Organizations, like Southwest Airlines, that are successfully customer-focused focus first on their employees. These companies invest in training their employees in customer service as well as other areas. Your organization probably invests a considerable amount of money in training as well.
However, when the economy declines, as it is now, the training budget is usually one of the first to be reduced or eliminated. This is often especially true of larger organizations where trainees must fly in and stay overnight at the training location.
What’s Your Training Paradigm?
Many organizations rely on classroom training to train their new hires. Pharmaceutical companies are not alone in sending their new hires to a six-week training program. Does your organization rely primarily on classroom training? Or do you have a mix?
Over at Converstations, Mike Sansome has posted two great videos from YouTube. The two total six and a half minutes, so click over and watch them, then come back here. They demonstrate how times are changing.
More and more people are using, and growing accustomed to, various forms of distance learning. No, the various types of distance learning (webinars, e-courses, videos, podcasts, etc.) are not perfect, but then neither is classroom training.
Three Reasons Why You Should Consider Distance Learning
Here are three reasons why your organization should take a fresh look at giving distance learning a larger market share of your training program.
- It’s cheaper per trainee. Let’s say it costs you $250 to train an employee in a classroom environment. If you spend $5000 developing an e-course as a substitute, once you’ve run 20 trainees through, you’ve paid for the course. With gasoline and airfares rising, training and travel budgets are severely challenged.
- Distance learning positively impacts employee engagement. People are becoming more used to taking distance learning courses. According to these podcasts by NPR, many universities are incorporating distance learning into their degree requirements. Many employees would rather take an e-course after watching an episode of Lost, than have to spend a day or longer in a classroom or spend several days away from their families.
- Distance learning supports employee productivity. My organization covers six states. Many employees lose a full day of travel time just getting to and from a training opportunity. Using distance learning eliminates this travel time and allows the employee to spend more time on his or her responsibilities. This is also a key selling point for their supervisors who don’t want their employees taken out of their territories or offices.
Distance learning is not always a substitute for classroom training. But if you can take a two-day classroom course and require several e-courses as prerequisites, which cuts out a day of classroom training, then you may be able to reduce your cost per trainee by 40 percent or more. Isn’t that important to you in times like these?