LMS, Learning Management System

Is Online Learning the Solution to the Employee Engagement Problem?

by Debbie Williams

 

Employee engagement is a riddle no company has solved yet. According to Daily Infographic, 70 percent of employees in the U.S. aren’t engaged at work. Additionally,

  • 75 percent of employees quit their jobs because they dislike their managers.
  • 89 percent of employers think employees leave because of money.
  • 12 percent of employees leave their jobs to take higher paying jobs.
  • 60 percent of employees don’t understand their employers’ goals and strategies.
  • Highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to quit than their disengaged peers.

In short, employees aren’t happy with their jobs (more accurately, employees aren’t happy with their supervisors), and companies’ bottom lines are suffering because of it.

male employee with a sign that says “be happy” on his forehead online learning employee engagement

Companies with Highly Engaged Employees Make 2.5 Times the Revenue of Other Businesses

Company leaders will want to know that companies with highly engaged employees make 2.5 times the revenue that businesses with disinterested employee make. By simply focusing on increasing employee engagement, company decision makers can boost company revenue incredibly. However, while the will to increase employee engagement is there, the way often remains unclear. How in the world can companies engage their employees? There are many contributors to this problem and therefore many solutions. One is to boot out traditional, classroom style learning/training in favor of online learning.

Can Online Learning REALLY Increase Employee Engagement?

You’ve seen the statistics about employee engagement. You know they’re dismal. Don’t get discouraged. Making over the way your company does L&D can get employees much more engaged. In fact, the infographic mentioned above stated, “70 percent of Forbes Global 2000 companies will use gamification to boost engagement, retention, and revenues.” These top-performing companies understand that online learning needs to be part of a business’s strategy to increase employee engagement.

Online learning, commonly referred to as eLearning, can increase employee engagement. Asha Pandey, writer for eLearning Industry, said,

“Adam Kingl, Director of Learning Solutions at the London Business School says that flexibility is ‘the number one reason’ why employees of today join a workplace. With exposure to modern day communication methods and having been accustomed to communicating with people anytime and from anywhere, flexibility at work is something that employees expect companies to provide them with, Kingl says. It is no longer a perk or a reward, he observes.”

The point Pandey was making is online/mobile learning gives employees the flexibility they need. Most employees will not be happy if they don’t have flexibility. Thankfully, online learning can meet that need and help workers become and stay satisfied with their employers.

Pandey isn’t the only eLearning expert who thinks online learning is key to employee engagement. Alex Terego, also a contributor to eLearning Industry, is on the same page. However, he thinks online learning should be approached in a fresh way. It’s not uncommon for employers to use a learning management system (LMS) to shove facts down their disengaged employees’ throats. Terego said that they should instead focus on using eLearning to make employees critical thinkers who care about what they are learning. In his article eLearning as a Way to Improve Employee Engagement, he gave company decision makers some ideas for increasing engagement with online learning. He said,

“--Do not make eLearning all about transmission of facts and data.

--Make the eLearning collaborative tools the pre-eminent aspect of all eLearning.

--Use collaborative tools to model the way a team should work, and by that I mean

  • Observe the rules of teamwork/collaboration.
  • Think critically.
  • Address problems.
  • Clearly communicate an agreed upon solution.

The collaborative tools Terego mentioned can be found in a fully hosted, full-featured learning management system (LMS) like TOPYX LMS. Request a FREE demo of TOPYX LMS to discover how it increases employee engagement.

To Engage Employees, Listen to What They Want to Get From Training  

Increasing employee engagement via online learning will only work if you give employees the training they want. Not just any eLearning will do; give them eLearning that they are interested in. Ask for their feedback and listen to what it is they want to get from training. If the training your company offers them has nothing to do with their goals, they aren’t going to be interested in it no matter what format it is delivered in. Obviously, there are some types of training that will not line up with employee goals and still must be learned. However, try to add a personal touch to online learning as often as you can. Survey your employees to see what courses they would be most apt to participate in, and then react accordingly. Remember that many LMSs have ready-to-use eLearning content libraries that you can pull training from that is relevant to your learners/employees.

Low employee engagement has always been a problem. Thankfully, we live in the age of technology, and it offers us tools like learning management systems that boost engagement, retention, and revenue.

Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing