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The Need of E-learning implementation at your SME

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I was visiting my college friend a few days back. When I visited his home, I met his daughter – hardly two years old, a beautiful princess with big doe eyes. She barely spoke anything (obviously, she didn’t get much time to expand her vocabulary just yet), so it was a little difficult to have a conversation with her. While I was wondering how I should become her friend, she saw my smartphone in my hand; she brought her dad’s phone, unlocked it, and showed me the YouTube videos about the alphabets and rhymes.

No, I haven’t forgotten the title of this article. What I’m trying to say is that if a child less than two years old learns from the digital platforms, why does your enterprise not?

What Is E-learning?

Any form of knowledge-imparting where you use digital media to learn/ teach something is what we call e-learning. Irrespective of the stage where media is being used (whether for distributing, presenting the materials or for the students to communicate through teachers), it is still classified as e-learning.

If we look at the history of this medium of studying, we will observe that the earliest forms of electronic learning were not interactive. If we take the example of employee training, the technology used back then in the enterprises were mediums like video courses, which were nothing but a pre-recorded lecture/ instructions displayed to the workforce during training. The possibilities of the workforce’s doubts being solved by the trainer used to be extremely low in such case.

However, with the introduction of millennials in the world, came the introduction of better, more interactive technology in this field. Today, the workers have a lot of options in this field to choose from. They can receive the training through:

1.   Computer-based Learning

Established in the 1980s, this technique is based on the software in CDs and DVDs, allowing the learner to learn whenever they want, wherever they want. The communication with the trainer is dependent on the appointments.

2.   Web-based Learning

The successor to computer-based studying, this technique is available on the internet or the intranet of the institute. It includes communication via chats, conference calls, emails, and forums.

3.   Virtual Classrooms

A special type of web-based training, it is a technique where the virtual courses are provided on pre-decided dates. In this, the communication takes place via chats or video conferencing. The learners have the option to present or share the documents.

4.   Mobile Training

Everything these days is available on smartphones; why not training as well? These applications support micro-learning, viz., a short lesson or test on the smartphone that often takes just a few minutes.

5.   Digital Educational Games

It is increasingly trending. This technique provides learners with multiple choices for what to do and enables them to develop their skills. These are often known as Massively Multiplayer Online Games or MMOG.

How Does E-learning Contribute To SMEs Betterment?

It is a common misconception that using electronic means to offer training is done only by the ‘big enterprises’. It is understandable that people may think so, thanks to the extravagant costs to set up a program for workforce training. This can probably be the reason why small and medium enterprises hold back from investing in training their staff.

All of these can now be considered as water under the bridge. Although it is still expensive to install an electronic training program, it is becoming less and less costly with each passing day. Even though it might seem costly, the Returns on Investments from such investments from them is so high that the cost is practically written off in a few years’ time. Besides that, the SMEs can benefit from e-training in the following ways:

1.   Banishes The Current Costs

If you look beyond the initial costs, you will see that it is going to assist you in reducing numerous costs that prevail currently. Here are two examples of how it reduces costs and makes your enterprise better. Firstly, we all know that the requirement to hire HR personnel is faced by small businesses too. While they are setting up e-learning, they will have no other option but to install a suitable Learning Management System as well. This system takes over the duties that an HR manager performs, thereby eliminating the need to hire an excessive number of HR managers.

Another example is that irrespective of their size, the employees need to be coached by the companies. Small organizations usually outsource training services. These services are not at all pocket-friendly. Besides, their relevance and engagement are not guaranteed. Investing in tools to provide electronic learning increases the training quality and saves time of management, all while fitting your pocket.

2.   Boosts Organizational Growth

Again, let’s begin with the common notion: large enterprises employ electronic training tools because those organizations are established and are inclined to keep up the level of proficiency and expertise that the employees have so far obtained besides enhancing their development to make them better. It boosts the pace and rate at which the business expands. True. That statement is entirely lie-proof. But if you give it a little more pondering, don’t you think that the ones that are required to increase the rapidity of their growth are actually small scale businesses? Did they enter the market to stay an SME forever? No! Everyone looks for opportunities to develop. Investing in electronic training tools is what elevates the small company’s position in the market.

With the right training tools, not only can the SMEs upskill their employees, but also save up a hefty amount of money that is otherwise spent by the organization on recruiting better employees. We are not talking about just the expense of hiring skilled employees. Understand the chain – better the employees higher will be their demand for salaries, benefits, and flexibility. Investing in e-learning tools can help the small industries to save up on all these costs.

3.   Increased Employee Retention

Among the primary reasons why the employees choose to part ways with a small organization is their realization that they have grown beyond the development of the company. They feel that they have received everything that this organization had to offer them, that they have learned everything that they could possibly learn, and there is nothing more left for them to imbibe. The business that is small starts to feel like a hurdle in their path of success. They will not hesitate for even one second before deciding to leave your organization.

You, as an organization, can take the advantage of this thought process by providing development courses to your employees to enhance their personal and professional skills in order to retain them. Once you have proper tools for training the employees in your organization, they will feel challenged and will find opportunities to increase their skill count. This stops them from leaving the organization, and ultimately your employee retention rates skyrocket.

4.   Indefinable Assistance

The advantages received from the electronic knowledge-imparting system aren’t limited to just the measurable benefits. As a matter of fact, the benefits that are intangible outnumber the tangible ones. Workforce’s morale, business opportunities, client relationships, organization productivity, etc., are a few of the many things boosted by e-learning methods. Rather than the availability of the training methods, it relies on the value of the available tools. The better the facilities, the higher the level of these factors would be. Therefore, the benefits provided by investing in these tools are far beyond what you can possibly see.

5.   Initiates Employee Branding

People go crazy after brands. Brands give them a sense of trust, identity, recognition, and above all, they differentiate the company from its competitors. Apart from the names, symbols, logos, and designs, the only thing that makes a brand shine is the workforce. Employee branding converts its employees into human billboards. It shapes the employees’ behavior in a way that they represent their brand’s identity through their behavior, whether inside or outside the organization. For any organization that puts in efforts to build a market base for its brand, this is something that can be of immense value.

In A Nutshell

Every organization is different. They have their own set of values, beliefs, processes, and thoughts. How an organization conducts its business is highly impacted by these factors. The company’s image in the eyes of the clients, customers, and competitors are all influenced by the factors mentioned above. The companies dealing in the same products may differ in their ways of operations. These differences may be due to the variance in the policies of the higher management, objectives of the investors, and public perception of the organization. If the organizations are different from each other on so many levels, how can they follow the same training programs? This is when e-learning comes into existence with its features of allowing customization to suit the needs of the business.

When it comes to offering training just for the sake of doing it, small businesses can invest in a generic, all-inclusive, off-the-shelf syllabus, where the same course is offered to every organization’s employee. But when we’re talking about providing training about core business operations, software applications specific to an organization, etc., you might want to consider creating a course form base up that is configured to suit the needs of your business organization.

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