7 Minutes of reading
Reduce your training costs with e-learning
As beneficial as face-to-face training can be for the development of key skills and knowledge, the costs associated with it can be astronomical. Switching to e-learning, or a blended learning approach, however, can bring those costs down significantly.
By taking training into the digital realm, companies can remove the burden of logistical and trainer costs, all the while seeing improvements across the board in skills and knowledge retention, not to mention overall productivity.
But how exactly does this work? We’re going to explain how and why e-learning can reduce your training costs compared to face-to-face training, while showing you how you can get more value for money by choosing the right tools.
How e-learning saves you money
No logistical costs
The logistical costs associated with face-to-face training can simply be described as staggering. From renting out large venues to forking out for transportation, food and accommodation, companies are left footing a hefty bill at the end of their courses. This cost alone is often enough to convince employers that they don’t have the budget to work on developing their employees’ skills regularly.
That’s not even taking into account the logistical nightmare of having to actually coordinate the whole affair!
With e-learning, however, companies can wave goodbye to setting aside a large budget for these logistical costs. Learners can simply dip in and out of their online training courses from their desks, during their commute, or even in the comfort of their own home.
Minimal training costs
Companies also have to set aside a significant portion of their training budget for their chosen trainers. This could be anywhere from reasonable to eye-watering, depending on the number of learners involved, the type of training, and the duration or intensity of the training courses.
By opting for a digital approach, however, you can choose to remove the trainer from the equation entirely—either by putting the training materials together yourself, or by using off-the-shelf e-learning content. Even if you choose a blended learning approach, it still works out cheaper than focusing solely on face-to-face training.
Reduced development costs
Face-to-face training requires companies to dedicate even more of their training budget to printing learning materials for their courses. This is a wasteful expense for two reasons:
- If you want employees to refer back to their training, they will need to keep their copy of the materials. This means that you’ll need to print out more for future training sessions.
- If you need to update your materials to keep up with industry changes and policy updates, you’ll need to redo them and print them once more.
In short, it’s a costly and time-consuming affair.
But what about e-learning? Well, the upfront cost of developing digital training courses on an LMS platform can be hefty, especially if you decide to avoid off-the-shelf e-learning courses in favour of original, tailored content.
Unlike face-to-face learning materials, however, e-learning content can be distributed easily, updated as and when you need, and even repurposed for different modules and formats. This drastically reduces your development costs and helps you get as much bang for your buck as possible.
Accurate ROI and KPIs
Trying to measure the effectiveness of face-to-face training courses can be difficult. Once your employees have completed their courses, there’s no way of knowing how much information they’ve retained and whether it has had an effect on their productivity. This can make it extremely difficult to justify setting aside a large budget for training.
With the sophisticated technology available through certain LMS platforms, however, it is far easier to assess the effectiveness of your training courses. Your administrators can look at up-to-date analytics and KPIs to monitor learner progress and assess which courses have been successful and which ones need to be improved. This can then be measured against your training costs to determine your ROI.
Faster retention and better engagement
There’s no denying that face-to-face training can prove useful for helping learners develop key skills and knowledge in an interactive environment. It can, however, take much longer to take root. After all, there’s only so much material that you can get through in a single session and, more importantly, learners aren’t motivated to continue their training outside of these sessions.
With online learning, however, learners are far more engaged with the materials, especially if you’re gamifying your content and personalising the formats to match their learning styles. This means that they’re more likely to retain their newfound knowledge, which can lead to increased productivity, better profits and an impressive ROI.
Breakdown of training costs
Your overall training costs will depend on your chosen LMS platform, its functionalities and your needs. If you’re looking to create your own tailored training content, for example, it will cost you more than if you decide to opt for off-the-shelf e-learning content.
It also depends on whether you want to gamify your content, diversify your formats with mobile learning and virtual classrooms, or even add face-to-face training into the mix with a blended learning approach.
These are the types of factors that need to be carefully considered so that you can choose the right training tool for your learners and your business.
How to maximise your training budget
Establish your training objectives
Before you start looking at potential e-learning tools, you’ve first got to figure out what your requirements are. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
- How many learners do I need to train?
- What are my learners like? (Think about their age, digital know-how, skills, learning styles, etc.)
- Will I need a third party to create my training content or can I create it myself?
- What type of content do I need?
- What do I hope to achieve with the training and how long will it take?
Set your training budget
It’s important that you take the time to consider how much money you’re willing to spend on your training courses. Your first instinct might be to spend as little as possible, but you’ve got to think of it as an investment.
A bigger initial outlay will pay dividends in the long run. After all, this training will increase the skills and expertise of your employees, not to mention their productivity.
The long-term savings that result from successfully deploying e-learning will supersede the initial cost of your chosen platform and its associated tools.
Compare what's on offer
Now that you’ve established your objectives, needs and budget, it’s time to look for tools that meet your requirements.
Take your time to thoroughly research what’s on offer and don’t forget to try out demos and free trials. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to express them clearly to the providers. You’ll be using this tool for the foreseeable future, so it’s vital that you make the best decision for you and your learners.