May 13, 2024

6 tips for introducing E-learning in your company

Establishing eLearning: Key to a Digital Corporate Culture

eLearning enriches our work environment in the digital age, no doubt! But how does it manage to convince the most skeptical people and establish digital learning as an integral part of corporate culture?

Up to 77% of American companies were already using eLearning services in 2017. This means they achieved 218% more revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins, according to a survey by the American Society for Training and Development.

Above all, online courses simplify access to continuous training programs and allow for ongoing learning in a busy professional environment, to name just two of the many advantages for employees.

In addition to creating the actual eLearning program, the introduction of digital knowledge transfer in your company represents another major challenge and this should not be underestimated in any way. Ultimately, your approach will determine how well your eLearning offering is accepted by the workforce.

Let's get back to the topic. However, before communicating the change to the workforce and actively moving forward with the establishment of the eLearning program, you must start with yourself. This means: clarifying the framework conditions and setting the course.

Important strategic considerations to keep in mind

A switch to eLearning is not a tactical operation. You need time and a strategy. Additionally, not everyone always perceives change as something positive. Being realistic, you will encounter some complications in this project. However, you can minimize them with preparation. Keep in mind that:

  • Planned effort reduces costs
  • Learning outcomes are scalable without the need for large investments
  • The new learning format can be easily integrated into the old learning culture

Below we list 6 tips for introducing eLearning in your company:

1. Perform a needs assessment

In this first step, the reasons for introducing an eLearning program are checked. Furthermore, the actual state is compared to the target state. The following questions can help you do this. Once you have clarified the questions, do not forget to organize the resources accordingly.

List of recommended questions:

  • What are your objectives with the eLearning program?
  • What additional personnel expenses and technical requirements are you facing?
  • Who assumes what role in the learning process?
  • What content or knowledge needs to be conveyed?
  • Which groups of employees need to be trained on which topics?
  • Is there already teaching material or does it need to be designed, in the latter case, would it be designed internally or with the help of external service providers?

2. Interview employees

As in all marketing, the focus of product development and customer experience is on the target group. Employees should be allowed to participate in the development process of their eLearning program.

Recommended procedure:

  • Interview employees in different positions and departments: What are their criticisms and fears? How do they imagine an optimal eLearning experience? What are their requirements?
  • Talk to instructors and training managers. Their opinion will help you gain a completely different perspective.
  • Carry out an initial pilot project with a small learning group. Identify obstacles and optimize the learning experience.

3. Define the implementation strategy

The objectives formulated in number 1 provide a reference point. Your main task is to make eLearning known and, ideally, popular in your company. This requires a uniform communication strategy and the support of all responsible persons, as well as company management.

Recommended measures:

  • Formulation of a communication strategy and guideline
  • Plan specific measures for internal communication
  • Create information and promotional material
  • Organize events: Informational events, webinars on the topic "What is eLearning?", panel discussion "What are the benefits of eLearning?"
  • Use all internal marketing channels (e.g. intranet, social media, company newsletter, etc.)

4. Eliminate doubt

Fake news likes to spread like a wildfire. Address it in time. For example, if false information or assumptions are circulating. The solution: transparent communication to build trust.

People consider their personal data sacred. They want to know what happens to it. Be understanding and thoroughly inform your employees:

  • Are personal data collected? If so, which ones?
  • Is progress in learning tracked and samples of work or exam results sent to superiors and/or the HR department?
  • For what purpose are the data processed or can be viewed?

5. Motivate

Some colleagues may wonder: "Why should I take online courses now? What is the benefit for me?". Simply communicating the advantages of eLearning is not enough here. They must create incentives and convey the learning content in a practical way.

You can motivate by introducing a rewards system, for example. Everyone who has completed a course receives a certificate. You can also distribute prizes and bonus points to people who achieve the best results or who have completed a particularly large number of courses. Be creative! There are no limits.

We can also give employees more freedom in what they want to learn. In addition to the fixed courses, for example, they can decide for themselves which ones they want to take. Self-control is a valuable and effective motivator.

In this context, the learning material does not always have to be determined by you or by third parties. For example, allowing employees to create their own learning material and explanatory videos in their field of expertise and share them with their colleagues. All of this could be made available to staff in an online library, a kind of knowledge center.

6. Create acceptance

Several factors influence the acceptance that can be created when eLearning is introduced.

- Social factors:

For many people, the greatest advantage of digital learning is that they are independent of time and place. However, this aspect immediately brings a disadvantage: The lack of contact with like-minded people and teachers.

Examples of measurements:

  • Establish digital learning groups where course participants can exchange and support each other
  • Encourage teachers to participate in the conversation and be available for questions
  • Allow real-time exchange through chats, forums, and video conferences

- Cognitive factors:

Some employees contribute more prior knowledge than others, either due to their education or their work. Of course, it is easier for them to catch up. Millennials, as digital natives, for example, will be able to handle the new system much faster.

Some things can be done to ensure that less experienced people can quickly catch up. The intuitive design of the learning platform and the supply of high-quality content should be a given. The focus is clearly on ease of use, which can be optimized through the following points.

Examples of measurements:

  • Offer intensive courses on how to use the software before the course starts
  • Prepare the test courses
  • Distribute a starter kit: Manual, headphones, and other tips

- Motivational-emotional factors:

Skepticism or the rejection of certain things is mostly based on ignorance. This means that when people oppose something or someone, it is often because they do not understand the topic or the situation. So in this case, it is advisable to educate people and start with transparent communication. Here also fits what was mentioned in the section above "Eliminate doubt".

- Organizational framework:

If senior management does not like to see eLearning during working hours or are generally skeptical about the topic, then employees will keep their hands off it. They will most likely want to avoid an unpleasant conflict. So the only solution is to create space and acceptance for online courses in daily work life.

Además, many students often complain about the overly theoretical approach of the lessons. After all, newly learned topics can only truly be solidified if what has been learned can be put into practice.

Examples of measurements:

  • Encourage employees to put new knowledge into practice directly, for example, by sharing examples of best practices from their colleagues and supporting a trial and error mindset
  • Work time is learning time: Introduce specific times for learning or block individual times on the calendar. Employees can block the calendar with the note "Please do not disturb" or "I am studying". You can also provide an email template or a table sign for this purpose
  • Prepare rest areas with suitable equipment for focused work
  • Name mentors with experience. For example, employees in higher positions, who can provide guidance and support to young people on content issues

Make employees and the company happy!

Only when employees use their eLearning offer in their daily work to clarify problems and questions, it will be accepted as an important part of the corporate culture. And only then will the desired success be achieved.

However, to ensure that eLearning is seen as a large-scale enrichment, you should carry out continuous education monitoring. This means constantly questioning processes, evaluating measures, requesting feedback, and implementing improvement suggestions. You will never stop learning.

For this reason, you should not consider learning itself as an event, but as a process that wants to develop anew every day. It is also important at this point that you start. So, this article acts as your starting point. Start now!

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