Over the last decade, training methods for employees have rapidly evolved. What once was primarily instructor-led (or peer-to-peer) training has been replaced, in many cases, with e-learning.
E-learning is an exciting new technology that allows individuals to train themselves using specialized software, but it’s important that companies carefully evaluate whether it’s the most appropriate form of training for the workforce. This can be dependent on things such as industry norms, comfort with technology, access to the right e-learning content and more. Here are a few things your organization should consider.
E-Learning Is Being Adopted Around the World
According to Stratistics MRC, the global online learning market is expected to reach a whopping $275.1 billion value by the year 2022. Key factors that are spurring e-learning at the workplace include flexibility, low cost, accessibility and the effectiveness of interactive learning. Add to that the increasing number of employees who prefer self-driven learning—using mobile devices and smartphones—and one can easily see why e-learning is growing so rapidly.
The Convenience and Benefits of E-Learning
Digital learning modules are convenient because employees can plan around their daily duties, instead of taking an entire day (or more) off from work tasks to attend a classroom training session. When used successfully as a training method, e-learning allows individuals to learn new skills quickly and apply them to their job immediately. This helps support stronger, more capable teams. Additionally, employees can see the company’s commitment to professional development.
At the same time, workers are increasingly looking to their employers to provide some kind of career direction. A Deloitte report indicates that 40 percent of millennials and 30 percent of Generation Z employees believe they don’t have the skills they need to succeed, and therefore are looking to businesses to help them learn.
Developing training methods for employees based on e-learning technology can support this goal by not only delivering strategic content but by tracking workers’ progress on specific career paths. A direct relationship between training and performance is clearly established, with metrics to prove it’s working.
Top Trends in E-Learning
Some of the most prevalent trends in e-learning include mobile-delivered content (m-learning), which takes advantage of the ease of finding information via mobile devices. It’s also a matter of demand by a growing remote workforce.
Gartner data predicts that by the end of 2018, the size of the mobile workforce will have tripled from the previous year. Employees need access to on-the-go learning, and m-learning is the perfect solution. Mobile learning even caters to small learning modules (also known as microlearning), which has been shown to increase individuals’ attention and retention of information.
Video learning and self-directed learning have already been found to be highly effective. Employees can find information quickly on their own and use the knowledge in their everyday duties. Self-driven learning is already being augmented by artificial intelligence, which is monitoring the learning patterns of individuals and providing them relevant learning content.
So, Is E-Learning Right for Your Company?
Organizations can examine their current methods of training employees to determine if they are meeting the needs of the workforce and producing favorable results. This is reflected in performance metrics, the longevity of employees and good safety ratings. If there are any gaps, e-learning could fill them.
In some cases, a blend between instructor-led training and e-learning can be a good way to make sure that employees are getting access to enough information. Hands-on training may still be required in some occupations, but can be improved by producing a series of video versions of training sessions. These are easy and inexpensive to create and can be extremely useful for remote workers.
Technology has become much more accessible, making it easy to create company learning centers—and since a skilled workforce is highly valuable, this could be a worthy investment for your organization.