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Embrace e-learning to attract and retain top talent

Anton Cabral

South Africa is the most dynamic e-learning market in Africa and research has shown that learning will become increasingly integrated with work. In addition, both employers and employees recognise that the transfer of knowledge and theory can happen more efficiently in an engaging e-learning format. Working environments are changing and there's a constant need to train and retrain people rapidly in new technologies, products and services. E-learning is one of the best ways to do this. E-learning provides a way of optimising traditional face-to-face time and is more application-and-action based than the more traditional lecture.

E-learning gives end-users instant access to knowledge

When your staff have a need in their work environment they should be able to be empowered by specific, customised solutions that satisfy that need and ultimately increase their performance, thereby enabling them to improve their capabilities in the workplace. This way your staff becomes and remains actively engaged in their own self-improvement.

Blending various e-learning methods is important for the learner's experiences and using visuals, infographics, video, gamification and scenario-based training makes the experience more memorable and appealing.

E-learning success depends on the learner's degree of motivation

Companies often complain that staff members only do a course if or when they have to, and even then some still don't do it and say that they prefer workshops, which are more interactive compared to theoretical e-learning courses.

Ensure your business has the bandwidth to run online training

Another complication crops up when there is a lack of bandwidth to run really interactive online training, which limits what can be done to make the learning really interesting. As a result, e-learning itself gets blamed when learning does not take place.

Blended solutions can be so much more successful if organisations take time to raise interest in the e-learning topic and to explain their expectations to employees.

E-learning is no different from any other important project in the work environment. If you want your people to learn, you first need to motivate them and you do this by addressing 'the-what-is-in-it-for-me' (WIIFM) question. Once they have started, organisations need to ensure employees have the time to complete the learning and that they get on-going encouragement from management.

Courses need to be interesting, engaging and contain a WOW factor

In a nutshell, you should concentrate on great content, sound instructional design and an environment conducive to delivering a great learning experience. Remember, it all starts with encouraging people to want to learn.

Embracing e-learning isn't just a nice idea. It's essential as it's one of the most effective ways of sharing knowledge. Organisations need to understanding that maximising e-learning will provide the support they need to attract and retain the top talent.

Anton Cabral is the managing executive at LRMG Performance Agency. He joined LRMG in 2004 after working as developer at an education company. Anton has a B.Sc. in mathematical sciences.