The Benefits of E-Learning for Employee Training and Development

The National Research Business Institute found that 23 percent of the reason that employees leave their place of employment is due to the lack of development opportunities and training. This obviously affects the costs associated with losing talent, productivity, and recruitment expenses.

“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”  – Henry Ford

The fact that learning and development is still a pressing issue is almost nonsensical. Companies, managers, employees, all have access to unlimited amount of information and can invest in learning management systems to help improve an employees skillset, even management decisions.
The benefits of e-learning for employee training and development are endless, but it’ll have to start with leadership to be proactive in getting a system that can address help employees grow. Here is how it can benefit a company:

Benefits of E-Learning

It’s an uber-competitive job market, and corporations are making the switch from hiring for experience to hiring people with growth mindsets. The reason being is that the world of work is progressing so fast, with all the new system and technologies out there, that it’s important to keep up with the competition.
We, as a society, have truly become a knowledge economy in every sense of the term. The majority of the work that we do is being done is for to incorporate human knowledge into machines. This fact has led to a rise in education tools for enterprises, leading us to have smarter, more innovative employees that are changing industries.
Having a knowledgeable group of employees and managers is a legitimate competitive advantage over other companies. You are embracing a growth mindset as an organization, and you are welcoming the exchange of information and proposal of new ideas; making you a more progressive and forward-thinking organization.
Aside from having a competitive advantage, studies found that companies that invest in training and development had increased employee loyalty. This stems from the employees feeling like the organization is investing in them — this decreases employee turnover and engagement.
The downside? If learning and development aren’t prioritized, employees will feel stagnant, making them feel disengaged. If you’d like to get a deeper understanding of why challenging an employee to learn new things is a good thing, here’s a simplified chart that explains how high skill and high challenge tasks create flow:
Finding flow and mastering new skills is one of the main benefits of focusing on training and development
See, if a person is not being tested, they’ll quickly get bored with their work; employers have the responsibility to assist their employees with developing their skills and give them challenging tasks that allow them to grow as employees and help the company solve complex problems.

How E-Learning Impacts Employee Engagement

Engaged employees drive innovation and push the organization forward. They will be the catalysts for change and help come up with new ideas for the organization.
When you invest in training and e-learning systems for these engaged employees, they’ll be able to improve processes, be more efficient, and obviously use the training to develop their skills, and hopefully, teach their peers.
This small investment pays dividends, as employees become both knowledgeable and happier.

How To Choose an E-Learning Program

Right now several companies offer learning platforms for enterprises.
On average, companies that have learning and development departments tend to spend about $100 a month, per employee, to help train their employees.
Before doing more research, I’d strongly recommend you read this by the folks over at Linkedin, as they make their case for E-Learning:

As far as budgeting goes, it’s worth spending a significant portion of an L&D budget on a learning management tool, but you should make the decision based off of the needs that you’re looking to address.
For employees, you should definitely invest in having e-learning tools that will primarily focus on developing their hard skills and helping them grow as workers.
For managers, it’s important that they focus on soft skills, as their interpersonal skills will be a big factor for the success of their department and their relationship with their employees.

E-learning to Train Employees

Right now, e-learning is being used to work on employees’ hard skills.
Services like Coursera, Skillshare, and hundreds of industry-specific learning tools (think Codeacademy) are being used to help people work on their skills.
When selecting an e-learning tool for an employee, think of their job description, the upcoming challenges that the business will face, and straight up ask your employees if they would be interested in learning the skill.
You can always customize a quick survey to see if there’s a skill or course that would benefit all the employees of a department and have them all take it together.
There are plenty of ways to approach an e-learning selection, but the main thing to do is just ask employees what they would like to learn, and as long as it has potential to help the company and department out, let them have at it.

E-learning to Train Managers

The type of e-learning tools that you should pick for managers should be one that has general management topics, to perfect their soft skills as leaders.
Management is obviously more reliant on soft skills, so teaching managers to handle rough situations and preparing them for the worst is probably best.
For example, Linkedin Learning’s management courses offer content around a wide variety of different management topics.
The next phase of Butterfly is to use artificial intelligence as a coaching tool for managers.
Right now, we serve as a pulse survey tool and have some content being pushed out to managers, but we intend on opening the floodgates and having content sent to managers as certain data trends from the pulse surveys start catching different trends.
Example: If employees, as a whole, are disgruntled and the data around employee happiness is trending downwards, we will proactively send a manager content (based off of the engagement sub driver) that addresses the issue at the office.

E-Learning Could Be The Future Of Executive Coaching

Right now, executive coaching is very niche. Companies hire independent consultants, or coaches, that come in and help executives or high-value employees to help gain self-awareness.
This is usually done through a lot of investigative work, 360-degree feedback, and the coaches act as a therapist of sorts, to find out what is making the executive stressed.
The future of executive coaching will be a bit more proactive than reactive. Instead of having to reach out to consultants to help an executive out, there will be enough data, through pulse surveys and cloud-based 360-degree surveys that’ll enable us to virtually coach high-level executives with content.
Right now, e-learning for executive coaching isn’t widely embraced, but if the success and rise of e-learning for managers and employees are indicative of anything, it’s that the next step of online learning is to teach executives how to run successful, transparent, employee-centric organizations.

Do You Believe in the Benefits of E-learning for Employee Training and Development?

Have you instituted an e-learning system at your office yet? If not, is it something that your company is looking to invest in? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below!