How E-Learning is Reshaping Professional Development at Work

When you hire someone, its because you believe that they have the skills and experience to do the job well. That, and you think that they’ll be a good match for the company culture.

However, just because they have the existing skill set to take on the role, that doesn't mean that they are perfect and that they require no more training.

As technology, customer expectations and the economy all continue to change at a rapid rate, its always important to keep advancing your employees existing skills.

Not only for your business and customers but also because todays professionals look for more than just a paycheck from their employer.

They also want to be given opportunities to learn and grow, as that is the only way they can advance in their career.

So, as an employer, you need to provide these development opportunities. Those who are given learning opportunities are likely to be more engaged with their job and your company.

On top of that, this can help you to attract the top talent and build a loyal and productive workforce that does all it can for your business.

Best of all, thanks to advances in technology, there has never been a better time for businesses to invest in employee development, in particular, online learning. This has changed the way professionals conduct their training initiatives.

With that in mind, were going to take a look at how e-learning is reshaping professional development at work.

Professional development is now easier and more convenient than ever

Thanks to online learning platforms, professional development is easier than ever. Instead of requiring employees to attend meetings or training courses in person, they can now do the work online.

Although some courses are taught virtually in real-time, most will rely on existing course content, whether written, audio or video. This means that employees can complete their learning and course materials at their own pace.

This, in turn, can help them to stay engaged with the course materials and better fit this around their life and work. They can fit in lessons during downtime or slower periods, which can be much better for their productivity and well-being. 

As well as being more convenient and helping to save time, it can also be a more cost-effective solution.

Sure, online learning platforms are still an investment but e-learning is cheaper in the long run, in most cases offering a better return on investment (ROI).

It also means that as an employer, you dont have to hire a training provider to teach a specific subject matter. The materials can all be accessed and paid for in one place.

So, in summary, e-learning is far more cost-effective, as well as making it possible to offer training more conveniently, without having to leave the office to attend a conference.

It is possible to offer personalised training programmes

There was a time when you would arrange a group training session where employees would attend a conference or class and all learn the same thing at once.

But thanks to online learning, it is now possible for you to offer a more personalised learning process and training programme. This allows employees to work on their individual skills-building and use materials that fit their individual needs and preferred learning styles.

And the great thing is, there are online courses that cover just about every topic, industry or skill set, from accounting and HR to marketing, sales and everything in between.

It helps support leadership on an executive level

As well as covering a vast range of subjects, online courses also range in difficulty and seniority, which means that executives and leaders can also benefit from this type of development.

In doing so, they can learn in a similar way to their teams which can help them discover how to better motivate individuals and support their learning. They will also have plenty of opportunities to strengthen their leadership techniques throughout the process.

E-learning can help inspire employees

It is a fact of life that most employees will go through slumps at work, even if they love their job most of the time. Unfortunately, this can cost you good employees, who in a moment of frustration or boredom may look elsewhere for a new, exciting position.

By offering online learning opportunities in these moments, you can help those individuals to find inspiration again, discover new skills and interests and thrive in their current roles.

This can also be an excellent way to diversify the teams, particularly management teams. By offering new opportunities to those feeling stuck and like they need a new direction, they can boost their skill set and take on more managerial or more senior positions.

This can help to diversify the team and its skill sets, and diverse companies are more likely to succeed.

These qualifications are gaining credibility

When online learning first came about, many deemed it to be less effective and therefore, less legitimate than traditional learning methods. However, as more and more online platforms emerge and more professionals choose this way of learning, these qualifications are gaining credibility.

Sure, you can offer more informal training for employee development and enrichment, but these opportunities can also lead to sponsorship and even full online degrees.

This is good news for both employers and professionals, particularly as these online qualifications look good on their CVs and can help them when applying for future roles.

Online learning can be more effective

Finally, as the interest in online learning keeps growing, an increasing number of studies are being conducted to determine the effectiveness of e-learning versus traditional methods.

One such study found that online learning can actually be far more effective as students retain 25-60% more material than through face-to-face training.

Not only that, but e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than traditional classroom lessons. This gives professionals more autonomy over their learning as they can go at their own pace and engage better with the materials; they can re-read or skip sections as required.