5 Business Challenges You Want to Overcome Today (and How to Fix These With eLearning)
You will be amazed what eLearning does besides presenting content online to your employees. Would you believe it if we said that eLearning would help you solve five of the most pressing business challenges you face today? In fact, we not only say this; we vouch for our claims.
Learn about the most common challenges companies face today and how eLearning fixes them:
1) Retaining Top Talent
It is a common misconception that the HR department main task is to hire new talent. However, the reality is that trying to retain the talent they have hired is what keeps HR folks up at nights.
In a competitive world of business, organizations are always vying with each other to attract the best talent. If you do not hold on to your talent pool, you might lose them to your competitors. Not being able to keep the talent you have hired also proves to be expensive. The cost of onboarding is on an average $4,000 per employee. So, if you are not able to stall employee attrition in your company, the expenses will eat into your profits.
The Solution: Provide attractive and plenty learning offerings to quench the employee’s hunger for knowledge.
According to research, an organizational learning culture is a primary criterion for employees when they choose companies to work for. Existing employees too, decide if they want to stick around with their present jobs based on the learning opportunities they are provided at the workplace.
Millennial workers are hungry for knowledge because they realize they have to keep learning if they have to remain relevant in the job market and advance up the career ladder. In response to this, HR departments have to create continuous learning opportunities for employees to entice them to stay on.
According to an ILX Group study, 51 percent of the 100 HR decision-makers surveyed reported increase in employee morale as the primary reason for conducting training sessions.
eLearning is a cost-effective training method that allows your company to create a sustainable learning culture in your organization. Here’s why:
- Engaging & Interactive training. Millennial learners are digital natives. They were bred on a diet of Internet and XBox, and they expect the content they consume to provide the same level of engagement and accessibility as a video game or a YouTube video does. Through eLearning, you can provide highly-interactive training content that is available on demand to woo learners. For instance, create short training videos that you can deliver to the learners’ hand-held mobile devices. Also, ensure that you create relevant training modules that address the knowledge and skill gaps of the learners.
- It’s social. Digital learning lets you incorporate the “social” into the learning process. Learners can interact with each other on forums and chat rooms and share ideas and information on blogs and through wikis. Social collaboration drives up engagement, enforces accountability to the learning process, and spurs commitment. As a fringe benefit, social learning also improves employee relationships.
- Empowers learners. Adult learners crave autonomy in whatever they do in life. Their learning journey is no different. Digital learning lets them choose the courses they want to take, and how to pace the journey. For instance, give employees the chance to learn cross-functional skills and diversify their skillset. You can take cues from the learning strategy at Lyft, a ride-sharing service. The Lyft University program lets marketers take coding lessons while engineers can learn project management. When your employee feels they are in control of the learning process, they are more motivated to learn.
2) Bridging the Knowledge/Skills Gap
You have hired only the best talent for your organization, and you expect them to create an impact on your business bottom line. They are the “experts” who have built up a formidable repertoire of skills through a combination of formal training, practical experience, and hands-on practice.
But you must realize that in recent times, job roles are in a state of constant flux. Skilled workers can no longer rest easy believing that they “know” what it takes to do their jobs. They have to wear many hats, keep learning, and take up new roles and responsibilities. So coders are expected to be well-versed in cloud computing while health-care workers should not only keep up with changing technology but also possess critical and lateral thinking abilities.
It is not surprising that not many organizations even realize that they have hidden knowledge gaps that affect its bottom line by:
- Reducing employee productivity
- Increasing the cost of overtime
- Decreasing product quality
- Inhibiting an employee or a team’s ability to meet deadlines
- Hampering the ability to make the right decisions at the right time
- Hampering the ability to respond to dynamic market conditions
- Hampering the ability to seize or make the most of profitable opportunities
The Solution: Make workplace learning an ongoing journey.
Organizations have to keep innovating and diversifying their product and services mix to stay a step ahead of the competition. The need of the hour is to create a sustainable culture of continuous learning where knowledge is available to the fingertips and learners are motivated to seek out information.
Here’s how you can create an organizational culture of learning:
- Provide opportunities to reinforce the learning. Repetition aids learning by cementing the knowledge in the minds of the learners. With eLearning, you can reinforce the content through practice activities that learners can perform at their jobs and even take refresher courses. This ensures there is a seamless and the most optimal transfer of knowledge from the desk to the job.
- Offer updated content ALWAYS. Digital learning lets you roll out updates to courses or launch micro-learning modules at a fraction of the cost and effort needed to organize a classroom training session. You can thus keep your employees up-to-date on industry developments. When learners know they can take a short course anywhere and at any time, they are more motivated to learn.
- Put in place a concrete learning strategy. Creating a course is not an afterthought. You don’t put together a course hastily and hope that learners will not nod off in the middle of it. To optimize your eLearning efforts and investment, you must have in place a detailed learning strategy that identifies three to five core skill gaps that you want to address in your course. Your eLearning plan must also lay out the types of assessment and practice activities that you will want to incorporate in the course. Having a concrete learning strategy ensures your course is focused.
3) Making Management Training Effective
Most management training fails to bring about lasting and significant behavioral changes in learners. Learners pick up skills and learn how to change destructive thought and behavioral patterns during the training, but once they are back to work, they lapse into their old ways of thinking and doing things.
The current management training scenario poses the following problems:
- The training is extensive and can feel tedious. A single program may run for multiple days so that the cumulative training period can run for weeks and months.
- Training time eats into work hours as employees are kept away from their jobs.
- Management training can be costly and proves to be prohibitively expensive for many small- and mid-sized businesses that may need to train several leaders.
- Training is not optimal as employees cannot revisit what they have learned, especially after they have had the opportunity to apply the knowledge at work. The instructors are around only for the duration of the training session.
- The training sessions are not evaluated for effectiveness. There is usually no system in place to gather learner feedback and tweak the training, if necessary.
The Solution: Create crisp and relevant online training programs.
Your managers are busy people. Respect their time and create online training programs that do not tax them mentally or physically. Here are some tips:
- Create short eLearning modules that run no longer than half-a-day. Incorporate a 10-minute follow-up session for each day’s training.
- Provide opportunities for learners to work through their workplace problems within the ambit of the training. Because your learners are managers (or aspire to be), include role-playing activities. Design other activities where learners can figure out the solutions to their real-life workplace problems and take the knowledge back with them to their jobs.
- Incorporate mobile refresher courses in the training calendar. Repetition cements the learning in the minds of the learners.
4) Ensuring Workplace Productivity
There is no factor more powerful than employee productivity in determining your company’s bottom line. It is crucial to figure out why productivity is low—lack of resources, inefficient work practices, knowledge gap, or for any other reason—to keep your business running and profiting.
Embracing eLearning helps you enhance employee productivity in several ways (you will be amazed how). Here’s how digital learning improves employee productivity:
- By facilitating the training and development process: eLearning makes it easy to train your employees in new skills and knowledge. This bridges any existing knowledge gap that may have been hampering productivity. Productivity also increases because employees can retake a course and practice their skills. Additionally, employees are motivated to take up new projects where they can apply their newly-acquired knowledge and showcase their skills.
- By providing easy access to information: Digital learning resources stored and archived in your company database provides easy access to information. Employees no longer have to hunt around the internet for information. There is a fringe benefit as well. The less time an employee spends on Internet, the less he is distracted.
- By adding flexibility to the learning process: Digital learning makes it possible for your employees to access information whenever they want, wherever they are, and whatever the device they are on. Employees can take courses during lunch hours, at home, over the weekend, or while they are vacationing. Digital learning ensures training does not have to take place at the expense of crucial project work. This is a definite advantage over a pre-scheduled face-to-face training session that cannot be rescheduled because the trainer’s time is already reserved and paid for and the classroom resources have been arranged.
- By facilitating on-demand training: In an age where employees always have to be on top of their skills, only eLearning lets you deliver new and relevant information to them just when they need it. You can easily and cost-effectively update existing learning modules and upload them to the server. Learners can easily access the information on the go. There is no need to wait around for a trainer or arrange a classroom training session.
- By bringing clarity to job roles and responsibilities: When employees are certain about what they are expected to do at the workplace, they are more productive. Training gives employees the confidence to perform at the workplace. After going through a course, taking the assessments, and performing the activities, employees are certain they cannot falter at their jobs.
- By enabling employees to grow professionally: Countless research studies suggest there is a positive correlation between training and employee productivity. When you help employees advance up the career ladder by enhancing their skill set, you make them feel valued. They are more motivated to perform at the workplace. They are more engaged with their jobs, and this works well for your company’s bottom line.
5) Enhancing Sales Force Performance
Here’s the harsh truth: huge sales teams and lofty sales goals do not translate into increased revenues if your sales personnel are not scaling the processes according to customer needs and market demands; using the tools available to them efficiently, and implementing the best practices.
These are costly oversights because (according to Aberdeen research)
- You invest almost $30,000 per person over a period of 7 months.
- Sales personnel spend 30 percent of their working hours searching for relevant content.
- Sales representatives forget almost 87 percent of the content within weeks of learning.
- They do not use 70 percent of the marketing content you create for them.
- About 55 percent of all sales reps do not have the skills and knowledge to succeed in their jobs.
These figures are disturbing because they lay bare the fact that your training efforts are largely being wasted. Does this mean that you don’t invest in training newly-hired sales reps anymore?
Content influences the outcome of about 95 percent of all B2B sales deals. Having relevant information up their sleeves helps sales reps clinch deals. On the other hand, sales personnel who do not keep up with the latest developments in the industry fail to impress and convince customers and as a result, lose deals. According to research data, the right training when delivered consistently increases net sales per sales rep by almost 50 percent. Investing in the right training tools can also reduce ramp-up time by at least 30-40 percent, so the new hires can start being productive right away.
The Solution: Provide mobile learning courses.
To stay afloat in a competitive world, your organization has to innovate and provide new products and/or services regularly. As a result, your sales team needs to be on top of these developments; they should be able to quote numbers blindfolded and rattle off features and benefits at will. You have to provide continuous training, so your sales reps are never caught unaware.
The need of the hour is to create and provide mobile, on-demand training. Here are some tips on how you can successfully create a culture of on-demand training:
- Embrace micro-learning that will let you roll out mini learning modules cost-effectively and quickly, every time you launch a new product.
- Adopt mobile learning that will let you deliver content to learners even when they are on the move. Sales people are often on the move; they may be on the shop floor or moving around town calling on clients. They should be able to access information on their hand-held mobile devices. Read more: Mobile Learning Stats that Will Make You Rethink Your Training Strategy
- Make content easily accessible, so learners don’t have to waste time looking for content before a critical sales call or a client meeting. Create a database of resources and let your sales reps know how they can access and navigate it.
- Make content searchable. Group similar content. Add relevant tags and keywords.
- Consider sending alerts to sales reps to let them know when updated information is available. This spares learners the hassles of always having to check if you have updated information.
- Speed up the course development process by repurposing content from existing classroom training sessions.
As a key decision-maker in your organization, you have a tough job. Being able to take on the business challenges head on and overcome is key to your organization’s survival. You can no longer ignore the potent business force eLearning is. Embrace eLearning as a business strategy that will harness long-term benefits for your organization.