No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Feature: Beat E-Learning Inertia


Tracy Lowles, Channel and Inside Sales Marketing Manager at Thomson NETg outlines a strategy to help overcome cultural resistance to e-learning.

In many ways e-learning has revolutionised corporate learning by providing employees with the opportunity to incorporate easily accessible and flexible learning into day-to-day working schedules. Many leading organisations, such as BAE Systems, ICI and ScottishPower, have embraced online learning, and for these companies it is a very successful form of upskilling and reskilling employees.

Other organisations have struggled due to lack of take-up, and some may even have seen an e-learning project fail due to poor usage. Often the difference between success and failure of an e-learning project is a lack of clear strategy from the outset to ensure that buy-in is sought at every level, and that learners are educated on the learning available to them and the benefits it can bring.

It can take time and effort to raise awareness of e-learning and to ensure maximum usage within an employee population, who has typically only used classroom-based training in the past. Below are some key strategies that can be adopted to encourage usage and to ensure the success of your e-learning programme.

Support from senior management
From department managers to chief executives, gaining buy-in from senior management is essential as they will help you promote your learning programme. If your company doesn’t have a Chief Learning/Knowledge Officer or a champion of learning, find a high-level senior manager willing to commit time to internally promoting the learning and to encouraging participation among the management team. Senior managers need to be able to explain to their team why a certain course is beneficial for their personal and professional development. They should also act as role models by taking and completing online courses themselves. This will help to ensure employees recognise the importance of learning in their organisation.

Create a peer support programme
Work with managers to organise an informal peer support programme. Peers can be invaluable for word of mouth promotion and to provide support and advice to other learners.

Provide a space to learn
E-learners often find it difficult to stop work for sufficient time to complete a course. Every workplace is filled with distractions and interruptions. Dedicate a room on-site with computers that is separate from the work area where students can take e-learning courses and review other learning materials. Or provide headphones for learners who want to learn at their desk without any interruptions. Some companies have found that signs placed on PCs to say that learning is taking place are very helpful.

Don’t constrain learning to the workplace. Many employees prefer learning from home, which is entirely possible if your e-learning is accessed via your intranet or the internet.

Work with your marketing team to spread the word
Integrate deeply with the internal marketing team as they are an excellent channel to promote your learning programme. Your marketing team can help you initiate email blasts, newsletters, distribute flyers and posters or put a notice about your learning programme in employees’ pay slips.

Get on the road
For large organisations road-shows can be an excellent way of raising awareness of learning and driving usage across multiple regions. Or hold open days as a showcase for what’s available, what’s coming up and what’s new; present your learning programme at staff meetings or in the company canteen; or hold mini sessions over lunchtimes in your learning centre.

Share success stories: Good news travels fast
When employees see their colleagues completing training and benefiting from the experience (leadership opportunities, promotion, etc.), it will inspire them to learn to develop their own careers. Publicise success stories across your organisation in your company’s newsletter if you have one, or by email alerts. Or create a regular e-Learning bulletin to update staff on success stories, as well as the latest courses available.

Reward learning success
Recognition, such as certificates of completion and awards for learning achievement, give employees a sense of satisfaction and pride. A yearly awards programme to identify the best learners is an excellent way of motivating employees to take up learning.

Be a true learning organisation
Create a learning culture that encourages and appreciates e-learning and that takes online learning just as seriously as classroom training. Instil learning into every employee to ensure it’s a part of each person’s daily working life.

Measure results and evolve your learning programme
And finally, make sure you continually measure the results of your learning programme and ask employees for feedback to assess what’s working and what isn’t. This will allow you to evolve your learning programme to ensure its continued success.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!