The world of learning is experiencing a radical transformation. Three years ago, the pandemic propelled companies to shift to a virtual learning model. Fast forward to today and this approach to learning and development is no longer a quick fix—it’s a permanent solution. Events that historically took place in person, from new employee onboarding to certification and compliance training, are now effectively delivered online.
That’s why 50% of all top companies that offer L&D programs use online learning primarily, a 3x increase from 10 years ago, according to a recent LinkedIn report.
The corporate e-learning market is flourishing and expected to grow 15.6% annually to reach a $117.5B valuation by 2030, according to Market Research Future. The global movement toward remote and hybrid work means companies are rethinking and redesigning their learning programming to meet people in different ways. In short, big changes are taking place when it comes to how, when, and where professionals are learning.
Here at Elsie, we know that virtual learning is ripe with benefits for distributed teams and companies themselves. So, we reached out to our expert producers and facilitators to share how well-planned eLearning can be as engaging as the in-person experience—and why every organization should take note.
- It’s cost-effective and time-saving: When it comes to eLearning versus in person, the financial upside is undeniable for every type of organization, from small businesses to global enterprises, and employees themselves. Companies can save on travel (airfare, hotel accommodations, meals, transportation) and professionals can forgo the costs of child and pet care when they’re traveling. However, affordability should be an ancillary benefit of virtual training—not the primary reason to make the shift. Additionally, employees won’t lose time traveling.
- It provides scheduling flexibility: With less planning required, team members can sign up for a training at any point—well in advance or up to the last minute. If your company needs to maintain compliance in a short amount of time, for example, it can be faster for an entire division of employees to complete their training virtually. Because many sessions are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, your workforce can participate on their own terms, registering for early morning or late night trainings that accommodate their work schedules and personal lives.
- It’s adaptable to different learner styles: When it comes to meeting the needs of diverse learners—including those with physical disabilities, audio or visual impairment, and the elderly—online learning is advantageous. It provides the ultimate in convenience and accessibility, so participants can sign on from their own homes without needing to make special arrangements. Virtual trainings are a preferable forum for neurodivergent individuals because they can control how and when they participate based on comfort levels, using the chat feature as opposed to speaking and turning off the camera.
- It broadens the pool of facilitators: By going virtual, companies have more robust sourcing when it comes to finding facilitators, especially certified ones. Because the instructor won’t need to be on-site, in a certain location, organizations can expand their candidate pool well beyond the local level, attracting experts nationally and globally. This also allows for facilitators to lead entire programs over an extended period of time, and not simply one-off trainings.
- It offers access to specialized training: When companies bring in instructors for traditional classroom-based learning, the sessions tend to be large-scale with a greater number of participants. This helps maximize the company’s investment, including the instructor’s travel costs and time plus any event production expenses. And while this style of learning can be effective, it is typically less specialized. Virtual trainings, on the other hand, can have a smaller number of participants—offering them more opportunities to interact with each other and play an active role in the learning. Additionally, the small group format is ideal for sessions focused on niche topics that facilitate meaningful conversations and deeper levels of understanding.
- It helps build diverse relationships: Particularly appealing for large companies with multiple locations, remote training brings professionals together across cities, regions, states, and countries. It contributes to the interconnectedness of teams, providing a platform for people who don’t otherwise have the opportunity to communicate—regardless of where they are based.
Good leaders recognize that effective L&D programming is an essential part of employee development. When people have the opportunity to grow their skillset, they build confidence and report higher job satisfaction. By making more virtual learning experiences available to team members, organizations are sending a message that’s loud and clear: We care about your professional development, and want to be respectful of your circumstances and offer learning in a more accessible and less disruptive format. The best news of all? By taking a learner-centric approach, companies will benefit too.
Ping us: The Elsie team is here to ensure your online training goes off without a hitch.