Why e-learning is the most (financially) sustainable learning method in 2017

Here’s the truth: your employees want training. One of the biggest reasons for turnover in the workplace is a lack of training and development. Employees are 42% more likely to stay at a job when they’ve received the appropriate training.

In-person, instructor-led corporate training has been regarded as the holy grail in the corporate world; it’s been considered the most impactful and sought after development opportunity in one’s career. This in-person training can come in the form of an in-house workshop, seminar, or attending an external conference or course.

But this doesn’t scale to a global employee base, and comes with many practical limitations. It begs the question: is there another (more sustainable) way to deliver employee training and development?

First, let’s take a look at what the traditional corporate training model looks like.

Insert the “train-the-trainer” model here: one expert trainer teaches other employees the content and how to deliver it to their teams.

This initial training is usually done in-person (or through large-scale conference calls) and then the newly trained employees take it to their teams in-person.

The time required for these roll outs is lengthy (read: costly) and this model has both a capacity constraint – one expert trainer can only train so many people at one time while still being effective – and a clarity constraint – the messaging gets diluted as training goes through the game of telephone tag.

As an improvement to “train the trainer,” we say “fly everyone in for a training session or conference.” Keep the expert trainer and just bring in more people for a one-shot session.

Let’s consider the numbers here.  In 2015, US total corporate training expenditure was an estimated $70.6 billion. Of that, expenditures including travel, facilities, and equipment totaled $28.7 billion – a number that has doubled since 2014. These expenses include your flights, hotel rooms, rented AV equipment, room rental costs, and more. That means 41% of your training budget is going to the logistics of creating the training.

Now, what happens when

…someone is hired the week after your live training?

…or someone gets promoted to being a manager the month after you lead that highly impactful training session?

…or when that high potential you wanted to train comes back from their vacation, ready to learn what they missed?

…or when you open up a new office that just doubled your travel costs?

Those costs that were considered “one-time” are incurred again (and again, and again) at another date. The logistics need to be re-created, the trainer refreshed, the handouts re-printed…the list goes on.

In 2015, training department payroll decreased over 20% year over year – leaving less trainers to still serve a growing employee base. This usually means changing the scope of the training department as well because three trainers don’t have the same capacity as seven trainers. Something from the original training curriculum has to go.

Enter e-learning.

It provides a repeatable curriculum that is accessible from anywhere, and it can eliminate the constraints holding your people’s development back. Here’s what you get:

More consistency with less training staff

A digital learning experience acts as that expert trainer that is better able to deliver consistent training better than any human ever could. Goodbye to the train-the-trainer model. As long as your employee base has an internet connection, they have the expert trainer in their pocket or at their desk.

Delivery when the learner is ready and available

A corporate learning schedule often doesn’t account for vacations, parental leaves, promotions, or those big project deadlines. Having an online learning experience means that training can be delivered when the learner is ready – rather than when the training department is ready. Control is put in the hands of the learner.

Need a refresher? No problem!

Missed a session or need to refresh yourself on the content that was covered? Instead of trying to reschedule a live training – which is often a logistical nightmare or a very delayed experience – e-learning gives you the information at the click of a button. It’s there when you need it.

Forgo the $28 billion expenditure!

This is huge. Have your team in New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Berlin, and Toronto all experience the same training program without incurring any of the travel expenses. Elearning cuts out the superfluous costs associated with traditional corporate training.  

Not only is e-learning more financially sustainable, it’s also more environmentally sustainable

There’s no need to print out more handouts (eliminate the paper waste since everything is digital) or create a larger carbon footprint through plane and car emissions. Mama Nature says thanks for investing in e-learning too.

When all these factors are taken into consideration, the answer seems pretty obvious. Consistency in the learning experience, on-time and on-demand delivery, an incredible reduction of peripheral training costs, and being the more environmentally-conscious option all make elearning the best (and most sustainable) training for your people and your bottom line.

So what’s holding you back?

Meet Matt. He is bold. He is always up for the adventure. He is your biggest fan.

Manager Training
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