How can you provide employee development training without breaking your budget?
No doubt, forward thinking organizations recognize the need to provide employee development training, and particularly, professional development for Managers. Besides developing skills that are needed to keep your organization effective and efficient, professional development is seen as a perk. You will be more likely to retain good managers, and be able to advance them to more senior positions. And you will be more likely to recruit talented new managers if you can offer professional development. But efficient organizations also want affordable management training options.
Traditional approaches to management training are becoming more difficult and expensive – particularly for those organizations that have people in more remote locations, or distributed in different parts of the region, country or globe. As innovative businesses establish themselves outside of major cities, the time and cost of travel to Universities or conference centers can become prohibitive. Here is where eLearning can provide a very effective and affordable management training solution.
How does eLearning provide effective and affordable management training?
Essentially, eLearning allows participants to work from their office or home at their own pace. It eliminates the need for travel and facilities, or the need for employees, team leaders and managers to take large chunks of time away from work. Let’s look at each advantage:
Let’s compare with some traditional approaches:
- Attending courses at a University, Institution or Conference: Besides the often high cost of registration itself, your employee will be away from work for several days (lost production). If the course is in another city, there are expenses for travel, accommodation, meals, parking, etc. And more lost production while they travel.
- Bringing in a trainer: While this can eliminate the travel cost for your employees, there’s often costs incurred by the trainer for travel time and expenses. The trainer must prepare, set up, take down, etc. – which all adds to the billable hours. And often there’s the cost of the facility, meals, etc. And still, your employees must usually take full days away from work.
So with eLearning, employees work at their computer as and when convenient. They can put in 30 minutes a day at work or at home. No cost for employee travel, meals, etc. No extra costs for instructor expenses (which should be reflected in lower cost per person). And no large chunks of lost production.
The fees for online courses are often (but not always!) lower than more traditional approaches. We strive to provide affordable courses for managers by leveraging the power of a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver course content.
Having been a Manager myself, I know how hard it is to take off chunks of time. Your mind is always worrying about things you need to do back at the office. I remember coming back after several days of training and having a line-up of people outside my office urgently wanting my time. And for those of us that don’t live in a large city, it often means travel away from home and family to attend training sessions.
So being able to work from office or home, and setting your own schedule makes eLearning immensely convenient for busy managers. If something urgent comes up, you don’t have to feel conflicted about cancelling your training. You just manage your own calendar and fit it in where you can.
When we take training in a condensed state, some of the problems include:
- Lack of retention – too much information too quickly, we don’t really absorb it all.
- No opportunity to apply the learning as we go – have you ever gotten back to the office and now have questions you wish you could have asked?
- No ability to go back and refresh areas as we need to
- There may or may not be an assessment tool to determine if you achieved the learning outcomes
Our NMC Strategic Manager online training program has been designed to overcomes these obstacles. Each person goes at their own pace. And there are exercises that invite you to observe and reflect on your experiences in the workplace. And once you sign up for the course, you have unlimited access. So you can go back and refresh sections as and when needed. In fact, I highly encourage this! You may find things that didn’t seem relevant at one time suddenly pop up. Or you may get a deeper understanding of complex topics.
Our courses include a self-assessment based on the learning objectives we set out for the course. If you find you didn’t achieve what you set out to do, just let us know and we’ll guide you!
Is there a down side to eLearning?
It is quite a different environment from the more traditional classroom or boardroom approach. It requires participants to be more self-directing and self-motivated. The good news is that Managers (and those aspiring to be managers) generally have these characteristics! It’s kind of a requirement for the job.
So the main downside for Management training is when people that are good face-to-face instructors try to take their courses to the online environment as-is. Teaching in the online environment is a very different skill, which requires a lot of up front planning. It also requires that teachers know how to use communication technology to keep students engaged.
Some people are afraid that the lack of human interaction can be a downside. This is where it is particularly important to have an instructor that understands how to build a relationship with their students in an online environment. And in blended or facilitated learning (which I’ll talk about next) a good instructor is able to build a relationship between participants.
Are there different types of eLearning?
There are many options. Some are text based, some video, others interactive. So where do you start? We have designed the strategic management training program to provide affordable management training for managers in all types of organizations: Private enterprise, Public Service and Not-for-profit. I believe it will be increasingly important to provide different approaches to training both current and future managers – particulary as the business world becomes more complex and interdependent. Let’s look at some examples:
A person signs up for a course and progresses at their own pace. Our Strategic Manager courses are set up to support this. Once you sign up, you follow the curriculum, which is largely video based. There’s exercises, reflections, case studies and quizzes to help you learn. And we have a self-assessment at the end to make sure your learning objectives were met. You have unlimited access to go back to different sections at any time. And you can email your instructor with questions and suggestions.
Facilitated or Blended
If you have a group of employees, an instructor can guide them through the course. This is still in the online environment with our video based courses, but the instructor will set weekly goals and assignments, and initiate discussion topics. This provides some structure to ensure the course is completed within a timeframe (6 to 8 weeks), and brings in more human interaction and support. We recommend keeping the group small (8 to 10) to ensure sufficient one-to-one support.
We can design a course based on real issues and challenges in your organization. These can be either pure self-directed or facilitated, one time delivery or re-usable modules for future employees. We will work with you to define learning objectives and determine the best delivery within your time frame and budget.
Develop Strategic Management and Leadership Skills in Your Organization
Learn more about how we support organizations with customized employee development training programs. Through our elearning platform and online facilitation, we can support employee development from any location!
Try it out with a FREE Course!