Written by Anna Wong, Digital Learning Growth Manager of 3 Circles VR Learning Solutions Limited
In response to COVID-19’s impact on the future of work, 94% of learning and development (L&D) professionals changed their learning strategies to ensure that organizations could remain afloat and agile during this period of disruption and transition.
Many of these L&D professionals migrated their learning strategies and programs to online channels. Therefore, it is no surprise that the global corporate e-learning industry is expected to grow by US$38 billion between 2020 and 2024. The Asia Pacific region is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 20% – the highest across the global market.
Studies show that investment in corporate e-learning has a return rate of up to 30 times as corporate e-learning significantly improves employee engagement and company profits by 18% and 25%, respectively. Additionally, 72% of organizations observed that online learning gave them a competitive advantage.
Indeed, organizations were compelled to adopt digital learning at their workplaces because of COVID-19. However, this article aims to explore why corporate e-learning is a more useful and strategic decision for the future of work.
No Time and Geographical Boundaries
Corporate e-learning allows employees to learn anytime and anywhere. Be it in the office, en route to work, at home, or in a quarantined hotel, employees have the flexibility to choose the most convenient time and space for them to learn.
Unlike traditional corporate training sessions, corporate e-learning allows employees to independently integrate learning into their daily activities. Thus, increasing their interests and enthusiasm for learning.
Time- and Cost- Effectiveness
Corporate e-learning significantly reduces employees’ training time by 40%, while 95% of employees reported a better training experience.
Not only that, organizations reported that corporate e-learning dramatically reduced their employee training expenditure without affecting their employees’ learning experience.
Having developed its own interactive training platform with over 12,000 virtual classes, Shell was able to minimize their cost of training by 90% and save more than US$200 million.
“The use of virtual learning has delivered dramatic savings. Being part of the 15 years digital transformation journey for the business, the e-learning platform has delivered results promptly, with the promise of more to come,” said EVP, HR Strategy, Shell.
IBM also reported that it saved nearly 30% of its previous training expenses (approximately US$200 million) since adopting corporate e-learning programs. Moreover, IBM noted that corporate e-learning allows its managers to learn five times more content at one-third of the cost.
Lastly, Dow Chemical shared that it was able to lower its cost of training from US$95 to US$11 per learner by migrating from in-person training to corporate e-learning. The migration allowed Dow Chemical to conserve US$34 million.
As opposed to traditional corporate training programs, corporate e-learning creates a learning environment wherein employees are at the center of learning. Employees have the freedom to identify their areas of interest and take control of their own learning journey.
This personalized learning pathway motivates employees to freely explore skilling up opportunities to improve their career mobility.
A flexible learning schedule, an individualized learning pathway, and higher learning efficiency have resulted in an increase in positive employee engagement across organizations that adopt corporate e-learning.
For instance, the American Heart Association reported a 25% to 50% increase in employee retention rate as employees feel a greater sense of flexibility and engagement with their workplace.
Moreover, Airbus shared that upon establishing an e-learning industry, it witnessed a significant increase in its employee engagement and satisfaction levels.
Diversity and Availability
Migrating learning and development to online channels enable employees greater access to a diverse range of learning information and learning styles.
Subsequently, employees have the freedom to choose their preferred learning styles and learning materials thereby increasing their sense of ownership of their learning journey.
Additionally, corporate e-learning means that employees can revisit their learning content whenever necessary.
All of these create a better learning environment for employees as the diversity in learning styles and availability of learning materials stimulate their knowledge retention, recall rate, and ability to apply learned knowledge and skills to their work.
As the pandemic continues to evolve, hybrid and remote work are quickly becoming permanent features of the workplace, making it a challenge for employers to motivate their employees to expand their careers in tandem with the organization’s growth.
As such, if employers want to remain competitive in the future of work, they must integrate technology into their corporate learning and development strategies.