Staff training is usually seen as a good investment for businesses. It makes employees more motivated and automatically leads to a more engaged workforce. However, at the same time it costs time and money. One possible solution is to use today’s technology and explosion of online courses to provide distance learning opportunities for students. The range of courses offered today is quite extensive, and many are operated through highly respected universities or technical colleges. Although some care must be taken to choose a validated course, encouraging distance learning for employees is a fairly low-risk way to ensure that your staff members are earning relevant vocational qualifications at low cost. The following are a few further benefits to distance learning in the workplace.
In a study conducted by Home Learning College, over half of senior decision makers stated that staff being taken away from their daily duties due to training was a major concern. For companies that have already cut a percentage of their core workforce due to a tough economic climate, it can be difficult to justify losing staff to training for even a small portion of the day. Distance learning bears the distinct advantage of cutting out commuting time altogether. All that employees need is an internet connection and some spare time, whether that’s in the evenings at home or during their lunch break. It can be fit around existing responsibilities without impeding on personal life or work time. In return, the business benefits from a freshly trained member of staff. If you take a look at examples like these project management courses listed at NowLearning, you can see that many aren’t tied to a particular academic term date like conventional courses would be. This means you can start training when it’s convenient for you.
Travel expenses are reduced with distance learning. Online courses also tend to be more cost-effective than ones held in classrooms, because fewer resources are needed to conduct them. There’s no need to pay for the space and office supplies. This allows providers of distance education to lower their prices for qualifications. Many distance learning courses are shorter in duration than conventional classes as well, with concentrated coursework leading to a degree in a condensed period of time.
Improves Employee Retention
If staff members don’t have the time or money to further their interests and upgrade their own skills, there is a tendency to become restless on the job. They may be less committed to the position and company, and look elsewhere for a position that gives them the opportunity to improve their skill set. Investing in distance learning courses shows employees that you’re investing in their future at the company. This action can serve as a morale-booster, particularly for the type of ambitious employee you really want to keep.
Overall, although many businesses would be happy to provide higher education for employees, the costs involved can be daunting. For employees who already have full-time jobs and social lives, the time involved can also be a problem. Implementing distance learning at the workplace is one potential solution to both of these problems, and is well worth a second look.