As remote work increasingly becomes the norm for many industries, companies must grapple with the challenges that come with training employees who are now working entirely remotely. Some executives are apprehensive, but several studies and testimonials suggest that online workforce training is actually a more effective tool for both businesses and employees. Offering businesses a more cost-effective and flexible method for training, online learning helps boost productivity, time management, team cohesion and employee retention. The benefits for employees are measurable, too; they report a greater work-life balance, more happiness at work and a greater sense of feeling valued by the company.
From a business standpoint, there are several advantages that make online workforce training a more effective means of onboarding new hires as well as continuous education of existing employees. One of these benefits is cost, as Centrical notes. On-site training is generally cheaper to develop, but will accrue greater costs over time as training sessions are repeated for each new round of hires. Moving training online streamlines many of those costs partly because training programs can be tweaked and repurposed for later use. It also eliminates many of the costs associated with hiring a trainer, including airfare, accommodation and training materials.
Beyond the cost-effectiveness of remote training, sophisticated analytics that are equipped to many learning platforms can help employers optimize the experience and make the employee training process more effective and efficient. Companies can use the metrics they gather to track employee progress, pinpoint which aspects of their training methods are actually working and develop more appropriate learning techniques for the future. Over time, as costs decrease and efficiency increases, companies will find that training employees is no longer the cumbersome process it was at the on-site location.
Employee satisfaction during the actual training process is vital, and one of the key attributes of online learning programs is that employees can self-direct their training using the resources companies provide. This is key as, according to a 2018 LinkedIn report on Workplace Learning, 58% of employees prefer to learn at their own pace. The combination of these qualities seems to have a positive impact on employee behavior. In a recent survey from TalentLMS, remote employees who received online training reported being more productive and better at managing their time than those who did not. They also reported a much stronger ability to communicate with their teams and colleagues, an important finding that suggests online learning can boost company cohesion.
Beyond their experience at work, online training seems to have a positive effect on employees' overall well-being. The same TalentLMS survey found that remote employees who received online training were happier at work and maintained a healthier work-life balance. Perhaps most importantly, 63% of remote employees who received online training reported feeling more valued by their company compared to just 44% who did not receive training. The impact this has on productivity and retention cannot be overstated.
The combination of the benefits associated with online training reflect those that come with remote work more generally, and as telework increasingly shows itself to be the way of the future, it is vital that companies implement effective online training methods to facilitate that transition. Internally, such a move will transform the way employees and businesses interact by maximizing employee satisfaction and team cohesion, while externally it will allow businesses to sharpen their competitive edge by increasing productivity and retention. There is still much uncertainty surrounding the efficacy of online training. But with KETCHConsulting, executives can learn the ins and outs of online work and bring their companies into the future. Contact us to learn more about our virtual offerings.