Echo's Simon Thatcher puts e-learning under the microscope, and examines what benefits it can bring to a busy contact centre environment...
Learning and development technologies, like many other types of technology, are continuing to grow in popularity. In fact, the e-learning industry predicts that the global online corporate training market will continue to grow by 13% per annum up to 2017. More and more businesses are incorporating technology into induction, training and development programmes as they uncover the true value of e-learning.
A robust learning and development programme can be vital in securing the right candidates and retaining them within the business, and e-learning technologies are playing an ever increasing part in the creation of engaging and successful training strategies.
So, as e-learning becomes an accepted progression in the training world, for those companies and their employees yet to take advantage, what exactly are the benefits of this approach?
Empowering your employees
E-learning goes hand in hand with employee empowerment. It can encourage employees to take more responsibility for their own training and development and learn in their own time, independently, with courses tailored to each individual employee and delivered at a time and in a format of their choice. In a busy 24/7 contact centre environment like ours, this is extremely useful when it comes to resource management. It's also a great tool for motivation and engagement, as it can enable employees to see a clear path of development and career progression ahead of them.
Knowledge retention and recall
E-learning allows trainers to incorporate a wide range of rich content including videos and interactive slides that can improve learning engagement. If a business can truly engage its employees during training, and they see the value in what they're learning, improvements in performance are a likely result. E-learning also often allows trainees to work their way through core systems and processes in "training" mode. This is clearly of advantage as learning through physically doing a task improves retention and recall and can prevent costly errors in the live environment.
Time and cost considerations
Despite the short-term financial outlay to implement an e-learning platform, over time the cost savings can be significant. Hosting resources online, automating marking and reducing classroom time can be both more cost ands time efficient. Of course, the prime reason to introduce e-learning should not be as a cost cutting exercise, this should be viewed as an additional benefit on top of creating a more robust, engaging and successful learning and development programme.
How its worked for us
Here at Echo, we recently revamped our in-house e-learning platform - ePOD. Offering tailored training programmes for all our employees, ePOD enables us to ensure our teams are empowered and knowledgeable in line with our business' current needs and requirements.
We work in collaboration with our clients to ensure that our staff always have the most up-to-date campaign information at their fingertips. Be it through an up-to-date online campaign library, video content or a depositary of best practice calls, e-learning enables employees to be informed and engaged without the need to leave their desk, an important consideration in an outsourced contact centre environment.
Our employees are often working across a number of campaigns and need to be multi-skilled and agile. E-learning grants our teams the independence to skill themselves on campaigns quickly and flexibly. Staff are also able to take more initiative and ownership of their development, a positive step for those seeking career progression.
E-learning is clearly a great tool, however it is imperative that it is overseen by a skilled team in terms of the direction of the programme, the creation of engaging resources and the provision of a support network for employees to help further empower and coach them with their development.
Our people are our greatest asset and the frontline in dealing with our clients' customers. Our vision is to develop a workforce of knowledgeable and empowered individuals who are able to move quickly from campaign to campaign, whilst delivering service excellence. For us, ePOD has provided the perfect platform to ensure this continues to be a reality.
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