E-learning is a very effective strategy for training and developing manpower in any organization. When developed and implemented properly, online training can significantly boost the performance and productivity of your employees. However, adopting e-learning in organizations and startups is not as simple as it sounds.
Here are some of the challenges associated with organizational e-learning:
1. Not realizing the capabilities of e-learning
Many people don’t realize the potential benefits that e-learning can offer to their organizations. Some have the false notion that online training is expensive and more complex compared to face-to-face training. However, the truth is that e-learning is quite affordable, and not as complex as some people would imagine. It offers far more benefits than on-site seminars, workshops and other traditional training methods. Most e-learning software allows you to integrate discussion forums, embed live webinars, quizzes and exams, and include downloadable files. Learners can access the course content from anywhere, anytime and using any device.
2. Inadequate and outdated content
Many organizations and startups assume that online learning is just about uploading their in-classroom training materials on a company portal. However, engaging and effective e-learning requires consistent updating of content. However, many companies do not have the time or skill to do get this done in-house. You should therefore consider hiring an e-learning development vendor to create professional content for your training programs.
3. Time zones
If your company has team members in different countries of the world, coordinating different time zones will be a major challenge. For example, the standard working hours in Europe are not the same as the standard working hours in Asia. Therefore, finding a convenient time to train all your team members is almost impossible. Whatever time you choose, it will be either too early in the morning for some people, or very late at night for others. It would therefore be advisable to have alternate timings for your e-learning programs.
An e-learning program that is in English might not helpful to your employees in Middle East or South America. Therefore, before contracting any e-learning developer, be sure to ask what languages are supported. The languages should be included in all the training documents such as simulations, reference guides, exercises and job aids.
5. Cultural norms
The two main elements of your e-learning program that could pose a challenge are images and text. Some images might be acceptable in one culture and offensive in another. Words or phrases that make sense in one culture could be absolutely meaningless to another. Therefore, be sure to carry out some research in advance to avoid any embarrassing situations later. Generally, the best way to overcome cultural barriers is to stick to formality.
6. Poor connectivity
One of the major hindrances to e-learning is old servers that rely on VPNs and company connections. Such old school connectivity is not effective and will only frustrate your employee’s efforts to learn. It would be advisable to migrate to cloud-based solution that will allow employees to access the training anytime, anywhere and using any device.
7. Computer illiteracy
While a great number of the workforce today has been exposed to computers from an early age, some are still not very familiar with modern technology. As a result, introducing e-learning programs could cause fear, frustration and distress among the people who are used to traditional methods. Therefore, the integration and implementation of new technologies must take into consideration everyone in the organization. The good news is that most learning management systems come with comprehensive tutorials and demos.