The Benefits of E-Learning: An Introduction

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Why should you care about e-learning? Is it just a way to tick the box on the project plan that says “User training”? Or will it have a larger, or even far-reaching impact on your company? Will e-learning overturn your existing training strategy and method for employees?

In an age where software is penetrating every corner of the enterprise and every job function. It is critical to ensure every employee is able to get the most from the software that they need for their role. Major investments are made in software licences. Not to mention the supporting services and equipment needed. With the intent of delivering on a business benefit associated with the software application. Yet, we find that the employee training element becomes neglected, almost an afterthought. This can become either a major barrier to adoption of the software.  Or it can cause a large amount of work for the project team pulling out all the stops to close the training gap.  On why training is often neglected that we will cover in a future blog, we don’t have the time to cover that here.

At Bright Affect we see that e-learning is key to closing the employee training gap. Providing knowledge on demand and in context. Opening up software adoption to a much broader base of users. Reducing the time to the business benefits they expected from the software investment.

A focus on costs and budgeting can lead companies to miss out on many of the benefits of e-learning. In this blog series, we will look in greater detail at these benefits. Also how they can deliver strategic advantage to the enterprise and the IT department. We will use research and case examples to support this discussion.

With e-learning often it is difficult to cost many of the benefits a company will see by using the technique. Often the focus of the business case for e-learning is focused purely on the cost advantages. Efficiently delivering learning content via the Web and other tools.  This reflects the status of training in many organisations.  Seen as a burden cost that needs to be minimised, rather than as an enabler of strategic business advantage. This view appears to be changing as business environments are becoming more complex and change more rapidly.  Also as IT systems themselves are becoming ever more business critical. One key driver of this change of heart is that more modern training techniques can deliver a bigger impact. As retained knowledge and change employee behaviour can be achieved at a lower cost.

Classroom training has been the major constituent of traditional learning and development approaches. This has never been the ideal method for delivering complex IT training to employee’s who do not have an IT background. Day-long training sessions, are not conducive to the retention of knowledge and supporting the employee in the conduct of their role. We will cover knowledge retention in a future Blog. But this will come as no surprise to many of us who have sat through the “Death by Powerpoint” experience. Today employees have become familiar with the consumer IT experience.  Using App’s on their mobile phones or PC’s. They have become familiar with the easy onboarding processes that come with the popular internet services. There is much we can learn from these mass-market consumer applications. As we will see.

There is a danger that a singular focus on cost. Doing what we do now but doing it more cheaply. Will result in missing potential benefits that the latest learning techniques can deliver. Doing what couldn’t be done before gets overlooked.

Saving money and reducing unnecessary cost is obviously of value to a company. Yet, if anything this is one of the lowest value benefits e-learning can deliver. As you can see below there are many benefits that have a large strategic impact on the company and company performance.

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Today a company’s performance is reliant on its intellectual capital. The intellectual capital is the sum of the skills and knowledge of the workforce. Keeping this knowledge current is a growing challenge. E-learning can meet this growing demand. It can aid your company by connecting employee’s and building learning networks. Where information and BKM sharing is a natural part of the business process and a key part of maintaining a competitive advantage.


In the next blog in this series, we will take a closer look at how e-learning can reduce the cost of your training delivery and help your employees learning more rapidly.

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