Ever since learning guru Elliott Masie coined the term “eLearning” in 1999, the concept of teaching through a digital platform has grown considerably to become an industry in itself. By 2026, the global eLearning market is set to exceed $375 billion.
Businesses are some of the biggest users of eLearning. From employee onboarding to product training, eLearning is increasingly the preferred method of companies to provide knowledge and develop skills that are necessary for success.
Here are the 10 biggest reasons why eLearning is becoming ubiquitous in the world of business and why you should also adopt it, whether you’re going to use it for internal or external training:
1. Necessary for The New Normal
There’s no denying the fact that COVID-19 has had a massive impact on just about every facet of life, especially the way business is done. More people are working remotely to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus. Meetings are done over teleconferencing technology and schedules have been upended with employees reporting and turning in work at varying hours of the day.
In-person training is no longer viable these days. If businesses want their workforce to stay competitive, it is imperative that they adopt eLearning to continue employee training programmes during a pandemic. Online learning via learning management systems (LMS) is the only practical method for in-depth, effective development that respects the health and safety of entire organisations, at a time when face-to-face interactions are rendered impossible.
Distance learning won’t be just a trend either. More businesses are realising that they can stay productive even with mostly remote operations, and employees are getting more comfortable with their own schedules.
2. More Cost-Efficient Training
Traditional training programmes can be very costly. Employees generally have to spend their time attending training sessions instead of focusing on their actual day-to-day tasks. Training outside of office hours usually entails having to go on expensive trips to conferences and workshops. Full-time instructors have to be hired to conduct training. Course materials have to be procured and printed for each trainee.
eLearning vastly reduces extraneous training costs. Companies can let their employees take courses on their own time with their own registered devices, or they can host virtual group sessions without having to book venues and transport entire departments. Learning and development consultants can be contracted to advise on course creation without having to lead trainees every single session. Courses only have to be developed one time then deployed for the whole organisation to access instantly via an LMS.
3. Strengthens Professional Partnerships
As eLearning activates external training, this initiative indicates to partners that your business is willing to invest in their success. It is a show of confidence in the partnership that it will deliver results.
As a sign of trust, partners are more likely to exhibit loyalty to a partnership that devotes resources to their well-being. A culture of learning and exchange is developed between the parties as well, leading to an even stronger business relationship where both parties can be more communicative with each other. This also serves as a solid foundation for developing future partnerships.
4. Extends Branding Influence
Whenever companies have to work with other parties to sell their offerings, it can be a challenge to maintain consistency in the brand messaging. Convincing partners to take extended time out for in-depth product training is just as difficult, as it would mean greater cost and effort on their part.
The convenience of eLearning opens up the possibility of selling internal training courses to channel partners that traditional training can’t easily accomplish. Partners are more likely to be persuaded to take training when accessibility is no longer an issue. What happens next is that these second and third parties have a greater understanding of the primary business’ brand and can execute on marketing and sales strategies correctly.
5. Ensures Business Continuity
Although one of the goals of training is for learners to retain knowledge, there will be times when learners have to refer to resources to recall important information. eLearning provides an easily accessible knowledge base that registered users can rely on.
Workers, partners, and even customers can simply log on to the LMS for solutions to any issues they might have regarding a process or a product. Operations can move forward with as little downtime as possible when answers to potential problems are at users’ fingertips. People don’t have to ring up support hotlines or dig through physical manuals, which can be barriers to business continuity.
6. Improved Partner Performance
The ultimate benefit to eLearning for external training is that partners will perform better at their roles. It’s the same principle as arming employees with the skills and knowledge that are necessary to achieve internal company goals.
Partners that are fully equipped to handle product distribution, sales, and advertising thanks to high-quality and convenient eLearning programmes will be more productive and require less support. They can respond to issues customers raise more quickly, as they won’t have to go up the supply chain for every question. More customers are satisfied, increasing the overall customer retention rate.
7. Increased Productivity
Training in general boosts productivity, as skilled and knowledgeable workers can do work in less time than untrained ones. eLearning gives businesses an avenue to further boost that productivity, as it is innately innovative, using cutting-edge technologies to deliver training in ways that centre each learner.
Video content, for one, explains complex concepts to visually inclined trainees. Mixed reality devices put workers into immersive simulations. Interactive multimedia in microlearning modules make for fun and digestible training.
The numbers back up these claims. IBM’s The Value of Training report states that learning technology usage leads to average improvements of 19% in staff satisfaction/engagement, 17% in customer satisfaction, and 14% in increased productivity through learning interventions.
8. Improved Employee Retention
When employees feel like their companies either don’t provide them the foundation to succeed at their jobs or give them opportunities to grow, they will leave for greener pastures. In fact, 70% of employees say they are at least somewhat likely to leave their current employer for another that focuses more on employee learning and development.
With eLearning, workers are given access to varied, high quality educational resources that they can use at their own pace. The investment put into online training signals to employees that their leaders care enough to build them up and that they have a future with their company that is worth staying for.
9. Built-in Measuring Tools
Measuring impact is absolutely crucial for any training programme. eLearning makes that process so much more streamlined due to its digital format that can automatically log every action performed through the online training platform.
A good LMS can generate detailed reports that can track anything from course completion rates to evaluation scores. The key advantage with these built-in measuring tools is that it’s also easy to tie data to relevant KPIs.
10. Highly Scalable
Budget constraints greatly limit the scalability of conventional training methods. Whether it’s scheduling multiple sessions in venues or producing physical materials for learners to use, in-person training can be cost-prohibitive if it’s done across different teams and with external partners.
In contrast, eLearning lets even the most budget-conscious businesses scale their training efforts with ease. The technology is software-based and only requires devices that can connect to the Internet, so courses can be deployed en masse at no extra cost.
There are also LMS vendors that offer cloud-based solutions, so there isn’t even any need to install special software or hardware or run any on-site maintenance.
Embrace eLearning Today for Your Business
eLearning is extremely beneficial for both in-house and partner staff development. From cost reduction to process optimisation to growth facilitation, there are plenty of appreciable gains to be made by adopting this leading-edge training methodology for your business. Moreover, eLearning reflects the changing needs of the modern digital workplace and prepares you for the post-pandemic age.
Evolve your training programme today with the help of Wahoo Learning’s total Learning solution. Our powerful customisable and open-source LMS Totara Learn comes with COMPASS, a comprehensive suite of LMS add-ons to expand functionality. Contact our training programme experts to book a demo today.