Photo above: Leaderonomics has formed a synergistic alliance with CourseNetworking to leverage its learning platform. (From left) Ang Hui Ming, CFO and COO of Leaderonomics, Roshan Thiran, CEO of Leaderonomics, Dr Ali Jafari, CEO of CourseNetworking and Mien Dee Yong, director of CourseNetworking.
Developing people through digital learning
By EVA CHRISTODOULOU
Developing employees is a struggle for businesses of any size. How do you choose what to prioritise? How do you choose the topics to train on, and how do you choose who goes first?
And even after making those choices, there comes another wave of equally hard decisions—which training solution provider should you choose? Do you do it in-house or do you get external trainers? And how do you even know that all these will be effective?
These questions don’t have easy answers and the return of investment in the training industry is a topic that remains, to a large extent, unresolved.
Developing people, of course, does not solely equate to training. It could happen through a variety of methods like on-the-job experience, coaching and mentoring, and project assignments.
It could even happen by throwing someone into the deep end of the pool and probably having a check with them at the end to see if they managed to stay afloat.
Nevertheless, some things are better taught—at least in theory—through some form of training, be it in a physical classroom setting or via online platforms.
Leaping forward with online learning
According to Judith B. Strother, Professor of Applied Linguistics from the Florida Institute of Technology, there are significant benefits of digital learning for corporations:
- IBM saved USD200 mil in 1999, providing five times the learning at one-third the cost of their previous methods.
- Using a blend of web-based (80%) and classroom (20%) instruction, Ernst and Young reduced training costs by 35% while improving consistency and scalability.
- Rockwell Collins reduced training expenditure by 40% with only a 25% conversion rate to web-based training.
Liam Brown, Eamonn Murphy and Vincent Wade from Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick, Ireland, conducted research and wrote a paper entitled Corporate eLearning: Human Resource Development Implications for Large and Small Organisations.
The paper discussed the four issues that e-learning could effectively target:
There is a high correlation between training and retention. In fact, those who have access to the training that they need to be successful are more than two times more likely to stay in the company in two years.
- Employee attitudes and culture
Access to the right training makes employees think that their company is a great place to work.
- Improved workforce performance
Analysis of 60,000 professionals shows that 85% believed that training resulted in at least a moderate increase in skills or knowledge, and 53% saw a significant increase in productivity.
- Customer service
Studies conducted in a variety of organisations such as Ford Motor Credit found a direct correlation between customer satisfaction scores and workforce attitudes on training and development, teamwork, workload and job satisfaction.
Not the be-all end all, but…
I wouldn’t dare claim that e-learning is the solution for all development. There are disadvantages to digital learning too.
These include expectations of people not being able to find the time to take on e-learning, difficulties in accessing multimedia because of bandwidth constraints, developers pushing content rather than addressing recipients’ needs, no interest being shown on learning styles of recipients, providers behaving as if e-learning is the answer to all training needs and many more.
I believe that we, at Leaderonomics, have found ways to work around these issues, even though it’s impossible to fully eliminate them.
Attention: All SME leaders!
Taking our mission to grow people into leaders in new spheres, we are now able to provide leadership development through digital learning, focusing specifically on small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Why?
Because we feel that this segment of the economy is the future, and we feel that amidst the myriad of digital learning offerings that are out there servicing the big companies, or individual learners, SMEs are left behind.
By providing very affordable, easily accessible, local, well-researched and up-to-date content, with the option to complement with traditional (face-to-face) learning, we believe we can help SMEs reach the next level.
Our solution provides the opportunity to have a local knowledge partner that can empower their employees with new learning and development on their fingertips.
Why Leaderonomics Digital Learning?
Leaderonomics Digital Learning provides a library of insightful courses that aim to help people at different levels of the organisation build leadership skills that would support them in their work and leadership journey. Courses are designed to enhance applicability and relevance. In our design process, we bear in mind all learning styles and needs.
What makes this so different? When designing, we consider adult learning theories to ensure higher reach and retention of knowledge.
For example, apart from having content in videos, write-ups and interactive elements, we also include reflection exercises, what we call real life challenges, and we provide an accountability partner option (live coach).
The platform has tracking capabilities in place to measure attendance, engagement on the courses, and knowledge retention, and we are able to customise content according to specific needs. More importantly, we believe it is a great tool to provide content.
We do realise that learners will need to contextualise what they have learnt, partly through the various learning tools (real life challenges, activity sheets/assignments and supervisor’s guides), and through follow-up face-to-face sessions for deeper understanding.
Leaderonomics has partnered with CourseNetworking, an academic social networking site that is developed at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. This platform allows easy access to user analytics, friendly interface, an internal networking/collaboration space that companies can make use of, and a significant degree of gamification through badges, collection of points, and leader boards.
What are you waiting for?
Advancement in technology has made learning limitless and accessible to all. Now, you can develop your people without having to transport them to various locations. Just a few clicks on a laptop at your own workstation will do the trick.
Officially launching on 9 March 2016, we hope that this new solution will allow SMEs to find a fresh, interesting, well-planned and affordable way for developing their people.
Development no longer needs to be sidelined!
Related article: Train Your People Online
Leaderonomics Digital Learning officially launches on March 9! If you are an SME CEO and would like to attend the launch for the preview, enjoy special offers that take place together with a CEO learning session—The SME Gamechanger: Revolutionise Your Business, or simply find out more about Leaderonomics Digital Learning, email email@example.com.
Eva is the Research & Development leader at Leaderonomics. She believes that everyone can be the leader they would like to be, if they are willing to put in the effort and are curious to learn along the way, as well as with some help from the people around them.