E-Learning: The New Corporate Training?

Shawn Forno 09.19.2017

Keeping your team up to date on the latest industry trends, buyer personas, and productivity apps is how your business maintains a competitive advantage. However, training new employees and veterans alike is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. The key to cost effective, cutting edge real-time adaptation (and a more efficient workforce!) is an employee training system that integrates eLearning and online video.

Traditional Corporate Training

The old-fashioned way to train new employees–depending on the size of your company–usually involves renting a large space or repurposing a place you’re already using (thus inconveniencing your existing staff), then hiring a professional trainer to come in and teach a live class. This can be costly and isn’t always the most efficient way to get employees to retain valuable information. Traditional in-person corporate training methods simply aren’t fast enough to keep up with the way we do business anymore. Luckily, eLearning and online video tutorials are beginning to buck this tired trend.

e-Learning And Corporate Training

eLearning allows new employees to take corporate training courses online instead of having to physically go to a training session. It allows employees to review material as many times as they need to get it right. E-Learning enables all types of learners, and it promotes engaged learning versus passive lectures and rote memorization. Online video and eLearning streamlines and simplifies the training process, not to mention making it more effective, efficient, and enjoyable.

Here are five advantages of supplementing (or replacing) your existing training methods with online video and eLearning tools.

e-Learning Increases Flexibility

remote work

One of the biggest advantages of eLearning is the ability to “teach” class any time students want. Gone are the mandatory lectures, sleepy early morning meetings, and restrictive training schedule. When you make the majority of training materials and resources (including video) available online, you encourage employees and new hires to consume the information when they’re ready to learn. Making training less structured may not initially seem like an advantage, but flexibility can make a huge difference to many employees.

Executive Director of Learning and Development at Condé Nast, Donovan Baddley, argues that some employees have even come to expect online resources:

“Increasingly, employees expect on-demand learning resources like e-learning and video to be part of the mix, especially millennials and post-millennials. But the expectation is also born out of corporate culture.”

eLearning videos give your employees the flexibility to finish training on their own time, making it more likely that they’ll actually learn the information. Staff can complete the work in their down time, between work assignments, or even at home. People learn at different rates, and allowing new employees to complete training online gives them space to grasp the information at their own pace.

It also eliminates the need for everybody to cram into one room to listen to a trainer give a PowerPoint presentation with clip art from1996. All you need is a website, a video, or an eLearning portal, and your employees can complete their courses at their desks or anywhere else with a wifi signal. That’s not only more efficient, it’s more effective.

e-Learning Is Comprehensive

eLearning and online training videos allow you to incorporate all the information you want. Actually all of it. You can get as in-depth as you need because like we just learned, you have all the time in the world.

RSA Animates found viral success with longform whiteboard animation videos that teach in-depth topics in longform 20-minute clips. Other popular education channels, like Minute Physics have gathered an audience of millions by breaking complex topics into many bite-sized videos. When you create an eLearning curriculum, the choice is yours.

You can emphasize the information that matters for new employees without having to rely upon a third party instructor to go into the depth you want.

Step-By-Step Training Videos


One of the best ways to be thorough with your videos is to use the step-by-step format. This allows you to get into incredible detail about each element of a particular task. Skillshare teachers rely on bite-sized online videos to reach millions of paying subscribers every month in classesteaching everything from web design to weaving. In fact, the platform is so popular, they recently surpassed the $20 million mark in funding rounds. Step-by-step tutorial video are easy to make, easy to use, and standardize the procedures and practices you want your team to learn.

e-Learning Cuts Cost

eLearning and video resources help you cut training costs in a variety of ways. They reduce the cost of paid instructors and the lost productivity of pulling existing employees away from their current assignments. What’s even better, that ROI only gets better as you train more and more employees year after year. The upfront cost of an online video tutorial or eLearning portal will save you time and money as your training program ages. Even better, you can add and modify from the program with a few simple modules and additions to keep costs low but information up to date.

A few years ago, McDonald’s found they were spending too much on traditional face-to-face corporate training sessions. McDonald’s is a textbook global organization and traditional training methods didn’t scale, in large part because not all of their managers could attend sessions due to time constraints and travel costs. So they made the switch to eLearning, and the results were overwhelmingly.

In the first year of using eLearning videos McDonald’s saved $1 million, followed by an additional $5 million the following two years.

e-Learning Guarantees Consistency

Every instructor is different, but when you use online video you always know that you’re going to get exactly what you paid for–consistent quality information. eLearning platforms come with a broad library of courses and resources and some platforms even allow you to customize your lesson plans to fit your company’s specific needs. This gets rid of any surprises and makes sure your trainees are all learning the same information that you need them to know.

e-Learning Increases Information Retention

Perhaps the most convincing argument for combining eLearning tools and online video tutorials with your existing training practices is that eLearning simply gets better results.

Several studies have shown that students in classes with a traditional “stand and deliver” lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in classes with a more active learning style. “It’s almost unethical to be lecturing if you have this data,” says Eric Mazur, a physicist at Harvard University who has fought against stale lecturing techniques for decades. The wealth of readily available online eLearning resources demands a shift away from less effective “traditional” training methods. It all comes back around to meeting employee expectations.

The next generation of employees isn’t learning in the lecture hall or the library. These students and new hires are discovering things in the real world, in active online forums, and in participatory co-learning spaces and wikis online with millions of others. Information is on demand today. Your training program needs to be as well. But it’s not all about online learning just yet. The classroom still has its place. In fact, Baddley from Condé Nast argues that, “Retention rates are best when interactive learning experiences are paired with classroom experiences in a tandem relationship he likens to a “drumbeat.” Baddley argues that eLearning facilitates retention rates by banging on this “drum”:

“The 70-20-10 model tells us that adults learn 10% of what they know from formal learning experiences, 20% from the guidance and support of others, and 70% from real life experiences. The classroom is a great place for the 10% piece of the pie, and interactive tools can function as surrogates and real time support for the 20% and 70% pieces, which is a really powerful drum.”

Most eLearning platforms even allow to you add in quizzes that test your employee’s knowledge as they go along and track what they need to go over again. By periodically quizzing viewers, it allows employees to master the material as they learn it instead of having to go back and re-read all the material at the end once they realize they’re behind.

The Future Of Corporate Training

“When it’s done well, e-learning is a format that enables people to access the learning they need when, where, and at a pace that makes it most effective for them,” states Baddley. He goes on to conclude, “eLearning isn’t the future of corporate training, it’s the now. As eLearning authoring tools become more and more user-friendly and workforces become more mobile and remote, it’s increasingly the best way to reach employees.”

eLearning platforms and videos are increasingly becoming the superior and preferred way to train new employees. As technology continues its exponential march forward, learning challenges will only grow. It’s up to you to stay current, relevant, and passionate about your training program. Find out how to take your training methods into the 21st century with eLearning tools and online video tutorials.

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Shawn Forno

Shawn Forno is a massive Studio Ghibli fan who does content marketing. In that order. Find his other writing and extensive travel blogging here.

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