in the United States were using e-learning, and in the same year, 67% of companies in the US that offered e-learning made it available for smartphones.
Studies have shown that the retention rates with e-learning increase from 25% to 60%. Contrast that with face to face learning methods where the average retention rate is between 8% and 10%. Students feel more in control with e-learning, and if they forget something taught then it is easy for them to revisit the training material.
There are several other benefits of e-learning that we will examine in detail here. Cost savings are certainly a major benefit, but there are some other significant advantages to embracing e-learning which we will explain below.
Online Learning is Convenient and Accessible any time
With online learning, you will be providing a valuable resource to all of your personnel that they can access at any time and from any location. All they need to access your e-learning system is a computer, smartphone or tablet and then enter their login credentials and they are good to go.
What could be better than providing your employees access to your e-learning system so that they can learn:
- From their desk
- In the comfort of their own home
- On the train
- On the bus
- On an airplane
- As a passenger in a car
- On the go anywhere
People are all different and some will learn better in the mornings, some in the afternoon and others in the evening or at night. So you can let people choose the time when they will be the most retentive and benefit most from the training if they can have access to it whenever it suits them best.
One of the great things about online learning is that people can choose when they want to learn. There are no hard and fast rules for all employees having to learn at the same time. People lead busy lives these days and being able to choose where and when they learn is a real modern-day advantage.
Online Courses are Cost-Effective
Once you have set up your online courses in your e-learning system then you will definitely save money over the longer term. Consider the alternative here. To train your employees with conventional classroom-based training courses you could face the following costs:
- The cost of the trainers
- The cost of the training materials
- The hiring of a suitable venue
- Lost production time due to employees attending the class
- Travel expenses
- Catering expenses
Once you have an established training course online you can easily update it without spending a lot of time and money. It is a lot easier to provide the training to a large number of people when it is online rather than have them attend a classroom training environment.
You can also save money by training your new hires faster. With e-learning, it is easy to set up induction training which informs newcomers about the structure of the company, the important clients and the departments that exist. This is much more efficient than having new recruits attend classroom training sessions and saves money on resources.
It is important for all new employees to have a training map which shows where they need to go rather than take the risk of them getting lost in the process. You can customize your e-learning system by grade so that somebody new in a particular grade knows exactly the training they need to undertake and by when.
A lot of organizations set up an internal “wiki” as part of their e-learning system. This helps new and existing employees discover more information about the company and its objectives. You can also use your e-learning system as the place to keep important resources such as procedures, tools and important advice.
It is difficult for team managers to release members of their team to attend physical classes and still maintain business as usual and meet their targets. By setting individuals a time limit to consume online courses it is a lot easier to maintain day to day operations. Individuals can consume training when it suits the needs of the business.
With Online Education you can cater to Different Learning Styles
Different people learn most effectively in different ways. There are some people that prefer to learn by watching videos, others like to read the text and make notes and some will need to immerse themselves into realistic situations so that they can test their learning and practice what they have learned.
You have a number of different options available to you to provide e-learning that is acceptable to all. It is all about engagement and you can use the following content types to mix it up and cater to the different learning styles of your employees:
- Text and notes
- Training videos
You can also add an interactive element to your online education to increase engagement. By using case studies where employees have to submit their answers to how they will deal with a specific situation, to quizzes that test the amount of understanding of the topic, you will make the education more fun and effective.
Self Paced Online Classes
Online classes allow everyone to learn at their own pace. If you get a group of employees together they are not going to have the same levels of skill, knowledge, and experience. But in a traditional classroom setting, there is an expectation that everyone will learn the same amount in the allotted time.
This is not a realistic expectation as some of your people will learn a lot more quickly than others. If an employee already knows a lot about a subject then they will be wasting a lot of time if they have to sit through a class that repeats what they already know.
With an e-learning system, all employees have the freedom to make mistakes and fail. In a high-pressure classroom setting, this is something that all attendees want to avoid. But the reality is that learning often involves failure and it is much better to fail with online training rather than in front of a class full of others.
With this “failure freedom” comes the opportunity to experiment with new ideas. Although online training will tell employees the way to do something it doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. In a classroom, there are time pressures to learn everything in a specific period and not a lot of thinking time. These issues don’t exist with e-learning.
With online classes, an employee can choose to skip sections that they are already familiar with. For people that don’t have this knowledge, they can go through it at their own pace. There is never a situation where a slow learner is holding up the whole class because they need to go over something a few times before they understand it fully.
When you Teach Online you can Measure the Effectiveness
When you choose to teach online you can measure the effectiveness of your training. Every business or organization needs to know how effective their training is and this is not always easy to do with conventional classroom training.
If you want to achieve your goals and objectives then you stand a much greater chance of doing this when you have well-trained employees. Investing in your people should always provide you with a measurable return.
It is a lot easier to measure the effectiveness of your training when you teach online. You can put all kinds of measurements in place and then pull off data regularly to see how effective your training is. You could certainly measure the following:
- Levels of engagement
- Number of people that complete courses
- Percentage of people that complete courses
- Grade assessments
- The average number of courses completed by employees
You can specify what reports you require when you implement your e-learning system and you can create more reports as the system develops. Thinking about the metrics that you need when you teach online is a very good starting place. If you find that a course is not as effective as it should be then you can change aspects of it.
Record Keeping is much Easier with Online Training
With online training, it is much easier to keep records and retrieve information than it is with conventional training methods. For the larger organizations, the administrative task with training can be a huge undertaking if they use conventional training practices. For example, they need to know:
- Which employees have registered for which training?
- What training courses each employee needs to undertake
- Which employees are currently on training courses?
- Which courses have each employee completed?
- What grades did each employee achieve?
With the old training methods, it is not uncommon for a whole team of administrators to be involved in organizing training methods. This can be a very large overhead if the business employs a lot of people.
With online training, everything is registered and stored within the e-learning system. There is never any requirement to order training materials such as folders, paper and pens and the cost of branding these items. It is also very easy to retrieve individual employee records to see the courses allocated to them and the progress they are making.
A Learning Site brings your Organization into the 21st Century
When you have a learning site within your organization you are matching the expectations of the people that work there. These days everyone had a smartphone or tablet and probably a computer that they use for their work and one at home as well. They are used to using this technology every day and tend to spend a lot of time with these devices.
This all means that your employees are comfortable with this kind of technology so introducing an e-learning system will not be a problem for them. In fact, you will probably find that the vast majority of your workers expect to undergo training in this way.
A learning site is perfect for the 21st century. People like to visit websites for all kinds of reasons so this is a natural progression for them. You will find that your employees will be really keen to access your e-learning system and learn from it. This is vastly different from the expectations people have with attending classroom-based training.
You can make an eCourse Interactive
It is pretty easy to add interactivity to an ecourse. When people are learning new skills it often requires more than a set of videos or textual notes for them to fully comprehend everything and be able to apply what they have learned.
All kinds of people use e-learning systems for training. Some of these people are senior executives who need to make very important decisions for the future of the organization. Then there are those that need to learn complex skills in a safe environment such as a pilot or a specialized surgeon.
In fact, it doesn’t matter what level a person is in the organization. It is always good to allow them to participate and to test out their newly learned skills. With e-learning, there are different kinds of interactivity that you can add to make the learning experience a lot more realistic for your employees.
Your e-learning system can have the following features:
- Branching scenarios – here a user can make decisions in a real-life scenario
- Gamification – This is not about playing games but using a game environment for individuals to make decisions safely and learn from the outcomes
- Simulations – this is where the user experiences a real-life situation such as flying a plane with all of the necessary instruments, etc
It is easy to set up your e-learning system to conform with the 70/20/10 model which is effective for learning and development based on research by the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina. The research found that the most effective learning model comprises 70% experience, 20% collaboration with others and 10% formal training.
So how do employees gain the necessary experience which is so fundamental to their development? The best way to do this from a training perspective is practice. You can shape your e-learning system so that it provides your employees with real experiences through simulations that mimic the working environment.
So there are many ways that you can make an ecourse interactive and more realistic for the people learning. You can place them in real-life situations where they have to apply their newly acquired knowledge and they can do this without risk. They will receive feedback about their decision making and the effect that it had on a particular situation.
Add Expert Intervention to Webcourses
You can deliver almost any kind of training by using webcourses but sometimes there is a need for an expert to intervene and provide their support. It is very important that employees using your e-learning system feel that they can reach out to experts that can help them with their training and you can achieve this in a number of ways:
- You can create a forum where experts will answer questions
- You can implement question and answer sessions which anyone can access
- You can create live presentations or webinars that people register for and attend at specific times
- You can record these live presentations and webinars for people unable to attend to watch later
It is always very comforting to employees to know that they have a way to progress with their training if they run into difficulties. So make sure that in all of your web courses you mention the help that’s available and allow users to access forums, webinars and so on from within the course so they can return to it when they have the answers they need.
Create a Community around your Online Learning Courses
One of the concerns that a lot of businesses have about implementing online learning courses is that it can be a very lonely experience for their employees. Some people believe that it is like learning things from a book where you are isolated and there is no interaction with peers or anyone else.
There are a number of benefits from bringing people together for training such as the sparking of debate around the subject and participating in discussions that can lead to new ideas and changes to current practices. There is no reason to lose these advantages when you implement an e-learning system.
You can create collaboration between people and build a community around your online learning courses. By enabling features such as live tutorials where many people can attend a webinar and communicate with each other and creating discussion forums where people can meet up and talk about various subjects. These are all good for increased engagement.
With Online Lessons there is Immediate Recognition and Feedback
You can set up your e-learning system so that people taking online lessons can achieve immediate recognition for their efforts. If an employee passes an online course then you can present them with a certificate of merit or level badge straight away. It is also simple to set up a leader board so that people can see where they stand.
When you introduce interactivity to your e-learning system you can provide employees with immediate feedback through the use of branching scenarios and quizzes for example. Employees will be able to see the consequences of their decision making and actions straight away which will help them to improve.
So you can provide immediate recognition and feedback with your online lessons that will not just be valuable for your employees but also for line managers and the business or organization as a whole. With this in place, there is less of a need for managers to provide grading assessments and employees to receive their feedback manually.
Standardize your Training with Online Lectures
Online lectures provide a standard way of learning for your entire organization or business. With a large business or organization spread across the country or even with international offices local training can vary considerably. You can never be sure that all of your employees are receiving the highest standards of training.
With an e-learning system, you do not have these concerns. No matter where in the world your employees are they have access to the same training. You can ensure that the training provided is the very best and that everyone benefits from it.
If you want to provide live online lectures then you can do this knowing that people will receive the same information and advice wherever they are. When you add interactivity and the tools to build communities then people in far off locations will feel more like they are part of a large team all pursuing a common goal.
Your Employees can Learn Online 24/7
By providing the ability to learn online you create the opportunity for all of your employees to consume training around the clock. This is particularly useful if you have employees that work in different time zones across the world. Elearning never closes so it doesn’t matter what time of day people want to learn.
You can also use your e-learning system to provide your employees with access to important resources that they require to perform their jobs properly. Things change often and you can post updates to processes and important documentation for anyone to access at any time.
Your employees can learn online when they are on the go. This is a much better scenario than having to be in a classroom at a specific time. Using a smartphone or tablet device your employees can access the e-learning system when they are moving around. They just need an Internet connection.
By Providing the Best Online Courses you are protecting the Environment
Do you realize that when you provide the best online courses through your e-learning system you are doing your bit to protect the environment? There was a study conducted by the Open University in the United Kingdom which found that there is an average of 90% less energy consumed when people participate in e-learning.
Not only that but the study also showed that each e-learning student-produced 85% less CO2 emissions than they would have done if they were in a traditional learning environment. This is something that few businesses and organizations will think about but it is a really great benefit of implementing an e-learning system.
So be sure to implement your e-learning system and provide the best online courses so that you can make a contribution to the environment. This is just the icing on the cake when you consider all of the other benefits of e-learning.
eLearning is Scalable and Agile
A good e-learning system can expand as your company or organization does. There is no waiting around for a training course to become available for an employee. All they have to do is login and get started. It is very easy to dovetail your learning and development program into the growth of your business.
A lot of new companies implemented online learning when they were much smaller than they are now. Two great examples of this are Uber and Airbnb. They had all of their training in place right from the start and were able to grow successfully into the giants that they are today.
All organizations have to adapt to rapid change and you need a training and development system that is agile enough to reflect those changes. Businesses often have to contend with lightning-quick changes in the marketplace and conventional training methods are not fast enough to bring everyone that needs to be aware of the changes up to speed.
An e-learning system is very agile and can very quickly take care of the new training requirements of an organization almost in real-time. You can create new online training rapidly and then distribute this to the employees that need to know about the changes. This is essential to stay competitive in the marketplace.
Organizations where eLearning made a real Difference
There is nothing like seeing how well an e-learning system has worked for others to convince you that it is the right investment for your organization. So here we will provide you with the experiences of a number of organizations that decided e-learning was the best way forward for them. There are case studies from:
Pitney Bowes and eLearning
Pitney Bowes specializes in mailing equipment and services and has around 1.5 million customers in more than 100 countries. The company has engineers spread around the globe including 33 cities in the United States, Tokyo, New Dehli, and Hatfield near London in the UK.
Pitney Bowes employs around 14,000 people internationally and their Presort Services team is 4,000 employees strong. People within these teams speak 17 different languages. With such a distributed and complex services team, the company chose an e-learning platform for training its engineers.
The engineering employees, regardless of their location and language, are able to choose the training that is most appropriate for their role in the company. There is interactivity through quizzes where the engineers can test their knowledge.
This has been so effective for the company that now 84% of the Pitney Bowes workforce use e-learning. Their employees believe that is has a positive effect on their jobs especially when they study the e-learning content for 16 hours or more.
Shell and eLearning
When it comes to international companies there are not many bigger than Shell. This huge oil and gas company employs more than 92,000 people in 70 different countries and in 2006 the board took the decision to increase the profitability of the company through improved employee performance.
They created the Shell Open University e-learning system. Within the system, there is a wide range of technical learning, commercial and practical learning tools. Shell employees have unrestricted access to all manner of resources such as:
- Online courses
Using the e-learning system Shell employees can test their own knowledge and competencies before embarking on any training and after they complete it. It has worked extremely well for the company and its employees.
PayPal and eLearning
PayPal provides a global online payments system used by millions. There are over 100 currencies supported and more than 188 million people use PayPal for their daily banking transactions. PayPal’s revenue continues to rise year on year.
PayPal is committed to e-learning for employee training and uses different platforms to achieve this. This has helped to save time while delivering more effective training for their people. They use a combination of different e-learning techniques such as the gathering of small groups online with an expert teacher.
PayPal believes that its investment in e-learning helps to keep people employed longer and perform their jobs better.
Toyota and eLearning
Toyota is the third-largest seller of vehicles in the world and they have more than 340,000 employees working in 28 different countries. The European arm of Toyota has used e-learning to effectively train more than 18,000 auto technicians since its inception in 2005.
The company upgraded its e-learning system in 2013 so that they could provide continuity in training without the need for re-certification. Their e-learning system now provides training materials for their many distributors and retail outlets in more than 50 countries.
For their certified technicians there are 150 online classes and their e-learning system also provides training for distributors in Asia and Europe that are non-technical.
Crouse Hospital and eLearning
Crouse Hospital has been providing care for the people of central New Your since 1893. It is a nonprofit institution with over 250,000 patients to provide care for every year. The hospital employs more than 2,700 people.
In 2015 Crouse Hospital switched to e-learning because they were concerned about the amount of time that administrators had to spend on the paperwork for the professional development of their employees.
Users of the Crouse Hospital e-learning system can access tailored information related to the healthcare industry. It is now easy for the people responsible to provide training to create courses online, track the progress their students are making and generate the reports that they need.
Operational managers can simply add their team members or remove them from training programs cutting down on bureaucracy. Since implementing their e-learning system the Crouse Hospital has saved a significant amount of time and also enabled its employees to focus more on their jobs.
Colorado State University and eLearning
In 2007 the Colorado State University introduced an online campus system called Global Campus. They upgraded this in 2016 to include gamified training strategies for their employees in higher education.
The Global Campus e-learning system provides uniqueness for the employees. With the gamification element, the system is very engaging and this persuades more people to use it. Employees receive rewards for using the e-learning system and it helps to make them more effective in their jobs.
Lyft and eLearning
Lyft is one of the fastest-growing transportation companies that does all of its business through an app to hail rides. One of the biggest problems facing Lyft when it first started was education and training. New people were arriving with different skills and initially, they offered in-person training for half a day but this was ineffective.
So they decided to implement an e-learning system which would help people to learn the required skills. New people use the effective onboarding element of the e-learning system and managers are able to check their progress. This has been very successful for Lyft and they plan future upgrades to their e-learning system.
Your Organization can benefit from eLearning (and so can you)
The examples above show that different organizations in different industries, both public and private, benefited from the implementation and use of an e-learning system. So what sectors can truly benefit from using an e-learning system:
- Business and corporate training
- Service companies
- International organizations
- Government agencies and other public institutions
- The education system including universities, colleges, and schools
- An individual looking for personal development and self-growth
There is no doubt that online education and learning is important for all. Any company or organization that employs people can benefit from implementing e-learning. It is the fastest and most cost-effective way to deliver training to employees on a wide range of issues such as:
- Changes in the market place
- New products and services
- Changes to company policies
- Changes to procedures and processes
- Improvements to existing methodologies
There are many opportunities for individuals to use e-learning for their own personal development and growth as well. Elearning opportunities are everywhere online and an individual can use several different websites to learn new skills that will help them to grow such as Udemy.com and Skillshare.com. These websites offer a range of training including:
- Making money online
- Affiliate marketing
- Web page optimization and SEO
- Personal development training
- Specific skills training e.g. Adobe Photoshop, Python coding
For an individual, there are some e-learning websites that offer free courses but the best training content will be available at a cost. Usually, the costs are fairly small with Udemy offering high-quality training from around $10.
Opportunities for Affiliates to Promote Online Learning
The demand for e-learning from organizations and individuals is huge and you can use this to your advantage by becoming a Digital Global affiliate. We pay excellent commissions and have a comprehensive range of e-learning products for you to promote.
We will provide you with professional affiliate marketing tools that will help to increase your conversions and make more commissions. So don’t miss out on the chance to promote e-learning with Digital Global. Find out more here.
Partner with Digital Global JV
We are always on the lookout for good partners. It is our belief and experience that good partnerships lead to good results for both parties. So if you are interested in partnering with Digital Global please contact us here so that we can start discussing this with you.
We can help you with your eLearning Requirements
Are you a business or organization looking to sponsor an online course for your employees? If so we can help you. Maybe you need to provide some corporate training for your people and don’t know the best way to implement this? Well, don’t worry because at Digital Global we have the people and experience to help you with all of your e-learning requirements.
Elearning is an investment in the future. We will help you to provide the highest quality online training for your employees. The training will be engaging and help them to learn quickly. Contact us here today for more details.
Embrace eLearning Today
We have provided you with several benefits of implementing e-learning for your business or organization and we strongly believe that it is the future for increased employee satisfaction and productivity.
Not only is e-learning an effective tool for employee education which helps to increase productivity, but it also provides your people with the motivation to learn more and grow as individuals. Employees, partners, and customers expect everything to be available online these days so implementing an e-learning system keeps you in touch with the 21st century.
Elearning is one of the best investments you can make. We have provided you with a number of real-life examples where large and small organizations have benefited from the introduction of e-learning. It will work for you too.