Digital learning has become one of the most important ways people learn new skills in the 2020s. The industry has seen huge growth in recent years, expanding 900% in the last 20 years with the market value expected to grow to £238 billion by 2025. For a bit of context on how much it’s ramped up in the last 5 years – in 2017 approximately 77% of corporations used online training, but 98% planned to incorporate it into their Learning & Development strategy by 2023. With all this being said, we often overlook how digital learning has changed the way we learn, develop and how businesses can scale.
While the social distancing measures brought about by the pandemic last year certainly accelerated the growth of digital learning, recent technological advances and increasing connectivity were already making digital education more widespread. Between 2007 and 2019 for example, the percentage of people who said that they had taken an online course grew from 4% to 17%.
There are several reasons why Digital Learning has become so popular and why it continues to prove its weight in gold when you look at employee satisfaction and engagement, all the way to operating profits and business efficiencies.
1 – Flexibility
The digital transformation has forever changed the way learners consume content. The rise of integrated digital technology has led organisations to reconsider how they deliver mandatory and non-mandatory learning activities and how they support an array of learning preferences.
Digital Learning allows learners to revisit activities and content at any time, which often leads to higher knowledge retention and increased levels of completion and compliance. If a learner knows they can access their learning material at any time, from any device, anywhere in the world – it makes sense that they are more likely to complete their training over a period of time. This is especially useful for neurodiverse employees who may have fluctuating energy and focus throughout their days and working weeks, as well as anyone with a busy schedule.
On-demand access gives learners complete autonomy of their own learning. Rarely are two learners on the same level of understanding on a given topic, which can lead to feelings of inferiority or pressure to upskill at the wrong time. Digital Learning prioritises the learning, retention and engagement of an employee, regardless of where they’re starting from. This helps foster feelings of inclusiveness while supporting the learning needs of every individual.
2 – Onboarding & Retention
When it comes to onboarding, Digital Learning provides accessibility to employees and reduces the pressure of retaining copious amounts of information given to them on their first day. Being able to access training materials at a time that suits them means they can learn at their own pace or perform self-directed learning through multiple devices and over a longer period of time.
In terms of employee retention, it’s now not enough to just have a Learning Management System platform in place – it has to deliver, inspire and engage. In a poll conducted by Harris, it emerged that employees who regard themselves as the subject of ‘poor training’ are three times as likely to leave a business as those who think they are receiving ‘excellent’ training and engagement. A massive 94% of employees state that they would be more willing to stay in a business that invests in personal training and development. A recent study by The Research Institute of America discovered that Digital Learning can increase employee retention rates by 60%.
3 – Productivity & Engagement
Online videos and interactive platforms are now the preferred methods of learning among those aged 16-54 in the UK, with over a third of people in these age groups saying they enjoy this method the most. Engaging employees with interactive learning content can help them retain information better. When appropriate real-life examples, rich media and assessment questions are used, these different formats can help employees relate to their learning. This can make
the training more enjoyable and easier to recall at a later date. Learning retention rates of face-to-face training sessions sit between 8% and 10%. Whereas Digital Learning increases learning retention rates between 25% and 60%. With e-learning, the learner has more control over the learning process. Being able to revisit the material whenever the learner needs to, removes a lot of the pressure and allows employees to focus on learning.
4 – Efficiency
On average, only 1% of the workweek is dedicated to training and development in the workplace, which shows how small of an opportunity employers have to maximise training time and efficiency while getting the best possible results. This in turn poses the question of how much of this 1% learning and development is retained. Innovative Digital Learning provides employees with all the fun and engaging ways to learn and retain information quickly and effectively. As employees are also able to carry out training at their preferred time and pace, this allows for a faster and more successful learning capacity.
According to a report by Dow Chemical, online learning requires 40-60% less employee time than traditional training. Dow Chemical also found that they were able to reduce record-keeping and training delivery costs due to process efficiency.
Another major benefit of Digital Learning in the workplace and one that is easily overlooked is the ability to update any e-learning course, anytime from any location. This feature means that you can quickly and easily ensure that your employees have the most up-to-date content and training courses for their specific needs at a moment’s notice, usually in the palm of their hand. For example, if you distribute a new company policy and you want to make sure all employees understand it, you can update the relevant training sessions. Equally, if you need to train employees on a new system or piece of tech, you can provide e-learning training to cover this.
5 – Reach
In the wake of the pandemic, organisations have benefitted from the huge increase in remote workers with hybrid working models becoming very much the norm moving into 2023. This has not only filtered through to Digital Learning as the barriers of physical locations have been removed but has given digital learning providers a huge opportunity to change the game. Learners no longer need to be local, expanding both the talent pool for employers and their ability to provide quality training across different time zones and continents.
Digital Learning also enables an element of social learning, which is vital for driving engagement and cultivating inclusion in the workplace. By removing the need to be physically present, learners are more inclined to interact within their own comfort levels while pushing their learning and development further.
6 – Increased metrics & measurement
One of the most overlooked aspects of digital learning is the ability to track skill set development in employees on a wide scale and assess how much has been spent in relation to the workforce’s total skill training. With Digital Learning, a huge range of statistics and data can be gathered and tracked, allowing employers to monitor the efficiency of employee learning and then further supplement their processes with any further training going forward.
7 – Profitability
One huge advantage of using efficient and engaging Digital Learning platforms is the direct correlation to increasing profits. Digital Learning has led to an increase in income for 42% of organisations. Costs are driven down as the learning process becomes more efficient and long-lasting. As well as this, a survey of 2,500 companies found that those with “comprehensive training programs” have 218%
higher revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins. For example, tech giant IBM reportedly saved $200 million after switching to Digital Learning. According to a study conducted by IBM, they found a company gains a 300% return on money spent on online learning.
8 – Environmental Sustainability
Corporate Social Responsibility is a continuously growing focus for every organisation. Everyone knows the planet is in jeopardy due to a vast range of issues, and businesses are responsible for doing their part. When looking at sustainability within Digital Learning, simply providing online courses consumes 90% less energy and produces 85% less CO2 emissions per learner than face-to-face training. This is thanks to lower travel requirements, fewer premises being used and the running costs associated, and fewer physical resources being used and wasted. Whether you’re looking after the planet or your balance sheet, it’s impossible to ignore the savings that can be made.
How can Mindboost help?
Technology is exploding and the world is continuing to rapidly change. No industry is safe from ongoing disruption and transformation. The level of work displacement is unprecedented and the pressure for people to upskill & reskill constantly is a global and industry-wide challenge and opportunity. From engaging organisations with business adaptability, designing learning management systems and bespoke Digital Learning to supporting clients with digital learning consultancy, we’re proud that our digital learning experts are unconventional and deliver the remarkable.
GET IN TOUCH TO SEE HOW WE CAN SIMPLIFY, CREATE AND INSPIRE AN ADAPTABLE BESPOKE DIGITAL LEARNING WITHIN YOUR BUSINESS.