E-learning is a phenomenon that has become a common feature of the corporate world. The affordable and convenient alternative to more traditional classroom learning models, e-learning has been designed to be bite-sized and palatable for easy digestion, and this brings with it several clear benefits.
The Benefits of E-Learning
Unlike training courses offsite, online learning opportunities offer workers the chance to study at a time and in a place that best suits them, and even gives them the chance to revisit previous lessons.
For any company with fragmented teams and multiple offices, e-learning is also able to ensure consistency in training and teaching, and it’s also more affordable than offsite or physical alternatives, even when the cost of video production has been factored in.
Even better, no member of staff will miss out, even if they’re currently absent from work or working remotely. Therefore, even virtual and flexible workers can be supported in their learning.
It’s also possible for businesses to offer optional e-learning experiences, so employees can upskill in any area that is especially of interest to them, even when those areas are outside their typical roles. This allows small businesses to show that they’re committed to their workforce’s development.
Avoiding the negatives
Of course, there are some drawbacks to e-learning. Lecturing is a lacklustre experience at the best of times, and when that lecture is delivered via the internet, the lack of audience participation means that those who should be engaged simply become bored. To avoid this, it’s important to choose an e-learning platform that gamifies the process, using quizzes and interactive activities to test whether the information provided has been understood and which injects some competitive elements between learners.
Also, if e-learning isn’t introduced carefully, it can come across as just box-ticking instead of a full investment in workforce training. By blending several training styles within your small business’s career development options, it makes it clear that you’re genuinely committed to helping workers achieve their best. You must also make it clear that employees shouldn’t be taking their training courses in their own time.
Also, you can avoid the problem of lack of engagement by ensuring employees are interacting with each other, strengthening their bonds. Online learning is extremely useful, but it shouldn’t entirely replace all physical training that offers further interaction between experts and peers. Physical learning should be used as an add-on to e-learning experiences, so workers can practice what they’ve learned online.
How to Integrate E-Learning effectively in the small business environment?
There are several useful tips to follow when it comes to integrating e-learning opportunities into a small business environment:
- Customise the content to ensure courses are only presented to users for which they’re most appropriate.
- Use genuine experts to create the online courses and review them as well as to deliver the content.
- Enable interactive activities and support collaboration in real-time by allowing learners to post comments, questions, and to add likes.
- Track progress throughout the e-learning activity so you can easily see who has learned what. This is particularly vital if the e-learning programme is educating on policy, procedure, or compliance changes.
- Celebrate your workers’ achievements. When they complete a course, they could earn company-accredited certifications and have their achievement shared on the business’s website or intranet.
Follow this expert advice and you’ll find that your small business can maximise the potential of e-learning and harness its power to its full advantage.