The transition from conventional training strategies to eLearning may be a major missed opportunity for companies. If leaders simply change their systems over without actually changing the way they deliver knowledge and information, they will fail to see the full advantages of today's cutting-edge technologies.
The best way to avoid disappointment and become a leading business is to commit to the fact that eLearning solutions enable a fully evolved approach to learning. Teaching and training in their traditional senses are ways of delivering data, a proverbial one-way street. ELearning opens the possibility of increased interaction and direct engagement, thus presenting real chances to improve information retention and learner morale.
"Organizations engaging in eLearning have the beginnings of a new approach to performance."
An element of freedom
A recent eLearning Industry post by contributor Jeffrey Roth explored some of the new possibilities enabled by eLearning solutions, especially those that are accessed online and distributed via cloud computing. Roth explained that these tools are accessed by groups of employees and that this situation creates a setting in which pupils speak with one another and apply creative solutions to problems. This means, according to the author, that organizations engaging in eLearning have the beginnings of a new approach to improving general worker performance. Thoughtful and team-oriented problem-solvers are clearly a greater asset than professionals who don't know how to communicate well.
Roth noted that some of the brilliance of online employee training comes from the fact that the freeform and communication-heavy elements are combined with structured lessons. Some information is given to users very clearly, while they also have the freedom to express themselves in creative ways. The combination is key, because improvisation without knowing the basics is not a good approach to solving business problems, and neither is blind adherence to routine. Modern employees should be able to adapt and react, but they must also be well-schooled in the basic tactics their roles demand.
Underlining his point that teaching freedom and creative thinking is a good priority for companies to have, Roth indicated some of the breakthroughs that can come from a workforce that has gained this mindset. He specified that young companies provide open forums for employee ideas and integrate them to great effect. Organizations that have a whole team of thinkers developing new concepts have more options than those that follow ideas from only a few sources. The fact that eLearning environments can stoke creative and ground-level employee thought is therefore valuable in the grand scheme. Businesses that possess these systems may find unexpected and great concepts originating from their teams.
Commit to innovation
Of course, companies that want to turn into incubators for creative ideas will have to shake up quite a few of their processes. Training Zone contributor Cris Beswick recently suggested that leaders will have to practice what they preach and embody the better processes that they want to see in the workforce. That is, if they want the team to be innovative, they will have to implement policies throughout offices that privilege those activities. Corporate heads who don't take these actions may come off as insincere and fail to win over their teams.