E-learning in small companies
Advantages of personnel distance learning are normally demonstrated using the example of large companies as the benefits from e-learning scale, its geographical independence and economic efficiency are more visible.
However, in small companies e-learning will also be useful if it’s approached pragmatically.
The main features of the remote training system in small organizations
First of all, the learning management system (LMS) as a software package in a small company is optional. It is relevant when the statistics, tracking, organized access to many remote users are required. For the company where training is arranged for a few dozen people (max), it will be redundant. It is possible to save time and money for LMS implementation by using a page in the internal network or distribute e-learning material through external media.
Secondly, there is no necessity in general courses for learning something from scratch. A small company usually knows exactly what should be included into the training program for its employees, i.e. some specific procedures or features of a business model which should be mastered by newly hired employees via brief specific training courses. Materials for such training should be concise and very specific.
With the LMS your company can save money and time for implementation! Just use the internal web page or send electronic teaching materials on external media new employees.
Implementation of e-learning in small companies
While LMS doesn’t waste money, the key barrier in implementing e-learning in a small company is the cost of development spent on e-learning materials. A high-tech course with good design and deep processing of reference material costs the same both for a large and a small company. But the share of the training cost in the companies’ budget, of course, will be completely different.
Therefore, the main priority in the field of e-learning in a small company should be cost optimization which gives maximum cost reduction at the same time saving the value of training product.
This can be achieved in several ways. The main levers of the training material value management include:
- Graphics (design, illustration, landscapes, locations, characters).
- Technical complexity (branching exercises and cases, deep interactivity, playback on different devices).
- The script (the searching and compiling materials "from scratch", writing without reference materials).
Selecting an easy-to-use graphic style and a single target platform for the e-learning course, as well as providing the contractor with a maximum of reference materials, effectively reduced the final price of the development.
The benefits of implementing e-learning for small companies
E-learning in a small company has the same benefits as in large companies. These are:
- A brief training course for new employees of the main business unit will accelerate the learning of necessary procedures, lower the number of errors and reduce staff turnover.
- Availability of detailed training material will release time of mentors or senior colleagues who will be less distracted by the newcomers.
- The developed training course will remain in the company’s possession for a long time, and its usefulness for the company will grow with each newly trained beginner.