So you’re thinking of implementing eLearning… welcome to an exciting, sometimes bewildering world of impressive options!
The first question we need to ask ourselves is – why do we want to deploy eLearning? We then need to ensure that we capture our answers accurately. eLearning, as with other forms of training, needs to meet certain needs, and this in turn needs to have some impact on the business for the better. But where does one begin? Sometimes the training department is flooded with an overwhelming number of requests for training – which the organization may or may not be able to have a budget for. How does one decide what is important and pressing and has maximum business impact? If the answers to these questions are not clearly defined, there is a danger of getting carried away with the plethora of eLearning courses being offered as ‘easy’ solutions to your training problem. Without thinking through the strategic alignment of our eLearning with the key business requirements, we end up shopping for courses that are at best ‘nice-to-have’ and are nowhere near the ‘critical-to-business’ category.
It is important to have the organizations’ business goals serve as the framework around which any learning initiative is designed. Aligning eLearning with business is more critical than we’d imagine and any eLearning intervention that enables you to meet your business objectives more quickly is worth the investment you make.
Typical business goals can include some or all of the following:
- Faster time-to-market of a company’s products or services
- Compliance with legal and regulatory mandates
- Effective on-boarding of new hires
- Improved sales through developing a well-trained sales team
- Building up a strong cohesive business culture
- Improved customer services
- Creating a climate fostering innovation
- Reducing attrition
- Managing the pool of talent effectively
To meet the goals stated above, in a fast changing business environment where new technologies and processes are used, new products and services are launched, new market areas are penetrated, it clearly requires employees to acquire the relevant skills to stay on the cutting edge. This is not possible without training interventions to improve employee performance and thereby the organizations’ bottom-line results. The learning needs of a business are growing and it is important to provide anytime, anywhere access to training to empower employees to meet workplace demands. eLearning does just that by letting employees have unlimited reach to learning at their convenience.
Many times, there is inadequate funding for eLearning initiatives for the simple reason that learning practitioners haven’t shown how their eLearning initiatives are clearly aligned with their organization’s business goals. And hence stakeholders assume (wrongly) that there is no impact on the business.
To conclude, if you want to implement an eLearning strategy, you need to identify and align it with the business drivers and goals key to the success of your organization and then develop a cohesive strategy for the implementation of eLearning. Once you do that, the benefits automatically start rolling in.