With every aspect of employee life becoming automated or moving to the cloud, it only makes sense that training would end up in the crosshairs of discussion. Currently, only 34% of workers have participated in some sort of computer-based or online training program for work. Like with many of the new changes in work, there are of course strengths and weaknesses. But ultimately, does turning over on-the-job training for candidates over the computer programs benefit the companies, or is it a safer bet to use a more personal touch?
Discussing Potential Disadvantages
Many of the disadvantages people see in leaving training up to programs don’t actually have to do with the software itself, but the people who use it. For example, many of the disadvantages of online training programs listed by TribeHR here are the result of poor workers, not technology failures. If workers aren’t motivated to use the software, it could be the software doesn’t pass muster, but it could also be the employee who doesn’t want to implement a new process will allow them to work better. Similarly, the fear that the technology could lead to feelings of isolation could be assuaged by combining the technology with a more personal touch from managers.
This isn’t to say there aren’t disadvantages to online training. Technological access inhibits the kinds of people and industries that have access to online training, and this is a difficult problem to overcome. However, these problems, while serious, should not affect that large majority those who can implement online training.
Train Better, Save Money
In 2013, companies spent an average of $1,208 on training per employee, according to a recent report by The Association of Talent Developments. How does that training break down?
- 63% of this money is spent on internal services, such as learning department staff salaries, travel costs and a host of other minor costs.
- 27% of it is spent on external services, such as consultants, content development, licenses, workshops and training programs.
- 10% is spent on tuition reimbursement.
It doesn’t take a math wiz to see how online training programs could cut down on those internal services. When training’s online and automated, there are far fewer people to pay, less travel to account for, and most of the minor costs (such as a non-salary development and delivery costs) are included in the cost of the software. And with providing many of the benefits of regular, face-to-face training in most situations, what’s not to like?
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Creating and Tracking Results
It may be cheaper, but does online training provide any real benefits other than monetary ones? Absolutely. A recent study conducted by MIT found that not only is online learning just as effective as face-to-face training, but that amount people learned in an online college course was greater than in a traditional lecture-lead class.
But how do you know if your training program is working?
"[Assessments] can be administered between modules or after the entire course, and can be intelligently designed to test against the learning objectives of that course. The scores on these assessments can be used to highlight whether the trainee is grasping the concepts/skills and whether they require any extra help. LMS’s support in-built assessment features that can report on employee performance and can further provide certification for the completed courses.” — Nikita Anand (@learnzippy), Marketing Associate for LearnZippy
Online training isn’t perfect, but many of its problems can be solved by fixing issues with the people using it. This is a small price to pay for cheaper, better training that can be more easily monitored, leading to more accurate data and better decision-making for your company.
Looking for company training programs that are cheaper, better and will get employees up to speed in no time? Visibility Software’s Cyber Train has everything you need to take your new hire to the next level. Sign up today and receive a free demo!