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There is always a significant debate over the best method of learning for employees. Do people learn better in a face-to-face setting, such as classroom-based, facilitated training? Or do they prefer online learning activities? Well, there will probably never be a definitive answer for this because people have different learning styles.
Some prefer to have information fed to them, while others like to take their time and learn at their own pace. In that sense, there is certainly value in all types of training, depending on a person’s preference. But which is more effective? Let’s take a look at some of the ways e-Learning is more effective than face-to-face learning.
Higher rate of information retention
Have you ever scheduled a half-day or even full-day training for your staff? Whether it’s at your workplace with in-house trainers or at an external venue with a training provider, the fact is, these sessions are longer. The longer the course, the more difficult it becomes to hold people’s attention, no matter how engaging your content is.
In long, classroom-based training courses, it is so easy for people to become distracted or let their minds wander. However, e-Learning courses in Australia are typically much shorter. They may be more frequent, for example, smaller modules spread over a week or month. But these shorter courses ultimately result in better information retention.
To be fair, this isn’t necessarily about the delivery method, but more the length of training. Even online learning courses would have lower information retention rates if they lasted an entire day. But since online courses are usually much shorter, people retain more information.
A more effective workforce
Another way in which e-Learning can be more effective than traditional learning styles is in improving the efficiency of employees. There is likely a number of reasons for this, rather than one specific reason. However, a recent study has shown that businesses using digital learning methods report a 26% higher revenue per employee than their counterparts.
Certainly, the fact that face-to-face training takes longer and is less convenient than e-Learning courses has a correlation with employee engagement. Also, a worker being able to study from their desk without taking hours out of their schedule leaves more time to be productive. So, when staff are happier, they tend to produce better results. We’ll touch a little further on this later on.
Flexibility is a huge part of the training landscape today because companies want more bang for their buck. Sending half a workforce off for a day of training just isn’t practical in most workplaces. However, allowing staff to complete web-based learning modules while at their own desk is a lot more flexible.
Not only is it flexible in a time-saving sense, because employees can effectively do the study at their own pace, but it’s also more flexible in the range of topics available. With short, sharp and convenient online courses, you can deliver a much greater range of topics, allowing staff to be upskilled in the areas that will really benefit their career.
Better for engagement
We touched on employee engagement before, but it is worth exploring this factor in more detail. By now, most businesses would be aware that happy, engaged employees produce better results than those who are looking for a way out. Now, there could be multiple reasons why staff aren’t engaged, but training is certainly a common one.
Many people cite a lack of training and development as a reason for leaving a job. In some cases, employees get plenty of training, but it doesn’t feel relevant to them. Either way, if you get your training program right, it goes a long way to improving staff engagement levels.
This has an effect not just on people’s everyday work, but also on staff retention. The more you can do to provide your people with learning opportunities and chances to develop their career, the more likely they are to be loyal. When you consider the overall cost of replacing an employee, it adds up. Advertising, sorting applications, interviews, onboarding and then training a new staff member costs a business plenty, both in time and money.
So, if e-Learning makes your team members happier and more engaged at work, it’s definitely an investment worth pursuing.
Developing self-management skills
While most teenagers can’t wait to get out of school, many adults wish they could go back to those simpler times. There are set schedules of when and how you learn, and you don’t really need to think much about it. However, when people get into the workforce, they find a lot more self-discipline is required.
This self-discipline takes time to develop, however, and e-Learning can play a role in this for your organisation. While not limited to any age range, it’s not uncommon for employees more recently out of school to need help adapting to the idea that they need to complete learning activities in their own time. So, they may actually prefer classroom-based learning.
However, it is worth persisting with e-Learning, because it helps people develop their self-management skills, which ultimately contributes to them being more well-rounded employees.
Better for remote workers
We’ve recently seen a huge increase in the number of people working from home or working in remote locations. For businesses using remote workers or hybrid workforces, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to organise face-to-face training. As a result, e-Learning is far more convenient with virtual training for employees.
Even for office-based workers, e-Learning means they don’t miss out if they happen to be away or unwell out on learning opportunities if they happened to be away or unwell
Ultimately, everybody will have a learning preference that suits them best. That’s why a considered approach to your learning and development programs should include a bit of a mix. However, as we move more and more into a digital age, e-Learning courses in Australia are only becoming more popular. In addition, children are now able to experience more online learning during their education, which means they’re more familiar with the process by the time they reach working age. At the end of the day, e-Learning represents the future and will only continue to get more advanced as technology allows.