As organizations adjust to a new normal caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a spotlight is shining on the benefits of eLearning and online training for employees. The practice of using learning management systems (LMS) to train employees has been gaining popularity in recent years, and the trend will likely gain even more momentum.
Better Results with eLearning
In 2017, research showed that nearly 77% of U.S. companies were incorporating some type of eLearning into their employee training programs. Elearning solutions offer consistency, scalability, and flexibility – no matter your location in the world – and companies save time and money training employees through eLearning.
Additionally, the Research Institute of America estimates employees who participate in online training will have a 60% increase in learning. The studies indicate eLearning participants can learn up to five times more material without increasing time spent in training.
Using eLearning for Important HR Functions
Consider how eLearning can be used to increase the reach, scalability and success rate of your HR and benefits function. Take benefits enrollment, for example. Each year, companies that offer health care benefits go through the process of annual enrollment, communicating changes to employees and holding employee meetings. For those companies – especially those with multiple locations – these meetings require logistical planning. And after the meetings? Follow up questions flood the human resources and benefits teams. It’s a labor-intensive process, and an LMS may provide some relief.
Imagine instead that benefits enrollment information is presented through an online training module that includes content, quizzes and other features that reinforce employee education and understanding of the key messages. And, as long as employees can connect to the online training from home, they can share the presentations with their spouse or a family member who helps with benefits decision-making. They can revisit the training module as often as needed.
The opportunities for eLearning and online training within organizations are numerous: new hire onboarding, employee or manager training, sales training, etc. Elearning increases the breadth and reach of any HR and benefits function, without increasing staff.
Deliver Consistent Messages Across the Organization
One of the key advantages to eLearning is consistent messaging. Online training programs can be developed for specific groups of employees, allowing organizations to consistently deliver information based on an employee’s job, role, location, or other demographic. Trucking companies and retail corporations, for example, are seeing the benefits of eLearning. With access to the internet through a laptop or mobile device, employees can log in and connect to the information that traditionally would have been delivered through an onsite meeting, conference call, web conference, or printed piece. Employees can complete online training courses according to their schedules.
With the LMS tracking participation, the organization will be provided a list of employees who haven’t completed the training, so that reminders can be sent.
Secure and Flexible Administration
Users, roles, and permissions represent the most basic concepts in computer security. Nearly all LMS have these features, although to different degrees. “Users” is the term used for the group of people that should be able to access an online system. “Roles and permissions” refer to the various system administrator roles ranging from those with full access rights to other roles which may be limited by job, location or other demographic. Depending on the permissions granted to the user by the administrator, each user will have access only to the sections of the LMS that pertain to their particular job or situation. User logins are required to access the LMS and are typically managed by the corporate LMS administrator. Many LMS also have a single sign on (SSO) feature.
Regardless of whether employees are accessing the online LMS while at work or at home, the employees will be required to use their unique login. And, some organizations limit LMS access to be available only while in the work place.
Implementing an LMS
With all of the benefits that an LMS offers, why isn’t every organization taking advantage of eLearning and training? Some may not be aware of the availability of these training solutions, while others are skeptical of the costs involved and level of technical expertise required. And then there is the development of the content that makes up the learning module. Who is going to develop that?
These objections to moving to an LMS can be overcome. There are LMS configurations for nearly every budget, and a simple cost/benefit analysis can show an estimated return on investment. Cloud-based systems are relatively easy to implement and administer. And the content development and management of the system can be, and is often, outsourced.
Published April 13, 2020
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