It is the time of the year when organizations assess their half yearly performance and take stock of their position vis-a-vis annual targets. Some may be finalizing budgets for the next year and that could include training budgets as well. As a training manager, have you noticed that your budgets have been slashed for the upcoming year? Or do you notice that the budget has not been increased to the extent you anticipated, given the escalating training costs? If yes, then you may be interested in reading further.
While we don’t have control over escalating training costs, we do have control over the way we spend the training budget. The rationale is simple. If we can’t do training the same way we did, given the limited budget, we simply change the way we do training. That’s all. E-learning would play a key role in this process.
Technology has enabled us to achieve a lot more with lot less of money. We no longer have to mail college applications, we simply upload them online. Same is the case with job applications, bank transfers, shopping and many more. We can do all of this without having to move out of our desks. So, why not training? And that too when it cuts down training costs?
Here are the ways you can reduce training costs with eLearning.
Create once and build an asset that can be used again and again
When you create an eLearning course, you develop an asset that can be used over and over again for multiple participants. As a result, your costs tend to reduce over a period of time. All you need to do is assign the course on the LMS to the new set of participants who are eligible or required to take the course. You could also get people to re-take the course to refresh their knowledge and it does not cost much to do that.
However, when you create a classroom training session, there are fixed costs such as trainer/participants’ travel costs, accommodation costs or the logistical costs of arranging a classroom training program – hiring a place, paying for infrastructure and equipment not to speak of the time that the trainer as well as participants have to invest in attending the session physically.
Create once and re-purpose the content to suit participants with varying knowledge levels
When creating eLearning courses, you can develop independent learning objects. Each of the learning units can be stand-alone learning units. However, they can be grouped together to customize them to suit the level of understanding, proficiency and need of the target audience. You can also develop multiple paths of learning that ensure individuals who already have good knowledge of the subject can jump to the advanced level, while those who require basic knowledge go through the foundation level modules.
If this has to be done through traditional classroom sessions, you may have to organize multiple sessions based on the knowledge level of participants. With eLearning, you do not have to incur additional costs of multiple sessions.
Reduce duplication of efforts across multiple units of the organization
E-learning provides the flexibility to group units that can be used across different divisions in the organization. For example, Human Resource department and Legal department may have some common modules that can be taken by employees of both departments. Similarly, there could be such commonalities between different units. E-learning ensures there is no duplication of effort in developing the same content.
Learning units can be hosted on the LMS. Training managers can group the learning units to form a training module, based on the needs of the department or division of the organization. This can then be assigned to the participants for their completion.
In the traditional method, each department often functions in isolation and very often we notice that SMEs of the departments are independently working on similar content for training their individual teams. Training, when coordinated with an LMS, can greatly reduce such duplication of effort that automatically translates into reduction in time and costs.
These are some of the ways you are likely to reduce training costs by switching to eLearning development. There are many more and I would like to know your individual experiences as to how eLearning has enabled reduction of training costs. On the contrary, if you would like to share some concerns with respect to eLearning development and have questions with respect to its ability to reduce training costs, please do share them here. We will try and respond to them as soon as possible.