Online training can take many forms, including eLearning, virtual classrooms and other forms of self-paced study. What they have in common are their flexibility and convenience. If you’ve never considered moving to an online training model in your workplace, some of these facts may change your mind
Why do businesses love online training?
Businesses are rapidly embracing the online training revolution for so many reasons. Flexibility is a big one. Remember how difficult it used to be to organise structured classroom-based training for a large workforce? Online training makes that a thing of the past.
Online learning is also a way to give people more control over their learning and development, by offering a larger variety of courses. Short courses are available to learn specific skills, or people can choose to pursue something more involved such as a Diploma. Short courses like ISO courses are available to learn specific skills, or people can choose to pursue something more involved such as a Diploma.
Then, of course, there’s the bottom line, which is the cost. Unsurprisingly, online training is usually much cheaper than other methods.
Surprising facts you may not know about online training courses
1. Online training is far more cost-effective
On so many levels, online training provides better value for money. Of course, it all depends on your training provider and whether you’re getting a good deal, but overall, the cost of online training is much less than classroom-based sessions. Firstly, there’s no travel to and from a training centre because staff participate online. But there is also a lot less wasted money because you can target the types of training your people really need.
Many organisations just implement blanket training courses that every staff member needs to attend. That’s not really a good way to personalise your training and development plan, and the result is people not engaging with training, not learning anything and seeing training as a chore. With online training, you can make every course count.
2. Participants can learn from home
Do you have staff members working from home or at other remote locations? The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how so many businesses structure their employees, and with less time at the office, training has fallen off the radar for many. With online training, though, you don’t need to let your learning and development slip. Training courses can be completed from home, so there’s no reason for your staff to miss out.
Additionally, this can be a great way for people to really concentrate on learning because often they get distracted while trying to study at work. Allowing people the freedom to participate in training at home is always appreciated.
3. Online training is accredited
If you’ve ever wanted to study a course or learn a new skill, you’ve probably searched the internet and found a variety of courses available. The problem is, a lot of the training you find online isn’t nationally recognised. However, when organising staff training through a registered training organisation, you get access to properly accredited courses that give your employees a real qualification. Just because it’s online, that doesn’t mean it’s any less professional.
So, when looking for training options, take care to only link up with organisations that offer nationally accredited training programs. The benefits far outweigh the slightly decreased price of less reputable training courses.
4. You can do a little or a lot
When people think about ‘ online learning ’, they often assume that it means studying a degree by distance. There’s a misconception that online training only offers long-form study, but that’s not the case. When it comes to the training options your online training provider can provide, there are so many different course lengths available. They range from 90-minute short courses to longer-form study such as a Diploma.
Ultimately, online training gives you the flexibility to learn a little or a lot. It all comes down to individual needs.
5. Online learning is environmentally friendly
If you’ve ever attended training sessions in a classroom environment, you’ve probably received a whole bunch of paper handouts and reference material. If you work for a large organisation and every staff member attends the same training, imagine how much paper is used for every course. Modern businesses should be trying to reduce the amount of paper they use, and more importantly, the amount of paper they waste. Because perhaps the worst thing about all that paper usage in training is where it ends up.
If you’re last out of a training room and there’s a bin near the door, have a look next time you walk out. You can bet half of the reference material has been dumped in there, while the other half ends up in other bins around the office. People rarely keep their training handouts, but with online training, the reference material can be kept in a digital format. No trees need to die for online training courses!
6. Target certain skill gaps
We mentioned before that you can choose to do a short online training course or pursue something longer like a Diploma or Degree. The beauty about having access to so many short online training courses is you can target specific learning needs. If you’ve got some team members who can do most computer-based tasks but struggle with spreadsheets, book them in for a Microsoft Excel course. If you’ve got people who need to get better at prioritising work, you can offer them a short time management course.
Whatever the individual learning needs are in your workplace, you can help people gain the skills to be more effective in their current roles. With the right training provider, you also don’t need to plan too far in advance. If a staff member needs something, you can book them into an online training course easily, because even the facilitated courses are more frequent.
7. Online training can decrease staff stress levels
If you could easily pinpoint things that cause your staff to become stressed, and you could change those things easily, it would make sense to do it, right? As much as staff appreciate getting learning and development opportunities, unfortunately, the stress of work piling up while they study is overwhelming. When your teams attend whole-day classroom training, for example, many people will spend the time worrying about all the work they’re not getting done.
On the flip-side, online training is often short, sharp and to the point. Many short online courses only run for 90 minutes, meaning an employee’s whole day isn’t compromised. Knowing that they still have plenty of time to get their work done allows them to de-stress and engage more fully in the training,
8. Create individual learning plans
Online training gives you more flexibility because you don’t have to just send everybody to the same mandatory courses. If you want to make learning and development more meaningful in your organisation, consider finding online training courses that your staff will truly benefit from.
If you catch up with your staff monthly to discuss performance and goals, it’s a great opportunity to plan the types of training courses your employees really want. Online training courses are more accessible, so even if you only have one or two staff members interested in a particular course, there’s nothing stopping you from booking them in. This is compared to classroom-based training, where it’s not cost-effective to run a course unless you have a significant number of attendees.
9. Online training can reduce recruitment costs
Have you ever thought about the flow-on effect of doing training poorly? Higher staff turnover, less-skilled staff, and a culture that makes it difficult to recruit into. However, when you provide online training, which is fast, comprehensive and usually what people want, you create a great learning culture and your employees can thrive. You can also cross-skill, meaning you have more ability to promote from within and only recruit for entry-level positions. That’s a lot cheaper and easier than trying to recruit senior, experienced staff members.