What is eLearning, and why is it such an important consideration for HR?
In today's world of work, HR is under increased pressure not only to attract new talent but to nurture existing employees with upskilling and professional development through strategic learning and development initiatives. eLearning provides both the platform and the resources for HR to achieve this.
What is eLearning?
In 1999 Elliot Masie, an educational technology expert who discussed the benefits of eLearning and its capability to provide any type of learning at the US TechLearn Conference, defined eLearning as the "use of network technology to design, deliver, select, administer, and extend learning".
In today's digital world, eLearning is relied upon in multiple industries and seniority levels, including many forms of employment. eLearning stands for electronic learning and encompasses all forms of education undertaken on a digital platform. However, the delivery of such education can come in many forms.
As a Learning & Development (L&D) program, eLearning is a great resource to deploy in any business for both the staff and the company as a whole. Adopting and integrating an eLearning system is relatively simple. In addition, it creates a host of opportunities for personal and professional development among employees working in the long term to increase productivity and drive growth.
Why has eLearning been embraced?
Non-traditional methods of education have always been present, with distance learning via correspondence first seen in the 18th Century. However, in today's digital market and with the increasing trend to remote and hybrid working patterns, non-traditional methods of learning have now mostly relocated online with self-paced online courses, Instructor Led Training (ILT) and blended learning approaches.
How can eLearning be delivered?
eLearning in businesses is most efficient when delivered and managed through a Learning Management System (LMS), which enables you, as a business or HR department, to amend, adjust, and implement specific training courses that suit your employees and their needs. A cloud-based learning management system, such as that provided by TalentLMS, is the default platform for eLearning, as such systems allow you to create, manage, monitor, and tailor courses to the individual employees' needs, in addition to tracking progress.
Why is eLearning beneficial to employees?
One of the major benefits eLearning offers employees and, subsequently, their employers is the opportunity to undertake training flexibly. With consistent access to the learning management system, learners can opt into courses at a time that suits them. This enables them to learn when they feel they have the availability and mental capacity for it, without being in a position where learning is thrust upon them. Microlearning, which incorporates relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities, is ideal for professional development in the millennial age group. In addition, using repetition and breaking information down into manageable snippets accesses the learner's memory more efficiently, ensuring information retention is high and learning is enjoyable. According to the latest statistics, eLearning increases information retention rates by up to 60%, compared to 8-10% for traditional learning.
Different learning styles
Each online course can be tailored specifically to the learner's needs and requirements, a vital consideration when 30-40% of the current population is considered neurodiverse, and inclusivity is becoming a defining and deal-breaking feature of any business. In fact, 77% of Gen Z state it is important to work somewhere that cares about inclusion. eLearning provides opportunities for re-styling specific modules for those who need increased accessibility. For example, changing colour themes, font size and type, and screen colour can help to support a range of neurodiverse needs. Not only is the physical presentation of the module amendable, but the inclusion of learning tools such as videos and quizzes resonates with visual and interactive learners, ensuring the process is effective for all types of learners.
The benefits for the employer
When utilising eLearning for your employees, HR can easily support the professional development of their employees, whether new starters or seasoned professionals. E-Student reports that 58% of employees prefer self-paced learning over instructor-led learning. Combined with the statistic that 94% of employees state they would be willing to stay in corporations that prioritise investment into an employee's career, and in turn, opting to utilise eLearning is important in keeping employees happy and feeling fulfilled in their professional careers.
Including eLearning within your traditional development and learning package sets your business at an advantage. According to Educational Author Anastasija Dojchinovska, 72% of companies believe that eLearning is responsible for keeping them ahead of their competitors. In the current 'candidate drought' the UK finds itself in, finding the very best candidates is key, and the opportunities for quick and easy development in their career is an attractive benefit for a potential employee.
Time and resource saving
Traditional learning methods are known to take both time and resources, from the cost of instructors to the hire of learning spaces. Online methods negate the need for both of these, as while resource intensive to begin with, once set up, the eLearning system continues to run without draining the company's resources. With 42% of companies and organisations seeing an increase in earnings as a result of implementing online learning, adoption is bound to deliver long-term results.
Whether for professional career development or onboarding new members of staff, eLearning is an endless resource that provides ample benefits to the employer. One of the most significant advantages is employee satisfaction and retention. When confronted with training, the employee wants to feel valued within the company, and such personalised learning can help portray this. As stated by Jeff Freyermuth in Gartner's 3 Ways Personalisation can Improve the Employee Experience, "the traditional, one-size-fits-all approach to [learning and development] will no longer cut it in the new work environment". The more valued each employer feels, the more motivated they are to give back to the company, and the more success the company will see in the long term. The leading benefit eLearning provides is the care and investment shown in each employee, which fosters a great working relationship.
At Tugela People, our eLearning consultancy service provides your business with a complete solution for your learning needs. Whether onboarding new staff members or providing career developing training to existing employees, utilising eLearning offers numerous benefits for your business, from increased workflow and output to a positive and open working environment. We partner with TalentLMS, which can be easily integrated within your HR system, to provide clients with a solution that matches their positive business goals and to help reinforce eLearning development within businesses. For more on the eLearning service we provide, get in touch on +44(0) 1908 030360 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please complete our online contact form, and a member of our team will be in touch.