Justifying a comprehensive training program to your manager(s) can sometimes be an uphill battle, especially if you’re looking at something other than the traditional 5-days, travel to a classroom model. Here are a few arrows for your arsenal to help you prove the value of online training.
- It costs less. Studies have shown that up to 40% of the money businesses spend on in-classroom training goes to travel and lodging. When you train online, you virtually eliminate these.
- It saves time. Since you don’t have to travel to and from the classroom, you can spend more time learning and being productive, and less time sitting in traffic or airports.
- It’s flexible. Since the class and the content are online, there don’t have to be set class hours. Sessions can be recorded and archived for later viewing. Or, if you need more person-to-person interaction, there are plenty of live options available, such as video chats and web-enabled meetings.
- It’s secure. When you’re training staff on proprietary company information, security is critical; and having printed materials floating around could be asking for problems. However, if you train online you can use passwords, user authentication, and/or encryption to safeguard your intellectual property.
And to counter some of the arguments you may get, here are a few more points to keep in mind.
- How can you learn if you’re just watching a screen? Today’s online and web-based training has come a long way from its beginnings. Working on group projects with your classmates via chat, asking the instructor questions via text or email, and other interactive tools like dashboards and polls, make this type of training just as engaging as sitting in a classroom.
- How do I know you really attended? It’s actually easier to track an online student than a student two states away at a training center. Most online training systems have session-level registration systems that identify who logged on. Instructors can track attendees, including their responses to polls and Q&As. And all of this information can be compiled and reported back to the training manager at your company.
- Will you learn as much as in a “real” class? Today’s more informal learning options seem counter-intuitive to some people. However, studies have shown that collaborative learning events such as web-based training and meetings, actually increase participant retention and satisfaction, resulting in higher productivity.