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How to Select Learning That Fits Your Business
With so many resources available, it can be hard for companies to select the programs that will serve them best. Here are the pros and cons of the most common options.
As job roles change and workers take on expanded responsibilities, it has become more important for companies to offer professional development to help their teams keep up. Almost half of HR managers interviewed for a 2010 OfficeTeam survey cited training and developing employees as their greatest staffing concern.
But what’s the best training program? It depends. No single option will work for every organization. Factors such as goals, budget, time constraints and employee motivation can vary significantly from company to company. Many firms find that a combination of approaches works best.
The following are the advantages and disadvantages of some current methods:
Education via the Internet is one of the most popular options the learning market has to offer. Technology-based delivery of instruction rose from 29.2 percent of training in 2010 to 38.5 percent in 2011, according to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). This includes webinars, videos and virtual chats.
Advantages: E-learning is a cost-effective way for employees to learn at their own pace when they have the time. Information can be easily stored and accessed again in the future, and progress is recorded. Some programs offer instructor access via individual webcam or videoconferencing.
Disadvantages: E-learning programs that don’t offer personal interaction are not ideal for certain training needs. For instance, employees who need to improve public speaking or negotiation skills won’t receive face-to-face instructor feedback or benefit from working with others in a classroom setting. E-learning also typically requires staff to be self-motivated to complete the program.
In-house classroom training
HR managers polled in a separate 2012 OfficeTeam survey said the most common type of training they offer are on-site workshops, or “brown-bag” lunch sessions led by an instructor. Many of these classes are no longer lecture-style, however. Instructors may use simulations and interactive exercises to give participants practical experience.
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