The global pandemic and subsequent lockdown halted traditional learning and training opportunities for many organisations. This disruption forced key-decision makers to re-think traditional training methods and how to upskill their employees while they worked remotely.

A simple but inadequate approach is to replicate traditional learning and training materials online and to upload long course materials onto an off-the-shelf e-learning website, and expect employees to learn, retain and apply this information. This is an ineffective solution. It’s overwhelming, boring and tedious for learners. It will not get the desired results.

Start with an e-learning strategy

For organisations and employees to get an ROI at e-learning and online training, businesses should start with an informed e-learning strategy. A comprehensive strategy should clearly define an organisation’s learning and development goals and cater to the learning ability and needs of learners.

“Adults learn differently. They can retain information for 30 days and forget it afterwards. Add to that, their time-strapped lives and shorter attention spans mean e-learning platforms should present information in a way that employees can digest easily,” says Michael Gullan, CEO of G&G Advocacy.

“In this regard, elements of microlearning can help. More than 60% of people are visual learners and respond very well to content in bite-sized learning moments like Content Capsules. This incorporates elements of gamification, videos, infographics and interactive polls, supplying information in engaging ways to make it easier for employees to retain the learnings and then apply it in the workplace.”

A PwC survey indicates at least 69% of companies expect more than half of their employees to continue working remotely at least once a week, even after lockdown measures no longer apply. In this new world, businesses have no choice but to embrace, develop and apply e-learning to give their business a competitive edge. With this in mind, smart managers should pivot to online learning solutions, enabling remote learning and training for employees to continue on their personal and career development seamlessly.

Gullan advocates these three strategies to help business e-learning and online training gain momentum in 2021 and beyond.

* Personalised learning and training – E-learning and online training platforms use reporting and analytic tools to gain insights into how learners respond to course material, making it easy to optimise, if necessary. Equally important is a seamless process of adding or removing course content as information, technology and processes evolve, keeping learnings relevant and up to date.

* Learn from anywhere, at any time – E-learning and online training is easy and accessible and should enable employees to learn at their own pace, from anywhere, and on any device for a rich and valuable learning experience.

* Boost employee engagement and productivity – eLearning is a mutually beneficial investment for employees and organisations. Employees optimise their time gaining new information and skills, resume work activities quickly and apply what they’ve learned. Employees feel more valued by their organisations, which is good for workplace morale and their desire to excel.

Align e-learning with business goals

At the core of e-learning and online training, is a structured and well-designed e-learning plan that connects to business goals. A well-structured e-learning plan can ensure employees are motivated and encouraged to complete the training, offer first-class learning and training experiences and ensure continuity within an organisation as the plan guides employee training.

E-learning and online training isn’t a trend limited to employees working from home during a pandemic, says Gullan. It is a valuable and cost-effective tool that can help new and established employees, as well as external stakeholders, learn new processes or methods, retain their learnings and apply it in their daily work. And while e-learning and online training can help employees enhance their skills sets, businesses can optimise their performance.