Learning & Development

E-Learning At Work: The Benefits & Why It's Important

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For employers looking to get the most out of their workforce, e-learning at work can be an extremely powerful tool. From making it easier to track learning progress to providing instant access to an almost infinite number of training materials, there are lots of great benefits of e-learning for employers and employees alike. 

Whatever industry you operate in, and however large or small your business, it’s easy to incorporate powerful e-learning tools into your training strategies. From job-specific courses and essential qualifications to extra-curricular learning to boost soft skills and improve employee engagement, there are options to suit every need and budget. 

In this article, we’re going to answer the question ‘What is elearning?’, explore the advantages of e-learning at work, as well as look at how to make elearning engaging and optimise employee training initiatives.

What is e-learning?

E-learning, or electronic learning, refers to any form of upskilling or training that uses digital or online tools. Usually delivered through a learning management system, e-learning provides easy access to a wide range of training content, making it a great solution for employers looking to upskill their workforce. Implementing a robust strategy for e-learning at work is a great way to support employees with essential training, as well as continuing personal development (CPD).

Why e-learning in the workplace is important

As well as being an increasingly popular teaching tool in schools and other educational settings, e-learning offers a variety of advantages outside the classroom. For example, there are lots of great applications for e-learning at work, helping employees to learn essential skills while making it easier for managers and HR professionals to monitor essential training requirements and continuing personal development (CPD).

With the prevalence of remote and hybrid working models, employers have been finding it easier and more efficient to deliver training through e-learning, rather than gathering employees at a single location. The flexibility of e-learning also means that there are also lots of opportunities to use it on a daily basis to upskill employees in the workplace.

The benefits of e-learning

Let’s take a look at the advantages of e-learning, and how these apply to upskilling employees in the workplace.

1. It’s flexible

E-learning content is accessible from pretty much anywhere there’s an internet connection, making it a really versatile training solution. Most e-learning content is delivered using a learning management system, or LMS, which is usually self service, meaning employees can schedule learning around their availability and workload. 

2. It’s cost-effective

E-learning saves money compared to traditional classroom training, as there’s no need for travel to physical classrooms, or to pay onsite instructors. These cost savings can be used to deliver e-learning content more consistently and to more employees, making better use of your training budget and maximising the ROI.

3. It scales with you

The digital delivery of e-learning content means it can easily scale up or down to suit your requirements. Content can be accessed by multiple employees simultaneously without needing additional infrastructure, making it an ideal solution for small teams and global workforces alike. Some courses may be priced per user, so it’s worth checking this when choosing e-learning tools and content.

4. Self-paced learning 

E-learning allows employees to learn at their own pace, accommodating the diverse learning preferences and skill levels of your workforce. Using a self-service approach means that employees can fit training around their work and personal commitments, and allows them to revisit content whenever they need to.

5. Instant feedback & assessment 

Rather than requiring learners to wait for their results, online quizzes and real-time evaluations provide immediate feedback. This can boost training engagement by helping employees to better gauge how well they understand each topic before moving on. E-learning solutions also make it easier for employers to track progress and gauge how well the employee engaged with the content.

6. Consistency in approach

Implementing e-learning at work allows employers to easily deliver standardised courses for all employees. This allows them to ensure that everyone receives the same level and quality of training, reducing knowledge gaps and improving consistency throughout the organisation.

7. A variety of materials

Rather than a basic question-and-answer approach, which can be repetitive, e-learning uses different materials such as videos, infographics, downloadable content and interactive elements. Being able to access a broad library of diverse learning content and materials helps to enrich the learning experience, encouraging employees to engage with training initiatives.

8. Up-to-date content

As it doesn’t rely on printed materials such as textbooks and test papers, e-learning content can be updated in real time to keep pace with industry changes, regulations and best practices. This gives e-learning a competitive edge over traditional training methods, as providers of e-learning platforms and courses are able to deliver up-to-date content to keep your employees informed.

9. Collaboration opportunities

E-learning encourages collaboration through virtual classrooms and group activities, allowing employees to engage in discussions and share insights, regardless of location. This approach promotes teamwork and knowledge sharing among employees, and can help to strengthen working relationships between departments or individuals who don’t often interact with each other.

10. Environmental sustainability

By reducing the need for physical materials and minimising travel-based emissions, e-learning supports environmentally sustainable practices in your organisation. This can help to increase employee morale and job satisfaction by showing that your business is dedicated to reducing unnecessary waste and carbon emissions.

Are there any disadvantages to e-learning?

Just as other digital solutions like HR software have their own disadvantages, there are also some considerations for e-learning that could make it less suitable for certain applications. 

One disadvantage is that it may not suit everyone's learning style. For example, some employees may prefer face-to-face interactions and hands-on learning, which can be challenging to replicate in an online setting. Additionally, e-learning requires self-discipline. Without in-person accountability, some employees may struggle to stay motivated and complete courses on their own. 

Another disadvantage is the potential for technical issues. Unreliable internet connections, bugs in the e-learning platform, or a lack of confidence using certain technology can hinder participation, increase frustration, and make the training less enjoyable.

Some of the key disadvantages of e-learning at work are: 

  • Technical difficulties may lead to downtime and disruptions 
  • Lack of in-person accountability can lead to issues with self-discipline 
  • Not all e-learning platforms support real-time discussions and collaboration 
  • Doesn’t support employees who prefer face-to-face learning 
  • Can feel isolating compared to in-person interactions 

While we have discussed why e-learning should be implemented in the workplace, it’s important for employers to be aware of these potential drawbacks and mitigate them to ensure successful implementation and engagement. 

Creating an engaging e-learning strategy

Making e-learning engaging is one of the best ways to get the most value out of your chosen course or platform. To do this, it’s important to create a carefully considered e-learning strategy, which can help you to mitigate any areas of friction and ensure that your employees have a positive experience. 

Let's take a look at how to make e-learning engaging so you can deliver a strategic approach to employee training in the workplace. 

1. Personalise training to support different learning styles 

Personalised learning involves tailoring content and delivery methods to individual learners based on their needs and preferences. This approach keeps learners interested and motivated, preventing them from becoming disengaged with the platform. By offering training content and delivery methods that resonate with each employee, organisations can enhance the effectiveness of their e-learning initiatives.

2. Incorporate gamification to encourage participation

Gamification is the integration of game elements into learning activities. This trend has gained popularity in e-learning because it enhances engagement and makes the learning process more enjoyable and interactive. By introducing elements like points, badges and leaderboards, gamification encourages learners to participate actively and achieve their learning goals.

3. Use microlearning to help busy teams 

Microlearning, also known as bite-sized learning, delivers short, focused lessons that are easy to digest and fit into busy schedules. This approach is beneficial for employees with limited time, or those who prefer quick bursts of information. Microlearning is also effective for neurodiverse learners who may benefit from shorter, more manageable learning sessions that don’t require them to focus for long periods of time.

4. Adopt emerging technologies for more effective learning

Embracing emerging technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) and VR (virtual reality) can provide revolutionary learning experiences that aren’t available through traditional methods. AI can personalise learning paths and recommend content based on individual progress, while VR offers immersive simulations that cater to visual and experiential learners. By leveraging these technologies, organisations can enhance engagement and deliver more effective training.

5. Implement mobile learning to increase convenience 

Accessing e-learning content on mobile devices offers greater flexibility and convenience. Employees can learn anytime, anywhere, supporting continuous learning and skill development. Enabling mobile access through employee self-service simplifies the learning experience, ensuring that learners can engage with content seamlessly across devices. 

6. Leverage data analytics to measure your impact  

E-learning platforms that offer tools for HR data analytics provide valuable insights into learner engagement and performance. Monitoring progress and engagement metrics allows organisations to optimise their e-learning strategies for better outcomes. HR departments can analyse the data to assess the effectiveness of training initiatives, identify areas for improvement, and make data-backed decisions.  

Elevate your e-learning strategy with self-service learning

By offering a flexible and cost-effective solution for delivering training content, e-learning is a great tool for smaller businesses looking to upskill employees. It allows employees to learn anytime, anywhere, which is particularly beneficial for businesses with remote workers or limited resources for traditional training methods. 

However, it’s important to use a strategic approach to e-learning at work by considering the varying needs and organisational structure of the business, as well as the learning preferences of employees. Creating an effective e-learning strategy requires time and thoughtful planning, but is crucial to ensure effective training that keeps employees engaged. 

The flexible e-learning capabilities of PeopleHR’s self-service HR platform, can help workers of all disciplines and learning styles to access essential training at their fingertips. Get started with our free trial to explore how we can support your e-learning at work initiatives. 

Sheldon Walker
By Sheldon Walker New Business Sales Representative

Sheldon is a New Business Sales professional with Access PeopleHR. He is dedicated to helping SMBs thrive in today's competitive landscape. With over 5 years of experience in SAAS and HR software products, he has provided numerous clients with the tools to make their life easier. Sheldon's passions lie in helping clients achieve their goals and giving them the freedom to do more.