The perks of online learning programs for businesses and employees alike are numerous. Still, for workers who may seem less convinced by these tools, it may be prudent for management staff to outline why virtual learning contributes to the construction of an efficient employee training program and a well-prepared workforce.
Explaining the Logic Behind Virtual Learning
If you want to impress workers with the value of virtual learning, take a logical stance in explaining the real benefits they stand to gain. First, there’s the convenience—once human resource staff has organized access to learning materials, participating employees can typically work on their own schedules, at their own paces. Virtual materials, particularly those accessible via the Internet, provide additional flexibility by making it possible for workers to complete sessions remotely. This prevents employees from having to stay in the office after hours, or come in early for training sessions.
Private learning programs can also help encourage increased comprehension of skills because workers are less likely to feel embarrassed about seeking answers to questions that could arise as they work. Additionally, the removal of their peers from the learning process can help them feel more comfortable progressing at their own pace, encouraging them to continue only when they truly feel that they have a good grasp on the materials.
Epic Learning Group explained that this benefits the fastest as well as the slowest learners. People are no longer stressed about keeping pace, and are therefore less prone to rushing, and employees working at a faster pace are not held back from moving forward. This increases overall efficiency and can help the group’s pace improve, compressing the required learning period. Brandon Hall research firm reported that the amount of time needed can decrease significantly.
“Results from hundreds of studies and applications show that instruction delivered via computers and/or computer networks requires approximately 35-45 percent less learner time,” the authors wrote in a recent publication.
Finally, virtual coursework often allows employees a wider range of materials that they could have access to in a traditional setting. Blended-learning techniques that present material in a variety of mediums, in turn, increase the likelihood that all workers will gain a greater understanding.
Understanding the Benefit to Companies
Of course, employees are not the only ones who benefit from implementing virtual learning programs. First, there’s the financial gain—companies that conduct employee training and development via remote methods don’t have to pay for managerial staff to lead sessions or for hard copies of coursework provided online. All texts, videos, and guidelines can be efficiently organized and easily accessible for them anywhere they go. According to Epic Learning Group, Ernst & Young reported a 35 percent decrease in costs after they implemented e-Learning across the company.
The organization indicated that virtual training programs also help increase corporate efficiency. Companies with a high volume of employees who commute may encourage workers to use “dead time” in trains or buses learning new skills or brushing up on old ones. Additionally, employees can access materials from their mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.
The opportunity to review is particularly important because retention of subject matter depends upon building familiarity with the materials. Even if workers take just a few minutes to look over notes from previous sessions, they can improve their own ability to remember what they learned. According to Epic, studies found retention rates to be up to 12 percent higher among people who participated in virtual learning compared to those who opted for traditional methods. Overall completion and skill levels have also increased, with online programs promoting greater understanding without requiring a longer period of time.