ELearning can help an organization in several ways, the biggest of which is empowering it to build the capacity of its workforce. Large organizations have leveraged eLearning to gain such huge competitive advantage that they have taken robust initiatives to drive the learning curve deep into the organizational culture. Small organizations, on the contrary, have failed to seize this advantage, primarily out of ignorance or apathy. If you are running a small organization, it’s time you jump onto the eLearning bandwagon to keep your workforce adequately skilled and informed.
No matter how small your organization is, eLearning can help to improve the quality of your work force in an impactful way. You can use it to capture the expertise of experienced staff members, streamline knowledge management, and tap into these two to expand the potential of your workforce.
Here’s what small organizations can do to ensure seamless adoption of eLearning.
eLearning can be self-sustaining only if the ends can be justified. So small organizations must justify the need for eLearning. Though cost-benefit analysis is the best way of justifying such initiatives, it’s always difficult for small organizations to justify along this line. Instead they can justify the need along the following lines: allowing for further expansion; maximizing unused resources, saving time, connecting dispersed resources, etc. The good thing about these alternative justifications is that they can also be quantified in dollar figures.
In small organizations, managers do not care much about training and preparing employees for future improvement. As a first step, managers need to understand the strategic need to improve human performance within the organization. The management should give due priority to develop learning processes that can bring about process improvements. They should either forego the opportunity costs involved in losing staff time due to training or make it mandatory for the staff to undergo training after office hours. A good option would be to provide flexible training schedules. Including knowledge promoting initiative as a parameter to rate managers and employees can spur them to become more receptive towards eLearning.
To be able to deliver eLearning, small organizations need to establish a complete eLearning system with a robust technology framework. Appropriate infrastructure include computers, connectivity, training rooms etc. Having all these in place is mandatory for sustaining a long term eLearning program.
Initiating eLearning without understanding the training needs of an organization can bring no true benefits to the organization. So, small organizations should have a dedicated training specialists to analyze businesses needs and performance gaps. Based on this understanding, the trainer would be responsible for identifying training needs and imparting it via eLearning.
Though initiating eLearning in the crisis-driven work culture of small organizations is not easy, small businesses need to take the initiative themselves. It is important to start small but start with a shared vision and strategic plan. Once the benefits start trickling in, the scope of eLearning can be expanded and integrated to promote multiple goals.