The ASTD or the American Society for Training and Development surveyed 2500 firms. They had found that firms conducting comprehensive training get 218% higher revenue and savings per employee. The question has rarely been if training works? It’s, almost always, been, how can we train better, more efficiently, faster, and so on. This is where organizations have turned to eLearning. eLearning improves access to training, provides context, and reduces costs. This is in addition to benefits like an increase in productivity, better employee engagement, and fewer errors. The advent of technology and its incessant growth has transformed how US organizations recruit, analyze, work, educate, and train staff.

But, this blog is for those out there who have yet to embrace eLearning. This post identifies 4 signs from the world at large, 4 omens that must portend the inevitable arrival of eLearning.

  1. Technology explosion – In early 2008, 3 million iPhone devices were used all across the globe. In 2013 December, more than 400 million iPhones and 1 billion smartphones were shipped to customers worldwide. Cloud Computing has equally convincing data. From $41 billion in 2011 to $241 billion in 2020, Cloud Computing is following through on its promise to change the face of Technology and business. Surveys from names like Deloitte and MIT indicate that more than 90% of firms will be digitally transformed in the next few years. Most humans now spend more time online in their waking day than they do offline. This means that technology is helping organizations do more, in less time, at reduced costs, and with greater impact. Corporate training must similarly leverage the power of technology. This must mean a turn to eLearning.
  2. Demographic shifts in the workforce –The global workforce includes people from all age groups. But, the percentage of millennials is higher and expected to reach 75% of the total worldwide by 2025. That apart, the Baby boomers, for work satisfaction and due to financial constraints, are refusing to retire and are trying to extend their working years. These two trends in demography have produced a workforce with a wide spread of ages and experiences. This has created communication, collaboration, and skill gaps that require efficient and quick addressing. If you are facing these demographic shifts in the workforce then it’s time to adopt eLearning for more personal, contextual, and accessible training.
  3. Rising employee expectations – It’s a competitive market out there for talent. The most capable and the most promising employees out there want their organizations to make a greater effort for them. They want support to do their jobs well. They demand enablement, they value engagement, and they want to perform -all they ask is their organizations give them the ammunition to do so. The best way to draw the most out of the capabilities of the talent is to provide them with the information and training they need -when they need it. This is a case for eLearning for sure.
  4. A scarcity of specialized skills – Most will agree that in a challenging business environment, the key need of any organization is to build the capability of their workforce. This means recruiting the right people, training them in the skills that they lack, motivating them to perform, and keeping them engaged as they go about their job. The modern workplace demands some key new skills. Skills in mobile computing, software engineering, big data analytics, advanced manufacturing, and automation are among those required across verticals. Organizations are struggling to meet the skill demand. Projections are of a shortage of more than 35 million educated and skilled workers by 2020. Clearly, an organization capable of employing, retaining, and developing a high-performing workforce, with such specialized skills, will outperform its competitors- and isn’t that where eLearning should play a starring role?

Globally organizations of all sizes now believe that retention and engagement of employees are among their top priorities. Employers worldwide are doing everything they can to motivate employees to perform to the best of their capability. Most managers know that employees want to learn, and they want to widen their skillsets. The business case is strong, the enabling factors are in place, and the benefits are there to be had -the question is, when will your organization adopt eLearning?

The internet has fundamentally impacted how we live and work. Unsurprisingly, it has impacted the training industry as well. Organizations have also experienced a shift in the way knowledge dissemination happens. Add the rapid growth of the millennial population in the workforce and the old (training) dog has no choice but to learn new tricks.

The rise of eLearning has been a response to the changing dynamics of the training landscape. Today, eLearning has become a mainstay in the enterprise landscape. An increasing number of learning and development initiatives are adopting this training method. After all, the skills of the workforce need to evolve with the speed of business today. Thus, training initiatives have to move at the same pace rather than just address the needs that were relevant yesterday.

Businesses today are not just looking at training as a basic onboarding activity. Training is a core component of their employee engagement strategy and a medium to equip their staff with core competencies and technical skills that align with the company’s business goals. Employees are being valued as assets and enterprises are developing a culture of continuous learning. This shift has taken place primarily because of the constant evolution in business dynamics, evolving technologies, and an ever-developing market. In such an environment relying solely on classroom training is a huge drain on resource time and can be a logistical nightmare to manage as well.

The classroom to catalog shift, and the disruption

The inevitable shift towards eLearning has been a welcome change in the training landscape. Training, that was initially looked upon primarily as a cost center, has been able to deliver greater value to re-skill or upskill a workforce. It provided an easier and a more cost-effective way to enable learning without disrupting the daily workloads of the employees. This made training a tangible commitment to enable continuous learning of employees.

Classroom-only training companies have already realized the eLearning advantage and keeping in step with the speed of technological change have evolved. Today, we are witnessing the transformation of these companies as they reinvent themselves as catalog companies with a stream of ready courses available online. These courses cover a wide gamut of topics from business skill upgradation to technological advancements. These courses give a high-level understanding of the topic under discussion and help the users meet their target objectives without compromising on their time at work.

Sometime in 2015, LinkedIn acquired, an online education company with a vision to create “economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, which is north of 3 billion people.” Now along with searching for jobs on LinkedIn, the users of this social platforms could also gain an insight into courses that would make them more employable and skilled at landing that dream job. Lynda, as an established online training company, had set a high bar for authors contributing to its courses. It ensured that all the information was presented was disseminated in a clear and understandable manner. The marriage with LinkedIn was almost made in heaven.

This marriage had disrupted training companies and has compelled them to rethink their training strategies. The truth is, there is now a wealth of information available on this platform. It now serves as a go-to source for learning for everything -from software to business issues. LinkedIn users are able to use this platform to re-skill and upskill and get certified or re-certified according to their need. When you talk of value, LinkedIn clearly gave its users the whole nine yards.

Personalization and customization – the silver bullet in the training landscape

That being said, when it comes to a business environment, the learning needs are more specific to each company, its ethos, thought process, and business goals. While much of the basic information regarding a particular subject may be available on Lynda, we need greater customization when we need to dive deeper into the details.

Also, it is now important to assess the learning needs and learning styles of each individual learner. Personalization and customization become important contributors to learning success here, especially with the millennial workforce who are geared to expect customization as a norm. Leveraging latest technology like VR, employing elements like gamification, creating courses in easily digestible chunks, providing the option to pace the course according to individual needs, creating built-in tests to confirm information absorption, using data to assess learning gaps, and providing the option to revisit problem subjects that catalog courses often do not offer. This is where customized eLearning becomes key.

Options like Lynda are a great way to get informed about and gain high-level knowledge of basic courses. For example, Lynda can be used to understand what the cloud is. However, if an organization is using the cloud to create a specific business solution to solve a particular business problem, then creating a comprehensive course on the cloud, its applications and the workings that are specific to the business objective will be more useful. Compliance training is another such example.

In Conclusion – Blended Learning may be the way ahead.

While eLearning is opening up a wealth of knowledge, there are certain aspects of training more suited to a classroom. The manufacturing sector, for example, has high and diverse training needs. They hire in big numbers and there is also a wave of technological change that this industry is experiencing. For industries such as this, where you have large numbers to train, have complexities in roles and services, and have specific needs to address, adopting a blended learning approach – one that amalgamates classroom and online training, works best. While the basic training can be online leveraging eLearning and mobile learning, the more specific part of the training that needs a more hands-on approach with tools and machines could be done in the classroom. The result? A better-trained staff, greater knowledge retention, lower downtime, and training cost optimization – this is what a match made in heaven really looks like.

Creating an eLearning course that engages your learners ensuring your organization is able to achieve the most out of its training activities is a scientific process. A team of instructional designers from eNyota study your unique business needs in detail before developing mockups, plans, and initial drafts to ensure you are pleased with the end-outcome before the actual development. You can reach out to us with you query at with your needs or click on the link and fill a form in order for us to get in touch with you.