Average Rating: 3.5
Your rating: none

Five ways eLearning makes good business sense

Online learning can boost your company's bottom line

by Sharon Dunigan

It's ironic. Employee training is one of the most important aspects of running a business, yet it is often the thing that falls by the wayside. It's easy to see how that happens: Taking the time out of your busy schedule for training may seem like a time-consuming hassle when you have sales to think about. Yet training is something your company can't ignore either, whether you're looking to train new employees or keep seasoned workers up-to-date on new safety procedures, certifications and products. One simple answer to this conundrum: eLearning. Proving to surpass traditional classroom learning in a variety of ways, eLearning can actually help your business in areas you may not even have imagined. Here are five ways in which eLearning can boost your company's bottom line.

1) eLearning saves your company money
One of the biggest deterrents to employee training is the all-important factor of running a profitable business: cost. That's where eLearning can excel. How does it help your company's pocketbook? For one thing, you can minimize missed hours of work, because employees don't have to stick to a certain schedule. Instead, learners can log in whenever it's convenient for them—and for you.

In addition, employees can learn on their own. Take a product seminar, for example. In traditional learning environments, many employees would have to miss work all at once to attend the seminar, whereas eLearning takes away this problem simply by its nature. The result? Fewer missed days and hours, which translates to improved productivity for you.

As an added bonus, the high cost associated with hosting a traditional seminar is eliminated. Instead of a meeting room, food and travel costs, all you need is a Webcam and the Internet.

2) eLearning is more time-efficient
One advantage of eLearning over traditional classroom training is that it takes into consideration that no two employees are alike. Rather than a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach, eLearning allows employees to pick and choose according to their
individual strengths and weaknesses. This saves your company time when your employees can focus only on what they need to learn, and fast-forward through the parts they already know. Another benefit: managers can quickly assess at a glance which employees have taken which courses, to gauge knowledge gaps and needed certification updates.

3) It helps boost your company reputation
Think about it: What types of companies do you tend to trust? Chances are, those with knowledgeable salespeople are on the top of your list. According to a survey by BlueVolt, eLearning helps your company with that, too, which translates into more sales. In a survey of over 1,200 distributor employees, 81 percent said that they sell more as a result of eLearning. And it's easy to see how this can happen: knowledgeable salespeople can suggest products that apply directly to the customer's need, increasing trust and confidence in the marketplace, which means those customers return to you again and again. Another handy feature of eLearning is the ability to quickly find information—and with ever-changing procedures and new product launches—you know how important this is. With eLearning, your company can easily centralize and update important in-house training (like vital safety procedures) and supplier training programs, which ensures that your employees continually remain up to date.

4) It helps your employees, well, learn better
A U.S. Department of Education study recently found that students who learn online generally perform better than those in face-to-face classes. Why? Because they are designed for the way people learn. From live product demos to Webcasts, from interactive Q&A sessions and quizzes, this dynamic approach helps your employees retain information in an interesting format that keeps them engaged.

5) With eLearning, the training never stops
Let's face it: Even the most well-intentioned student may have a hard time remembering each and every detail of a class. Attention spans vary from individual to individual, but eLearning allows employees to quickly and easily review information as often as needed. This ensures that they are keeping up to date on their training, and allows them the ability to review areas where they feel rusty. When you compare this to a traditional classroom experience, where students are considered "trained" once they leave the classroom, you can see the added value eLearning offers in terms of continued education.

So there you have it: Whether you're looking to quickly onboard new hires, help get employees trained on new procedures and safety certifications, or want a simple way to assess knowledge gaps and store vital training and reference materials, eLearning is the future of training. With new dynamic formats custom-made for exactly what your employees need, not to mention a way to save your company time and money, it's easy to see how eLearning simply makes good business sense for your company's bottom line.

Sharon Dunigan


Sharon Dunigan is the national accounts manager for BlueVolt, an online learning management system. She is responsible for bringing in new customers and growing the BlueVolt customer base in the eastern half of the U.S. Visit

This article originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. 2012 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2012, Direct Business Media.


Post comment / Discuss story * Required Fields
Your name:
E-mail *:
Comment *: