e-Learning For Business Tutorial

Are the skills that you need to grow your business already within your organisation?
Have you been able to unlock the full potential of your employees?

Providing your staff with e-Learning can be the most cost effective way to bridge that gap with the additional benefit of achieving a loyal and motivated work force.

You will already have in place a staff training policy and many of your employees are already being trained. The purpose of this guide is to look at ways to use e-Learning to formalise these existing training policies and enhance them to incorporate general skills growth. The tutorial will also provide you with a strategy that can enhance the skills improvement of all your staff and combine e-Learning with their overall career planning.

Before you can start using e-Learning you need to take a look at your organisation to see if everything is ready for your employees to embark on the journey of learning.

In this introduction to the guide I want to walk you through some of the areas you should be aware of that will, if not addressed early, severely impact the effectiveness of your e-Learning strategy.

Let us begin with a look at the way your business runs at the moment.

  1. Create a list of all organisational issues that may effect the skills development.
  2. What is your organisational and departmental priorities and strategy and how can you link the learning strategy in with these?
  3. Does any one on your senior management team have any beliefs or assumptions about what will happen if you deliver training to the employees?

For example, if your company strategy is something along the lines of; “To double the number of customers… “ then a basic understanding of Customer relations will be needed by all staff. Or if it is “Increase profitability… “ then basic budgeting training would be appropriate.

When asking your organisation to adopt anything new and this includes an e-Learning program, it is often easier to link the introduction of the program with other changes happening within your organisation. For example, if you are about to release a new product or service, then it is probable that some staff training will be required, instead of just providing product instruction also recommend additional skills based training, maybe basic sales and marketing training, so that your staff are better prepared to sell the benefits of this new product to their customers.

New laws or corporate legislation are other events that you can use to improve the skills training, making sure all your staff are aware of these new laws can be catalyst that allows you to implement a full e-Learning program.

A common myth amongst some managers is that if you train people then they will simply leave and get a better job. If this is their belief you may find some resistance within your organisation to implementing any e-Learning.
On this point there are a few points I want to make;

  1. Do not use training as an incentive for a member of staff to stay in a job after they have threatened to leave.
  2. Make the training you give relevant to their role within the organisation. There is nothing more frustrating for your staff than not being able to use the new skills.
  3. When you create your training program make it clear what the long term training goal is for each employee. Include something like; “when you have completed training course A then when you achieve these goals you will attend course B…”. It is unlikely that their new employer will offer the same career path.

I do know of companies who have made their learners sign an agreement where they have to pay back the cost of training if they leave shortly after taking a course, usually this is reduced over time, all the course cost if they leaver after 3 months, 50% after 6 months and 25% after a year. I think this should only be used in extreme cases and can be very de-motivating if it becomes corporate policy.

In the next section of this tutorial I want to cover e-Learning Readiness or How to Prepare you Company For E-Learning.