Should You Offer E-Learning or Classroom Opportunities to Employees?


A key component in the mix of employee retention strategies is to offer employees
career development opportunities. As the war for talent heats up in 2013, retention has become a primary concern for many employers. But what kind of education do employees want and how do you give them a valuable opportunity in a cost-effective manner?

More and more employees of organizations seek not just a paycheck but employee
development and career growth. Often times HR professionals are charged with associate
development among their daily tasks. Both e-learning and classroom
learning are ways to grow, develop, and retain your current workforce. But, is in-person
classroom training worth the increased cost and travel expense? Here are some benefits that’ll help HR professionals learn
that the traditional classroom might no longer be the best choice.

According
to the American Society for Training and Development an average of 40 hours of
training a year for every employee is a recommended minimum in the traditional
workplace. Whether it’s through seminars, workshops, or classes, training and
development are important to employees who want to succeed in their careers. In order to provide some type of continuing education
employers are looking for methods to do so without interrupting day-to-day
operations and at minimal cost.

The
debate between e-learning and classroom learning is one that has stretched
since the early years of the Internet. To reduce the amount of time in the
classroom, blended approaches have been implemented in not only college campuses,
but in professional trainings. Although seminars and workshops will never be
replaced, e-learning has increased in popularity through the use of webinars
and online training
.

The
cost of the classroom not only extends to travel and decreased productivity,
but time and cost are bigger players in classroom trainings. E-learning cannot
only be done from the comfort of your office, but encourages higher levels of
collaborations and learning. By taking a holistic approach, a company can
arrive at a training process that is more engaging and effective than
traditional face-to-face learning at an economical cost.

Classroom
learning may excel when a student already has a basic understanding of the
subject matter and human touch is needed to develop a higher level of knowledge
whereas e-learning is perfect for those who are being introduced to a subject
for the first time. Classrooms have blended themselves for those who not only
learn differently, but also learn at different speeds. Assessments have been
introduced into e-learning to help control the efficiency behind learning.

A
benefit of e-learning over classroom learning is the ability to engage and be
more collaborative. Those who participate in e-learning have a great level of
access to mentors, experts, colleagues, and professionals both inside and
outside their organization without having to travel to far off places. With the
focus on the participant, e-learning can ensure employees fully master the
training content, ultimately leading to greater job performance.

Whether
you take on a holistic approach or a traditional approach, career development
opportunities must be part of the mix in your employee retention strategies.  As the world evolves and new technologies are
being developed it is important that companies allow their employees ample
development to stay on top of these trends. Career development is a win-win
situation for both you and your employees—they’re happy enough to stay and keeping
them at the forefront of innovation and knowledge is good for your company.

Have you found e-learning or
classroom learning more effective in your own development? Why?

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