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10 Major Benefits of Online Learning for Employees

Think online learning is just for kids? Think again.

Online learning isn't just for students anymore. During the last decade, online learning and eLearning technologies have rapidly grown to become part of corporate learning and development plans at companies worldwide. 

And with the pressure the COVID-19 pandemic placed on workplace culture and training in the last few years, we know it's more important than ever to reach remote employees with high-quality training and learning opportunities.

With the flexibility and efficiency of today's online learning platforms, employees can access training and skills development almost anywhere and anytime.

This article will discuss the benefits of online learning for employees and how businesses can realize the advantages of setting up an online learning platform for their employees.

Top 10 Benefits of Online Learning

Each individual and organization will recognize the unique benefits of online learning because no two businesses are alike. The benefits of online learning will vary depending on your business's industry and how you operate. 

For instance, if you run a retail chain business, you may realize different benefits than an accounting firm, especially if you are focused on using online learning for employees in a specific business area, such as onboarding or sales development. 

That said, many online learning benefits are universal. To get a better sense of how using an online learning platform like Tovuti can significantly improve your team’s approach to learning and development, we will take a look at the 11 major benefits of online learning.

Before we get into the benefits of online learning, here are the 11 online learning benefits we’ll be talking about today:

  1. Convenience for the learner
  2. Cost-efficient
  3. Improved employee knowledge retention
  4. Engagement in material
  5. Accessibility for employees
  6. Provides timely feedback
  7. Fits flexible schedules
  8. Scalability for growing businesses
  9. Greater staff retention
  10. Consistent learning

Convenience for the Learner

A busy world like the one we live in today demands convenience. From our phones offering us a quick way to order dinner to the interconnected nature of instant communication in the workplace, we appreciate and anticipate convenience.

It’s no different in the case of online learning. 

Employees want the best of their online learning experience, and that’s reflected in the data available about this kind of learning. Approximately half of the employees would not recommend their organization's learning and development opportunities, and only one in five would recommend their organization’s learning and development options.

One way to make training more desirable is to conveniently serve it to your employees. Implementing a robust, engaging learning management system like Tovuti can improve the convenience of accessing training. After all, it doesn’t require your employees to book a day off, rearrange their schedules, or modify their working schedules. It can easily fit into their day and create minimal disruption for your employees or you as the business owner or manager.

Convenience benefits to online learning mean your employees can access learning:

  • From their desk at the office
  • From their home office during regular business hours
  • On the go through mobile devices
  • From their laptop after hours

All of these are at times that suit the learner’s schedule, and from any device, so your employees can pick up where they left off and make accessing online learning easier and more convenient.

Cost-Efficient

benefits to online learning

Creating cost-effective learning strategies should be at the forefront of your goals for employee development. After all, wouldn’t you find it frustrating to invest in something and see little to no benefit or not see measurable results in any way?

Traditional learning can be expensive. There are costs left and right to learn together in person from speakers, materials, physical space, and transportation. But you can’t exactly forgo training, either.

Thankfully, one of the online learning benefits is its cost-efficiency. Though the amount to invest is likely less than that of running traditional learning, there’s still an investment in online learning – but don’t worry, it pays you back in other ways.

Specifically, 42% of companies say that eLearning has led to increased revenue after implementation. Similar data from IBM found that every dollar invested in online training results in $30 in productivity. This is because employees can resume their work faster and apply their skills immediately over traditional learning opportunities.

As a whole, realizing the benefits of online learning can generate revenue for your business and improve productivity for a better bottom line, but it can even save you money. That same study from IBM showed that they saved approximately $200 million after switching to eLearning for their employees. And while that's obviously a massive company with many employees, it illustrates how online learning benefits your bottom line more than you may have realized.

Employee Knowledge Retention

The function of training is to help employees develop the skills they need to be successful and productive in the workplace. 

But what if that primary goal is not being met? 

Employees need to retain the knowledge they learn in training to implement it, and knowledge retention is a challenge for both online learning and in-person learning. However, the information about which is better for helping employees recall critical information makes the winner clear.

Through eLearning, retention rates increase by 25% to 60%, leaving traditional learning in the dust with a measly 8% to 10% retention rate. This shows how the benefits of online learning can extend past the training session and help your employees reach new heights long after their training is finished. 

Engagement

Staring down a long day of video calls is something most of us find part of our regular workweek. We need to interact with our co-workers and teammates to get things done and fulfill social needs. 

Unfortunately, video conferencing, also a simplistic way to deliver training, can challenge our focus. The level of sustained concentration required for video meetings causes fatigue after about 30-40 minutes. After two hours of video meetings, stress begins to set in. 

This is important to consider because it means your employees need more from online training than some video conferencing chats. You need a socially engaging platform with tools to include multiple kinds of training activities so your employees don’t feel siloed or alone – a platform like Tovuti

Tovuti features that keep employees engaged and allow you to reap the benefits of online learning through LMS features like

  • Gamification
  • In-video quizzes
  • Microlearning lessons
  • Various ways to do a skills check-in (assignments, quizzes, forum discussions)
  • Social networking on-site through communities
  • Integration with offline events. 

An essential component of engaging your learners is balancing the types of skills you’re training for. In most businesses hard and soft skills need to be sharpened to create more effective employees. Hard skills are quantifiable, teachable abilities or skill sets. On the other hand, soft skills are difficult to quantify because they are subjective.

The table below shows some ideas for developing hard and soft skills, a way to reap the benefits of online learning.

Examples of Soft Skills Training

Examples of Hard Skills Training

  • Coaching and mentoring meetings
  • Live workshops and video conferences
  • Forum discussions with peers
  • Dialogue practice scenarios 
  • Knowledge checks and assessments
  • Videos modeling skills (i.e. customer interaction)
  • Quizzes and assessments
  • Lectures and video lessons with knowledge checks built-in
  • Completing a series of microlearning videos
  • Learning paths for specific skills (i.e. coding, foreign languages, menu item recipes)

Table Source

Accessibility For Employees

benefits of online learning for students

Another one of the benefits of online learning is that you can provide equal access for all employees, regardless of ability, to training, events, and compliance certifications.

With over 18 million employees with a disability working in the US, you have a moral obligation to make training accessible to your employees, and often, you have a legal one

Companies that prioritized an inclusive work environment for employees with disabilities achieved an average of 28% higher revenue, 30% greater economic profit margins, and twice the net income of their industry peers over a three-year period. With so many motivations to create accessible training for employees, it’s easy to see the benefits of online learning for improving accessibility. 

Specifically, online learning benefits those with disabilities as it allows them to use assistive technology on their devices such as

  • Screen readers
  • Captioning
  • Voice typing software
  • Voice control of the device

You can’t always say the same as in-person training, where it can be a challenge to ensure employees with disabilities get the most out of their training experience.

Provides Timely Feedback

Did you know that companies that consistently provide feedback to their employees have a 14.9% lower turnover rate than those that do not? And a fifth of employees believe their manager will not provide regular, constructive feedback?

That's critical information to know if you'd like to run a successful business with happy employees!

Thankfully, one of the benefits of online learning is that you can easily and almost automatically increase the frequency and variety of employee feedback. You can achieve this by implementing effective online learning programming. 

Using a multifaceted LMS like Tovuti allows you to provide not only a one-way channel for feedback but also a line back to you from your learners, directly. The table below outlines some of the ways Tovuti can give you the online learning benefits of speedy feedback.

LMS Feature Benefits to Online Learning Rating and comments Allow learners to give you instantaneous feedback on lessons and courses after they complete Report builder Create reports that will run and populate learner success data, progress, event participation, and more. Leaderboard Allow your learners to see exactly where they are in the standings on the point-based leaderboard to inspire friendly competition Course tracking Easily monitor learner progress as they work on each course or module. Quizzes and assessments Utilize various question formats and logic rules to quiz learners at the appropriate point in their course.

Fits Flexible Schedules

Sales teams and other employees, such as healthcare workers, who are on the go 24/7, need flexibility in training. They don't have the time to sit in a conference room and watch a slideshow all day, nor do they want to. The solution is training that can be done from any device, anywhere. Between calls? That's just enough time to take in soft skills training through a quick, bite-sized, microlearning lesson. 

LMSs like Tovuti unlock one of the most significant benefits of online learning for employees: flexibility. In a traditional classroom setting, the material could take 40% to 60% more time to learn than if the same content is covered through eLearning. This way, you get training in their hands and allow them to do their job in the meantime. 

Tovuti offers your team the online learning benefits of plenty of on-the-go features:

  • Custom app development for your needs
  • 100% mobile responsive
  • Bite-sized lessons microlearning
  • Mobile learning activities (presentations, short videos, infographics)

Scalability

the benefits of online learning

When an organization is scalable, it can cope with an increase or decrease in users, workload, or transactions without undue stress.

As your business scales, you need your onboarding process to remain smooth, in-depth, and reliable and scale along with you. You also need regular learning and development to scale with ease for a large number of employees, too. And since 35% of millennials cite comprehensive training and development programs as the top benefit their company should offer, you cannot overlook the importance of a scalable, effective program.

This is one of the benefits of online learning – no physical space needed to complete training means you don’t have to find increasing spaces for staff to sit in or increase the production of materials or find appropriate assessment locations, either. 

Reap online learning benefits from a platform like Tovuti that has features to help you grow training and development from established material, as well as easily create new content:

  • SCORM compliant-content import
  • Bring your own existing content
  • Powerpoint Importer
  • Course library with pre-made content
  • Built-in course authoring

Greater Staff Retention

A high turnover rate is often the symptom of another problem. It can be a sign that there is something wrong in one or more processes or areas. One area that can make employees frustrated enough to leave? Training. Poor training, especially poor onboarding processes, doubles the likelihood of employee turnover.

In addition, 70% of employees say they are somewhat likely to leave their current job to work for a company that invests in employee development and learning. Now that's a lot of employees who are seeking high-quality, efficient, and thorough training.

On the flip side, those who do train, keep employees there longer. Those companies that foster learning cultures are associated with 30% to 50% higher retention rates. Remote learning benefits you by ensuring all employees get thorough, regular training and can access their material anytime, anywhere, so they can quickly reference back to what they have already learned.

Consistent Learning

The final benefit of online learning is that it allows you to offer consistent training in terms of both the amount of learning but also the content itself. Consider you have multiple locations or offices. Your employees are all doing the same jobs at these different locations, but they may not be getting the same training. 

Perhaps one place is on top of tech and has some videos to watch online, but another is all hands-on and printouts when it comes to onboarding and ongoing learning. Neither of those options is going to give your employees the consistent learning they need to succeed. 

It is imperative that employees are trained continuously. Losses of more than $500 billion can be attributed to insufficient training and disengagement each year in the US. eLearning ensures that there is consistent delivery of training material, which results in all trainees receiving the same quality of training across the board. That helps protect you from losses and ensures your business is always ahead of the curve in the education department. 

Online Learning Success Stories 

what are the benefits of online learning

With so many potential benefits to online learning for your business to reap, understanding how they translate to tangible results for real organizations is important. 

Through the success of online learning platforms like Tovuti, your business can actualize training goals and create a culture of learning in your organization.

We have two stories that highlight both the benefits of online learning as well as its success for the organization:

  1. Lego, the established toy company 
  2. Booking.com, a travel and accommodations booking website 

Success Story #1: LEGO

There are few people in the world who wouldn’t know what LEGO is. 

The main mission of this well-established brand is to inspire and educate tomorrow's builders. In their efforts to improve the culture of learning within the organization, the company's learning and development team knew they must find ways to inspire and develop today's LEGO employees. 

The team decided to invest in LinkedIn Learning licenses for every knowledge worker. This tool lets users complete online learning courses from their desktop and mobile devices.

The team sought to develop ways to inspire employees as they learn. Their solution was to create a customized learner portal that included various learning resources. The videos and learning paths were organized around 12 priority topics that were felt particularly relevant to being an adaptive, modern organization.

Topics included:

  • Critical thinking
  • Design thinking
  • Emotional intelligence

This was the essential element of building a strong learning culture within LEGO. It empowered employees to take ownership of their professional growth. 

And the results speak for themselves. 

After purchasing 7500 licenses for their team, LEGO saw 90% of them activated within 12 months. Average access of twice per month, demonstrating that employees want to learn on their own time, and undertake new content that inspires them more than simply some assigned to them. 

A great example of how the benefits of online learning permeated the LEGO culture is the story of one employee who worked in the licensing department. The employee tried out some courses in the LMS that focused on a data tool called PowerBI and then used that to work in a new role within LEGO that used the tool as a job requirement. 

This is not only a story of an employee searching out the skills they want to develop but remaining within the organization rather than leaving it for a growth opportunity, speaking to reduced turnover as one of the benefits of online learning. 

Success Story #2: Booking.com

Founded in 1996, Booking.com is an online accommodations booking website based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The company offers reservations for various hotels for leisure and business markets worldwide.

The team at Booking.com sought an online learning platform that could help its younger employees develop their technical and leadership skills to grow individually and push the company forward. Learning and development programmers also wanted to foster a culture of learning that improved their retention rates. They wanted their employees to develop new skills and find new opportunities within our company, rather than leave after a few years.

To address these goals, Booking.com chose to partner with Udemy Business, a popular website for online learners globally. This was a change from the prior program offered by their learning and development team. Previously, Booking.com offered a stipend for employees to access learning from an external provider, but adoption of this program was low. By launching its new campaign, Booking.com was focused on enabling its employees to be in the drivers' seat for their personal development. 

Employees took customized courses on topics such as

  • Management and leadership development
  • Public speaking
  • Data science 
  • Web development

Using both desktop and mobile devices; employees were able to take short bursts of microlearning with them on the go. This ease of use was reflected in their employee engagement with the program. Booking.com immediately saw an increase in engagement compared to their previous learning solution. The average user had already spent 5+ hours learning on the platform within a short period after launching.

This reflects one of the primary benefits of online learning (and one of Booking.com's goals) to make learning convenient and flexible to their needs and allow your employees to have a choice in their learning for improved adoption. 

Summary

what are the benefits of online learning

You know there is a myriad of benefits of online learning for students and learners alike. And for your business, you can improve the outcomes of training by switching to online learning. Whether it is reduced turnover, improved profitability, or better scalability, online learning benefits your business in ways that go beyond what traditional learning can do for your team. 

And the platform you can trust to get the job done? Tovuti. Tovuti is a robust, modern platform that allows you to create engaging online training with the press of a button and reap the benefits of online learning faster than you’d expect. 

Find out how Tovuti works and how you can realize the benefits of online learning by watching a demo

Author:
Tyson Chaplin

Tyson Chaplin earned his Master of Educational Technology degree from Boise State University in 2014. He also earned a graduate certificate in Technology Integration and holds teaching certificates in online teaching, special education, and history.

Tyson is an Idaho native who is passionate about technology and how it can help all people learn and better themselves. He has worked in both public and private sectors. Tyson enjoys cooking and traveling with his wife, Malia, and restores vintage video game systems in his free time.

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