Employee productivity can be a tricky goal. Managers and supervisors try on a regular basis with a variety of tools to gain increased performance and with varying success. However, all realize sooner or later that the same tool doesn’t work on a permanent basis, and many times conditions or the organization limit the ability to use other tools that would produce results. So what to do as an alternative?
Distance learning and e-learning are becoming more and more of a practical option for productivity improvement, particularly with training people in new skills sets and knowledge.
One of the big areas supervisors regularly complain about is ever-present to do things with less, including a budget. However, cut too deep, and employees walk away. On the other hand, promotions and pay can’t just be handed out like candy or no one takes it seriously in return for good work. So what is a supervisor to do? This is where training comes in.
With e-learning, the training concept and practice are extremely low cost, which already wins big points in efficiency versus gains. Second, recognized training provides employees a valuable skillset feather in their cap they can take anywhere. And the more the training is recognized objectively and independently, the more valuable it is considered by an employee. So, for example, a training class funded via a junior college program is going to have more weight value-wise than an internal training with a certificate of completion, mainly because the former is recognized independently by any employer or educational system.
1) Flexibility Makes It Easier to Balance Work and Training
E-learning offers the big benefit of maximum flexibility as well, particularly with scheduling when the training will occur. For example, if an office is dealing with a deadline crunch, the training can be deferred until such time that the pace can be continued again. Regular in-person training doesn’t work this way as most times a trainer has to be scheduled, paid by a time contract, and classroom resources need to be secured. Instead, with e-learning, all the materials and tools are digital and pre-recorded, which means they can be trained at any time that is convenient.
2) Improved Employee Retention
Being involved and committed to a training program improves employee retention, which also boosts productivity versus having to rehire and retrain people. One of the biggest losses in an organization is the Department of experienced personnel. However, if folks are invested in a training program they will initially stay out of the need to complete the program, and then they will likely stay longer out of a sense of obligation to pay back the training support. Both mean longer stability with the employee trained.
Improved skillsets and training also allow employees to be far more engaged in their work, as long as management finds a way to utilize the new skillset after the training is completed. They find new meaning, new purpose, and usually stay longer due to personal interest. Where companies make a mistake in this respect is in providing valuable training to a person and then sending him or her back to the same old routine as before. What was the point? Even the employee feels cheated and useless.
4) Increased metrics
Finally, e-learning tools provide an excellent way to track skill set development in employees on a wide scale. How often have dollars been spent on training, but no one is quite sure what the agency or organization’s total skill training is? With e-learning, office population statistics can be easily gathered and tracked, providing an objective, legal way of determining training records for employees that avoid favoritism, avoids equal opportunity problems, and provides ready data on where the organization needs to increase training going forward.
HR departments should be considering e-learning software to improve employee workflow and productivity. There are clear reasons why it makes sense and why employees will respond positively to the resource when provided. Not doing so is only leaving money on the table and risking a greater loss of valuable employee retention.