How Web Conferencing Can Improve Learning and Knowledge Share Within Your Organisation
Looking for ways to save money and get more effective when it comes to learning and knowledge share in your business? Here are six great ways to use web conferencing to help you achieve these goals.
1. Reduce Costs of Training
The most obvious benefits come from the cost reduction offered by online training sessions. If you are able to replace classroom training with online trainer-led sessions delivered via web conferencing, you are set to make savings on travel, accommodation, lunches, coffees, plus your attendees and trainers save all that time lost away from the office.
Savings also come from providing training to multiple locations from one online source, saving on the need for trainers to be located across the country.
Almost 80% of executives who employ Web-based training and conferencing cite the elimination of travel costs as an important reason for doing so, according to a recent study of training techniques by Osterman Research, Inc. The study demonstrated an increase by respondents in the use of online training during the previous 12 months, including Web conferencing for employee and customer training. It also cites a corresponding decrease in in-person training. (1)
2. Increase Training Attendance
Company training programmes often suffer from absenteeism, due to other pressing work commitments or poor communication of training benefits. Training and knowledge share sessions delivered directly to the employee desktop by web or phone conference can significantly improve attendance rates.
Ostermans Research reported the leading reason individuals choose to attend online training sessions or Webinars as a replacement for in-person events is the ease of fitting them into their schedules. Fully 82% of respondents cited convenience as a motivating factor.(1)
The benefits of increased flexibility also rank high among respondents to another recent survey about Web-based training conducted by Wainhouse Research. That study said Web conferencing accomplishes two key things for training organizations: It allows trainers to reach and include learners who could not attend before and it supplements in-person courses. (2)
3. Improve Learning Retention
There are some doubts on how well participants learn and retain information from self-drive elearning modules. An ROI Institute study has shown that an instructor-led learning process results in a higher commitment from the learner to follow through and apply that learning to their day-to-day work. (3)
Collaborative, instructor-led learning environments that can be facilitated by web conferencing technology, ensure learning retention and follow-through levels remain high, whilst still giving business the other benefits that come from web delivery.
4. Support Change Management
New initiatives arrive quickly and frequently in today's fast changing environment. However, without effective communication and training to support these changes, new ideas can quickly get stuck and lose momentum.
Senior management can now use web conferencing to quickly broadcast a new vision to the whole organization, across multiple locations and time zones. Live presentations which offer attendees the chance to ask questions, and hear other opinions can be powerful platforms for change management. Live web training can also be created and delivered quickly so your people can respond more rapidly to new changes, technologies and processes.
5. Improve Profitability With Customer Training
It's a well known fact that the cost of retaining an existing customer is far less expensive than the cost of acquiring a new one. Providing timely online product or service training via web conferencing to your customers, affiliates and partners, improves their knowledge of your offer and helps increases loyalty to your organization. Desktop and application share options provided by web conferencing enable your trainers to run customers through online processes and documents in real time.
Personally, one instance where I’ve used this technique to great effect was when training Asian teams on the new processes associated with a new product rollout. Visual support is especially helpful when English is not a first language for your audience, or your accents differ widely. The combination of live audio and visual provided by web conferencing makes it easier to communicate your message and avoid misunderstandings that may come from an audio conferenced meeting.
6. Facilitate Knowledge Share and Informal Learning
One of the wonderful things about web conferencing is that it's really easy to record and store live knowledge share sessions for future reference. Ideally, we'd want everyone to document the knowledge they've acquired and share it with colleagues regularly. However, it's not always possible to capture everyone's knowledge this way as it takes time to sit down and write a guidelines document. Recording knowledge via a web conferencing recording ensures information does not get lost and can be retrieved and used for reference when manuals or more formal training programmes are being updated. Make these files accessible at any time, and you also increase the opportunities for more informal research and learning by your employees, on a just-in-time basis.
YouTube provides a great example of this knowledge share approach. There are now millions of ‘how to’ guides posted on the channel. In the past, I’ve used YouTube to learn how to knit, how to regrout my bathroom and how to fix a leaky cistern! The applications are endless and should not be missed out on within the corporate world.
Are you looking for ways to improve the way your organisation facilitates learning and knowledge share? If so, why not get in touch with The Loop and we’ll be happy to have a ‘no-obligation’ chat about your requirements.
(1) Osterman Research, Inc. “The Future of Training, an Osterman Research White Paper,” December 2007.
(2) Wainhouse Research, LLC. Whitepaper: “The Agile Trainer: Creating Velocity for Online Learning Using Web Conferencing.” 2007
(3) Phillips, Jack, Ph.D. “The Business Value of e-Learning,” Dec. 2007-Jan. 2008 “ELearning!” (with Holly Burkett).