At our company, we have been using direct face to face training for past many years. Now a days, with recruitment is getting more frequent and more employees are joining the company, face to face training is getting more difficult. We are considering a change to online training using training softwares provided by companies like Skyprep in Thornhill. We have never tried this method before and is not sure if this method will be as effective as the face to face training. Any suggestions on giving high quality training to our employees?
From Canada, Montreal
Dear Jenjones,

You could have given background information while raising the query. What is the nature of your business? What is your designation? What type of trainings do you conduct? Do you have your own trainers you outsource it completely?

Why do we train our employees? We train our employees to bring organisational change. After the training, some operational ratio should increase or decrease. Else some operational cost is supposed to decrease. If you feel that you will be able to bring this change because of e-learning then you may try this method.

However, I have question to ask you. There are lot of videos available on Youtube on most of the subjects. If employees have that self-learning attitude then employees can learn from books or existing videos on the Youtube also. Why not to try this method before embarking e-learning?

In the personal training, faculty brings liveliness. For the spontaneous questions, spontaneous replies are given. Faculty just does not impart the training but manages attention span also. Secondly, how will you conduct the games or simulations through e-learning? The impact that games or simulations make helps in making a behavioural change.

My Personal Experience: - Once I conducted training programme on "Business Writing Skills" for the middle/senior management professionals of a company that manufactured excavators. That is American MNC. Almost all the participants had taken training through e-learning module. They had acquired online certificate also. However, their CEO was fed up with the Managers because of their inability to write proper e-mails or letters. Finally at his instance, classroom training was organised. Most of the participants openly admitted that what understanding of the subject they had in classroom training that same understanding they did not have in e-learning.

Let me quote second case. Once I had meeting with Training Head of a company that has operations in 105 countries. They have uploaded 150+ modules in e-learning. Notwithstanding this, he found little change on the ground. He expressed his concerned over e-learning not showing impact on the operations.

Let me quote third case. Recently, one client has approached me for conducting training on teamwork. The HR told me that they are facing unique problem in one of the teams. They are all seniors with 5-10 years of service. Hitherto, they were controlled by very senior person and he did not involve in managing daily operations hence enjoyed the freedom. Now recently one person was inducted as Manager for them. Slowly team has started showing the disgruntlement against the Manager and there are undercurrents of discontent. They wanted me to conduct training on teamwork. Will e-learning solve this kind of problem?

Via Media: - My experience apart, e-learning is here to stay that I also admit. Therefore, you may go for the via media. Participants may have pre-training through e-learning module. Later internal/external trainer can check implementation of the knowledge. If this method is implemented, faculty does not have to invest time and energy in teaching basics of any subject.

Nevertheless, even this method will work that I have doubt. Whenever I sent the pre-course reading material, hardly any participant reads it and comes prepared.

Final comments: - E-learning or classroom training, what matters is learning attitude of the participant. Either method fails or succeeds sans the learning attitude, either method is bound to fail. Lastly, you have not written what is your success rate of measurement of ROI on training? For how many programmes do you measure it? Secondly, in how many programmes goal statement of the training is attained? Attainment of goal statement is conducting training aimed at increasing decreasing some operational ratio and checking whether the goal was attained or not. In case if you are unable to attain the goal statement in classroom training then your e-learning is also bound to fail. Therefore, concentrate on the end result and not the means.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

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