Scott Svenheim, ACE, Director of E-Learning, Truly Nolen of America
Taking the time to invest in people's future gives enormous returns on investment. The importance of training has grown significantly in the last 20 years as companies have discovered the value of developing a more qualified workforce, resulting in higher customer retention. Therefore, companies across the country are spending significant resources into upgrading or establishing training programs for their employees. This change in attitude means training is no longer looked upon as an expenditure, like the phone bill or insurance premiums, but rather as an investment.
An investment in E-Learning can multiply these results ten-fold. When you weigh the costs of travel, human resources, time away from home, and the value of time with family – E-Learning has its apparent advantages. If done right, it can produce great results by decreasing costs and improving performance. Another advantage over classroom courses is that E-Training can be utilized by many more people that may miss out on the opportunity to attend the class. They can revisit the topics over and over at their own pace.
"Learners want control of what they learn, and where and when they learn it; E-Learning gives them this ability"
E-Learning can support the goals of the organization in many ways. E-Learning improves and lowers the costs of training – the same courses can be used by many, providing a decrease in material costs as less printing and supplies are needed. This increases productivity because learners can study from the office or home in less time than traveling, which in turn improves standardization. You may have a great facilitator, but that is no guarantee that the courses are presented the same across all sessions. E-Learners all access the same course material and can be held accountable for continuous improvement and learning.
E-Learning also supports the learner's development. Classroom training can require learners and instructors who participate in aligning their schedules to the training calendar. E-learning solves this by allowing "real-time" learning anytime and anywhere. E-learning provides room to practice or even fail, without the fear of being in a classroom full of other people, encouraging exploration and trying different ideas. This will improve the retention of topics and materials covered that can be reviewed again in the future. Learners want control of what they learn, and where and when they learn it; E-Learning gives them this ability. Employees can feel good about what they've learned, realize that the company cares about their professional development, and wants them to succeed.
E-Learning is good for the organization and the future partners that come aboard. Learners have ongoing access to resources. Organizations can quickly deploy information. When organizations are faced with certification and compliance requirements, this can be a significant return. E-Learning can facilitate sharing amongst learners through chat and discussion groups. If a Learning Management system is in place, you may consider how that impacts the learning. Do people have access to resources when the course is complete? Can they retake classes? Are they being punished for failing, or being encouraged to try again?
Younger learners coming on board today are concerned about the choice they made. Is my employer focused on my opportunities to grow, and are they giving me opportunities to get there? Am I being acknowledged as part of the organization, and am I recognized as such? As an organization, we need to be asking ourselves, "Are we the employer of choice?"