According to the 2019 L&D Report put together by findcourses.co.uk, more than a quarter of all training now takes place online. This is a figure that is on the rise. More and more organizations are utilizing e-learning and taking their training online. Yet the 2019 Report also shows that many employees are still more comfortable with face-to-face training. Even in an ever more digitized world, the human touch is still preferable.
So, why is this? And how can your organization overcome this in its e-learning strategy? First of all, it is important to talk about what constitutes good e-learning – and what does not.
What is good e-learning?
E-learning, at its most basic level, simply refers to online courses and training programs. In fact, anything that is both educational and online can constitute e-learning. Poorer e-learning has employees sitting in front of screens, clicking through information sheets and questions ad infinitum. But good e-learning is continually moving and updating with the times. Great e-learning utilizes the very latest, cutting edge learning technologies. This distinction should be at the very heart of your business’s e-learning strategy.
As more and more training is going online, it must be engaging so that it upskills employees and ensures professional development at the same level as face-to-face training. This is particularly important during the current Covid-19 pandemic, as more and more people have to work remotely or in distanced environments.
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This brings us to the next potential issue with e-learning: how can your employees come to enjoy it as much as face-to-face training?
Building an e-learning strategy that works
If you want to build an e-learning strategy that truly works and is exciting and enticing to your employees, then it needs to be interactive, it needs to be engaging and, above all, it needs to have a human touch.
Interactive videos that feature trainers with open, positive demeanors who use active language are the most engaging to employees. Bright, interactive, cleanly-built platforms and portals are also engaging.
Interactivity is key to a great e-learning experience for your employees. It has to be stimulating and enjoyable. If there is a human feeling to your e-learning resources then it could well close the gap between the perceived usefulness of online training vs. face-to-face training in the eyes of employees.
But a great e-learning strategy also requires coordination – and that requires excellent planning. Ensuring that all of your team goes through e-learning at the same time and at the same pace can help cohesion as much as face-to-face training. Your team can work through the training together, some platforms even allow group training.
Doing this means that they can discuss and digest what they have learned while it is still fresh in their minds. This sort of unofficial collective brainstorming is what usually happens straight after face-to-face training. A good, interactive, coordinated e-learning strategy can replicate that in the digital world. But how do you organize what would otherwise be natural interactions?
Organizing your e-learning strategy
Organizing a team with online-only tools and resources is not easy. But there are some great tools out there. Asana, Google Calendar, and Monday.com are all good ways of organizing your team virtually. Once you have a great tool up and running and your team is signed up to it, you can begin to coordinate training.
Start with a trial run. Choose a short course and see how things go. A simple course in, for example, Microsoft Excel or communication skills generally takes a couple of hours. This would make a good trial run. Thereafter, ask your team for feedback. See what they have learned, what they enjoyed, and what could be improved upon.
Once you have e-learning running smoothly in your organization, you can then commence more large-scale, complex e-learning. Remember, great e-learning can help make your team a more cohesive unit. Doing this can not only upskill your team but can also aid business growth and strengthen your market position.
The key points
E-learning is becoming ever more common. Due to the pandemic, it is only set to become more so. A good e-learning strategy is educational; a great e-learning strategy aids personal development and helps your team and organization move forward. But the fact remains that employees still prefer face-to-face training.
Great online organization, a fantastic, interactive e-learning platform, and simultaneous training for all of your employees can help ensure that your team gets as much from e-learning as they do from face-to-face training.
Remember, a good, upskilled team, with professional development at the heart of its dynamics, is a team that can aid organizational growth and strengthen your business in the longer term.
Luke Sandford is a writer and content producer at Educations Media Group. He has written for several outlets and has worked as an English teacher, both at home and abroad. Luke’s passion for travelling and experiencing new cultures directly impacts his work as he seeks to create engaging, informative and useful content for a wide audience.