Keeping your employees’ skills up to date is a vital part of business success. Regular training can help your team develop new skills, keep up with evolving industry standards, and become more effective within their roles.

However, training can be expensive. In the UK, employers invest around £42.0bn in training each year, with an average spend of £1,530 per employee, according to 2020 government figures.

With rising bills and operational costs, many businesses may be looking for alternatives to traditional classroom or in-person learning without compromising their employees’ development and mandatory compliance responsibilities.

Is eLearning cheaper than traditional learning?

We’re often asked this question and the answer, in most cases, is yes! eLearning can save on huge segments of training and development budgets but also deliver business efficiencies and improvements. Some of our clients have told us that using online learning for mandatory H&S and compliance courses has saved them as much as 80% compared to the cost of classroom learning.  eLearning avoids some of the typical overheads that come with traditional training, such as:

  • Meeting room or venue hire – in multiple locations if you have a dispersed workforce or staff working in different geographies;
  • Travel and accommodation – for both the trainer and the trainee if they need to travel to a location to take part in a training session;
  • Instructors or facilitators’ salary and expenses – they don’t do their jobs for free!
  • Printing of materials – which will result in wasted resources and more printing costs if your company decides to update a policy or if legislation changes;
  • Time spent away from work – classroom training requires the instructor and the trainees to leave their workplaces, which can impact the business’s productivity.

What is the ROI of eLearning?

Like any other investment, a successful eLearning initiative must demonstrate value for money.

Calculating your online learning programme’s return on investment, or ROI, involves comparing the costs of designing and rolling out your training courses with the benefits of your online training. You can determine if your programme has been successful when you can demonstrate that the value and benefits outweigh the costs.

According to a study by IOMA, corporations can save between 50% and 70% when they replace instructor-based training with eLearning (IOMA 2002). For example, IBM found that up to 40% of its classroom training costs were spent on travel and accommodation, and when the company moved half of its training programs to an eLearning format, it saved $579million (approx. £479million) over just the first two years. And Microsoft‘s move to video-based training helped the organisation reduce costs by $303 per learner (approx. £250), from $320 to just $17 (approx. £14).

6 benefits of using online learning as opposed to traditional learning

The benefits of using eLearning to deliver staff training extend beyond the obvious financial savings. They are realised in several other efficiencies too.

For instance:

  1. Higher productivity – eLearning helps keep downtime to a minimum, allowing staff to log on when they can and complete their training quickly. Courses are interactive, making them highly engaging, and can be delivered in shorter sessions and spread out over a certain period so that businesses don’t lose employees for entire days at a time.
  2. No time wasting – Rather than being on a group course with people at different levels and learning speeds, online training puts people in charge of their own development and enables employees to complete training at their own pace. In addition, courses can be more specifically tailored to an employee’s job role and existing knowledge and understanding of a subject through adaptive learning. This short video explains more about adaptive learning and how it can deliver next-level ROI on your training investment.
  3. More inclusive – With eLearning, course content can be translated into many different languages. Providing training in an employee’s first language not only helps to improve learning outcomes and understanding, but it can also help employees feel more included and motivated and can help build a happier and more culturally inclusive work environment. At DeltaNet, our courses can be translated into over 100 different languages, so regardless of location or language preference, you can provide your employees with the right training.
  4. Flexible solution – eLearning is a fast and flexible solution to your compliance training needs which can be rolled out quickly to anyone in any location. Online delivery avoids many of the expenses and logistical planning associated with traditional learning, as well as the costs related to missed training sessions if a staff member is off sick. eLearning can simply be picked up when the employee is back at work.
  5. Promote long-term learning and behavioural change – German psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus, carried out numerous memory studies and found that people forget what they’ve learned shortly after learning it. He suggested that we forget about 50% of our learnings after the first hour and around 90% after a month. This is because people will forget what they don’t use – ‘Use it or lose it’. So for training programmes to be successful, training can’t be looked at as a one-off, box-ticking exercise. Instead, information needs to be refreshed and reinforced regularly to achieve long-term learning and create behavioural change across the organisation; this can easily be done with online refresher training courses.
  6. Identify and close skills gaps – Learning management systems allow you to automatically collect and interpret data about your learners so you can track progress, ensure employees are meeting their compliance objectives and determine how individual parts of your businesses are performing. Combining and comparing these figures will help you to draw an accurate picture of the overall health of your organisation, promote future learning opportunities and address gaps in knowledge that hold your organisation back or put it at risk.

With the right training provider, eLearning can significantly benefit your employees and your business. So it’s no surprise that more and more companies are modernising their digital learning strategy by having eLearning in the workplace.

Book a free tailored demo today, and we’ll show you how we can help you solve your biggest training challenges with people-centred eLearning.

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