Every successful organization knows that keeping employees’ skills fresh and updated is an essential way to stay ahead of the curve and to cultivate a positive environment. Professional development is not a new concept, however, the explosive rise of eLearning in recent years has begun to make its way into workplace training.
In fact, the corporate eLearning market is worth an estimated $12 billion. Many businesses have already replaced their traditional training methods with tools such as Coursera for enterprise, and organizations that have yet to take the leap must consider it to stay relevant. But is eLearning the solution to IT skills training?
Cheaper and More Convenient
Changing business methods solely to save on costs can often lead to a decrease in productivity, but when it comes to eLearning and training the correlation is the opposite. As opposed to expensive out-of-office training or hiring consultants/speakers to come in and train a workforce, utilizing corporate eLearning tools to provide professional development is much cheaper. No costs need to be eaten up by flying in an expert and housing them for a week or more, as the expert is now digitally available.
Not only is it cheaper, but eLearning in the workplace is drastically easier when it comes to keeping an employee updated in their skill set. The on-demand convenience of being able to access the training anywhere at any time, even through a smart phone, means an employee can choose when and where they desire to fulfill the training and are no longer tied to specific uncomfortable conference rooms and inconvenient times. This provides a high-impact, low-cost skills transformation.
A Better Experience
Utilizing eLearning over traditional methods of training provides a better overall experience for an employee. Software can tailor itself to adapt to each employee’s unique strengths and learning preferences, which is something that cannot be done during an in-person professional development training session with dozens of fellow trainees. Likewise, personalized audio and visual reinforcement of digital learning helps to hold attention and encourage greater mental engagement over sitting in a large conference room watching a speaker.
And what about universities and other education institutions? They simply cannot keep up with the pace and scale of development of corporate eLearning tools. While several tools utilize and are associated with major university professors or classwork, corporate tools allow for greater specialization pinpointing the skills required in the employee’s role. An online degree from a university, while valuable, cannot change quickly nor specialize specifically enough to be as impactful on an employee’s everyday responsibilities.
A Boost to Recruiting
Offering regular IT skills training and professional development is attractive to a potential employee, and differentiating by providing these trainings via eLearning will help give an organization an edge in recruitment. For example, a developer’s #1 priority when they’re already employed is learning new technologies, and offering continuous learning opportunities via technology could be the difference between landing the top IT talent or losing them to a competitor.
Recruiting is also bolstered by eLearning training initiatives in that it helps address the highly-competitive war on talent. Hiring individuals who do not have the full array of skills for a position and training them in the early stages of the role will help ease the issues caused by the current high demand for IT skills. This mentality also prepares both new and current employees for future unknown skills in a constantly-changing field, and candidates will recognize the attractiveness of that opportunity when they are considering multiple job offers.
Millennials Prefer It
With Millennials having officially overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest generation of U.S. workers, it is clear that workplace efforts must be tailored to their habits and learning styles. In this regard, nothing can beat eLearning in the workplace.
Included among a Millennial’s top 3 career values are opportunities for career progression and excellent training/development programs. They value continuous learning and the opportunity to engage and interact with senior management. A Millennial’s ease with technology makes digital learning a clear choice, and one-sided professional development lectures aren’t going to cut it. They value the increased engagement that learning through technology provides, and offering training in an eLearning format will be appreciated by encouraging motivation, job enthusiasm, and will ultimately increase retention of their increasingly-powerful demographic.
Is eLearning the Solution to IT Skills Training?
As more and more major companies have recently proven, eLearning is very much the future of professional development in continuous IT skills training. Not only is it cheaper and a boost to recruiting, but it can address skill gaps and can hold the attention of employees better than traditional training methods. Whether a large organization is looking to maintain their presence as a leader in their industry or whether a smaller company is attempting to grow a strong company culture, incorporating eLearning in training is a strategy that should strongly be considered.
If you need assistance hiring the best IT talent, contact us for a free consultation.
Suzy Schmitt is the Manager – Talent Acquisition and HR of MDI Group. If you are interested in learning more about how to justify hiring the best IT talent, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us 888-416-7949. MDI Group has offices and specializes in recruiting IT talent in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greenville and Phoenix.