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eLearning OrbitThe universe is larger than we can wrap our brains around, yet we know there is order within the galaxies. Look at Earth’s solar system as an example. Within the Milky Way there are a number of planets that coexist, all rotating the sun. However, the planets are vastly different. For instance, some absorb the sun’s energy as a source of life, while others barely receive its rays.

Similarly, on Earth the business world can seem as expansive as space sometimes. After all, business spans the globe today; it involves several types of industry; and it is made up of companies of all sizes. Small, medium and large businesses advance their unique missions and, as a result, keep the world (as we know it) spinning. But one common thread seems to serve as a life force to businesses of all sizes, energizing workforces regardless of their industries or geographies: Training.

Small, medium and large businesses rely on training to keep their places of business moving. However, now that it is the 21st century, the type of training businesses use is changing. We are seeing a global shift to eLearning even though not all companies embrace this central training tool for the same reason.

While businesses of all sizes have landed on eLearning, declaring it the new landscape for company training, small, medium and large businesses seem to gravitate to eLearning to fulfill unique needs. Nevertheless, they share a common bond in that this type of training gives them the energy they need to keep moving.

Small Businesses Desire Flexibility

From the naked eye it seems that small businesses accomplish their missions with fewer resources than larger entities. But when looking closer, it becomes clear that any number of resources can be greatly multiplied when such a business employs a feasible eLearning option.

To understand this better, let’s consider the many responsibilities of a small business owner. Aside from overseeing product/service development and deployment, he or she needs to ensure all employees are knowledgeable about the business mission and equipped with the right tools to carry out their job descriptions. More so, the day-to-day workload may shift as the owner and employees have to address immediate concerns and constantly changing circumstances. Ultimately, this small business can benefit from having an eLearning system that is as flexible as the business.

Business eLearning StellarA paper published on the University of West Georgia website states, “Most small organizations only need training in small pieces to satisfy immediate needs as problems arise — just enough, just-in-time.” With an eLearning system, small business employers know that training will always be available, whether employees take courses when planned or on-the-fly.

Some eLearning platforms prove to be more flexible than others. For instance, a SaaS (Software as a Service) LMS (Learning Management System) offers small business owners a low-maintenance, provider updated, easy-to-use, cloud-based platform. With a SaaS LMS, a small business owner can upload training information and courses that are accessible anytime from anywhere. Therefore, employees can participate in training at times that are good despite their ever changing businesses.

Time is of the Essence for Mid-sized Businesses

It can appear that medium-sized businesses have the best of both worlds. With healthy revenue streams and sizeable workforces, these entities have more flexibility than large businesses and more capital than small businesses. However, it can also seem that mid-size operations have more work. After all, they are trying to compete with both large and small competition by maintaining rigorous production schedules. This is why mid-size companies see time as an essence and gravitate towards eLearning.

Every second counts for a medium-sized business. While productivity must remain constant, the company needs to continue to train new hires and existing personnel on the ins and outs of its production processes. According to Wise Businessware, “61% of mid-size companies are planning to improve recruiting, retaining, training and developing employees to maximize their workforce output in 2015.” With growing workforces, it is even more important for mid-sized businesses to have accessible, efficient training options.

eLearning appeals to these types of companies because they want (and need) to keep up a fast pace of productivity even while training new and existing employees. A learning management system allows them to train employers efficiently and helps encourage retention of the learning material. Ultimately, eLearning grants mid-size businesses the opportunity to offer training without sacrificing product/service standards of excellence.

Big Businesses Opt for Cost Effective Training Methods

Time is not only of the essence to big business: time is money to them. And while the annual budget of a mid-sized business seems larger than the economies of some countries, they need to be carefully managed because of how much money it costs to operate such a behemoth institution. Therefore, they turn to eLearning as a cost effective training method.

eLearning spaceBig businesses can have hundreds of thousands of employees, which means training costs that seem reasonable to smaller businesses might overwhelm large employers. However, big business training costs changed when eLearning came on the scene. Today, a reported 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies have turned to eLearning options as part of cost cutting training strategies. And, according to a 2002 IOMA study, “Corporations save between 50% and 70% when they replace instructor-based training with eLearning.” Similarly, it is easy to see that big businesses get a lot of bang for their bucks when it comes to eLearning. It has been said that, for every one dollar a company spends on eLearning, they gross 30 dollars in return.

Ultimately, eLearning is decreasing training costs around the globe but significant cost savings are reaped when the right LMS is incorporated into a large company’s training strategy. An LMS with no per-user fees and unlimited bandwidth is preferable for a big business.

When looking at the business world as a whole, it is hard to see any similarities between small, medium and large businesses. But with a closer look, it becomes clear that these entities get their energy from the same source. Training is a commonly held principle that businesses of all sizes hold true. Now, in the age of eLearning, they are entering a similar orbit. They keep moving because of the power that comes from flexible, timely, cost-efficient training.

Jeffrey A. Roth
Vice President, Marketing and Communications