E-Learning ROI: Tips for Implementing a Successful Online Learning Program
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Ben Franklin understood that in-depth learning happens when a student is engaged in the learning process. For managers who want to improve their competitive stance, implementing an eLearning program for their employees can not only save them substantially when compared to traditional learning methods, it creates a richer, more engaging learning environment. (Find out more about the benefits of online learning for both managers and employees here.)
However, many online learning initiatives fail due to an inefficient plan or not having a plan at all.
Your organization may already be using an online training platform like the Integrated Learning Center. To get the highest success—and ROI—out of your program, we recommend you first develop an online learning implementation strategy.
To help get you started, here are a few tips for launching your online training program:
- Identify training needs—Is your operation facing declining sales volumes or profit losses due to incorrect or late jobs? Do you have new employees without much prior knowledge of the printing industry? Pinpoint your most immediate issues and ask yourself if training will lead to a solution. Match business needs with the appropriate type of training. (ICS Learning Group)
- Choose the right online learning platform—Look at your online learning platform as a long-term investment for your company. Some of the criteria managers use to evaluate platforms are 1) ease of access from multiple devices (including mobile), 2) benefits of each course, and 3) how the courses meet your specific business needs. (Syberworks)
- Gauge your employees—Many managers find that, to get maximum results, they need to “sell” online learning to their staff. Talking to them about 1) the equipment they use, 2) the certificates they hope to attain, 3) what time of day they prefer to learn, etc., gets employees more involved and can increase the overall success rate of your program. (Brandon Hall Research)
- Measure performance—Keep tabs on employee improvements by developing benchmarks and evaluating training programs. Collect feedback (Syberworks) and evaluate and refine your training regularly (ICS Learning Group).
- Create incentives—Research shows that accountability can drive employees to stick to their online learning goals. Managers who tie eLearning to performance reviews and require certifications have found that employees are more motivated and, in turn, less likely to fall off the online training wagon. (Brandon Hall Research)
- Help make learning easier—Most of us learn better in an environment free of disruptions, i.e., phones ringing, emails chiming, or coworkers coming in and out. As a manager it is your choice of whether online courses are completed at the employee’s home or during work hours, but the bottom line is that they need a place where they can concentrate. By setting up a “classroom” in a separate area of your building or forwarding communications to the employee’s home, you can ensure your employee is getting the maximum learning benefit for their time. (Brandon Hall Research)
There are many ways to engage employees and get the highest return for your company’s online learning platform investment. Hopefully you will use these tips as a starting point to implement a successful online learning program.