Is Training Really Worth it? Especially if it’s online?

Designing training programs takes time and money. It takes employees away from their regular jobs both to help plan training and to take part in it. So why do it?

The benefits of training live on well beyond the time in front of a computer or in a training room. Despite having e-learning and e-training thrust upon us by COVID-19, training both online and on ground is proving effective. I’ve reviewed the reports and a few key factors emerged about virtual training, for example.

Virtual learning is less expensive than in-class learning – by far. Software to seamlessly conduct training is cheap, time used in online training tends to be condensed, and participation around the world costs virtually nothing.

Participation is often better online: Several theories are emerging as to why, including, passive participation (I can watch but not have to speak up), partial participation (I can join but walk away if I need), active participation (the screen separation gives me the guts to speak up). This level of participation exists during in person meetings, but since online learning tends to be more tightly prepared, active participation increases.

  • E-Learning often is delivered to a smaller audience than in-class, making it more impactful and allowing for greater participation. You can’t hide in a small group, but you can learn.
  • Ease of Use: Software and tools to deliver training is improving every day making it easy for even the lest techy person in the office to join. One click and you are in the meeting.
  • Technology enhances training in general and increases organizational efficiency. It just is more efficient to gather everyone around their individual screens and participate than to do it in person.
  • Screen Friendly: We are now used to interacting and exchanging information via a screen. Once a foreign concept, online meetings, chats, brainstorms, and learning are all commonplace.

Not all Training is Alike
Because not all people are alike. We learn differently and certain content lends itself to specific formats. Several forms of training have emerged. Borrowing from my years as a college professor, today’s training takes on a familiar hybrid and online course tone.

Instructor-Led Virtual Learning: training delivered by an instructor to attendees in separate online locations.

Hybrid Learning: training in a meeting room setting with participants both in the room and online. Both can participate.

E-Learning on Demand: self-paced learning either through training modules or on demand videos or previously recorded webinars.

Watch Party on Demand: teams gather to watch previously recorded talks with follow-up discussions led by management or the trainer.

In Person Learning: Nothing e-learning about this. This is the traditional form of in-person training.

Not matter the form, the more companies invest in their teams with marketing, sales, communications and business training, the greater the reward.

And finally, why do managers recommend learning to their teams?According to LinkedIn Learning 2020 Workplace Learning Report, here is why.

54% Grow their career

32% Get better in current role

6% Learn a new skill

3% Solve a problem 5% Other