Training, teaching, and learning has changed dramatically over the past decade. With new research into the ways people learn, eLearning has become one of the most effective options for companies that are looking for a consistent, high-quality method of training for their employees. If you're the champion of eLearning at your company, however, it can take some time to convince your boss that the switch from traditional, in-person training to eLearning is worth their time.
Spoiler alert: It absolutely is. From cost savings to consistency, here’s why.
What is eLearning?
Simply put, eLearning is “electronic” learning that connects trainers and employees across a variety of platforms.
There are a number of different options for eLearning, including:
- mLearning: mLearning allows you to provide employees with quick reference guides, troubleshooting pointers, and other reference materials, right to their mobile devices.
- Web-based training (WBT): Web-based training can offer employees more interactive eLearning options. These courses may be more extensive and include collaboration among participants.
- Microlearning: Microlearning consists of small, easily-digested bits of information, delivered to employees at regular intervals in two to three minute videos.
- Learning games: Training employees by delivering information through a game takes advantage of our desire to compete, get recognized for our efforts, and be rewarded for hard work.
No matter your workforce, resources, or budget, there's an eLearning solution that will work for your company.
The benefits of switching to eLearning go far beyond dollars and cents (although that matters, too!). eLearning can help solve some of your business’s most pressing problems when it comes to training employees.
- eLearning saves time: Because there is no need for travel, lunch breaks, and overnight stays, eLearning is the most efficient way deliver information.
- eLearning is more consistent: When your eLearning course is in place, training is consistent and standard across the board for all employees, regardless of where they're located and when they take the training.
- eLearning may save the world: Producing and delivering an eLearning course uses less energy than travel for traditional in-person courses.
How can I convince my boss?
If you're a company leader who is trying to convince your boss that eLearning is the best solution for your workforce's training needs, you're going to need some concrete evidence. And that means hard numbers.
You know that eLearning solutions can provide your company with just-in-time training on cutting-edge topics for less money and with less hassle than traditional training, but it's up to you to share that knowledge with the people who make the training (and budget) decisions. Concerned? Don't worry--we've got it focused down to ten major steps.
Step 1: Define the problem
Before you start any training programs, figure out exactly what the problem is before you roll-out solutions for it. Are your issues really tied to inadequate training? Have you talked to employees to get their take? Before moving forward, know exactly what your company's challenge is so you can more effectively sell it.
Step 2: Show your boss what they need before they know they need it
You may see a managerial need for a broader understanding of your global company’s overall structure. Or, maybe your company is small but mighty and needs more consistent implementation of its current practices. Perhaps your company is working in an industry that has many specific compliance issues that employees must be consistently aware of.
If in-person training isn’t meeting the needs of your local or global organization, or in-person trainings are inconsistent and ineffective, eLearning can help standardize your training (and protect your business). Start mentioning these opportunities and challenges to your boss so they're primed when you do talk to them about eLearning.
Step 3: Figure out who needs to be involved
Before you start thinking about including employees, figure out which members of the team need to get on board right away. HR, IT, members of the sales team, and your executive leadership will all have valuable insights that can benefit an eLearning rollout.
Step 4: Find an executive sponsor
Better than a golden ticket, an executive sponsor will champion your proposal at the highest levels. Find a C-suite sponsor to increase the odds of a positive overall response.
Step 5: Work out all of the costs
eLearning development does have upfront costs that will diminish over time. Outline the necessary investment needed, making sure to explain how older training materials can be incorporated into your current eLearning solutions.
You may also want to consider:
- Which employee resources you'll have for testing and creating the new training materials
- What hardware you have that employees can use to access this training
- The saved costs for reducing in-person training
- What parts of your training you can develop in-house and which would be best served by bringing in an eLearning development company
- How much you could save by reducing employee turnover and dissatisfaction with appropriate training
Step 6: Show how eLearning makes important training materials evergreen
Once your company has eLearning courses in place, those materials can provide lasting training over time and space. When you create a custom eLearning course, you can easily share it with new employees who can complete it on their own time, at their own pace.
Step 7: Decide how these new courses will roll out
No matter the size of your company, well-laid plans poorly executed are a recipe for disaster. Consider the following questions when planning your eLearning rollout:
- Who is responsible for what, from eLearning design to tracking to updating?
- What resources will you need, inside and outside of the company?
- What is the timeline for rollout?
- Who will need additional training prior to rollout?
- Which vendors can provide that training?
Step 8: Put together a successful proposal
Your successful proposal anticipates objections and questions that might arise and offers answers and solutions. Providing concrete reasons why eLearning is the best choice, along with a carefully-written plan will offer the best chance for success.
Step 9: Show them the money
When it comes to convincing your boss that eLearning makes sense, the bottom line IS the bottom line.
Lay out the per-employee expenditures for in-person training vs. eLearning to show just how much eLearning can save your company. Once you've shown them the bottom-line, also bring in evidence that further bolsters your case. This could include talking about employee retention, recycling certain materials for these newer courses, or providing the just-in-time training your workforce actually needs to do their jobs effectively.
Step 10: Welcome your boss to the future
More coordinated, efficient training is the future. 50% of millennials are not interested in sitting in a classroom to learn , and 39% want to see more virtual education as they move into the workforce. By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials, a huge percentage that employers can’t ignore.
It's time to make the business case for your company to provide the competitive advantage your company needs to succeed in today's global environment.