Learning and Development

Corporate e-Learning is Evolving: What You Need to Know in 2024 and Beyond

With more organizations going remote or hybrid every day, corporate e-learning is here to stay. But an e-learning tool alone isn’t enough to prepare employees for the future of work. They also need mentorship programs and peer learning to succeed.

Kinjal Dagli

Sr Content Marketing Manager at Together

Published on 

January 18, 2022

Updated on 

February 12, 2024

Time to Read

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By 2028, the corporate e-learning market is expected to increase by 153.41 billion, accelerating at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3%. This staggering prediction reflects what we already know: corporate e-learning is becoming the dominant way that companies train and educate their employees.

The catch? An online learning experience can be impersonal and isolating, and it’s far from a silver bullet for employee development. 

Further, the shift from in-person training sessions to online digital learning carries its own unique challenges, increasing the chances your employee training program will be ineffective.

To address these challenges, your corporate e-learning program will need the latest tech, but you’ll also need to focus more on social components such as peer learning and mentorship programs

What is corporate e-learning?

Also called corporate education or workplace learning, corporate e-learning encompasses a variety of types of online courses and remote learning that use digital technology to deliver employee training and teach work-related skills for the purposes of professional development. 

Corporate e-learning has three main characteristics: 

  1. Continuous online education – With enough flexibility to offer self-paced learning as well as traditional live instruction, corporate e-learning is ideal to help your organization create a culture of learning. 
  2. Professional development – Employees have ample opportunity to build the skills they need to maximize their careers and their role in the company. 
  3. Skills training – Corporate e-learning facilitates both upskilling and reskilling. This helps both the company and employees by offering training that helps workers be successful in their current roles and also prepares them to fill future roles. 

e-Learning courses may be seminars, or lectures that resemble traditional college courses. This is especially true if your company uses third-party course materials or external resources to provide corporate training. 

Courses can be delivered live or asynchronous and may include assessments, mentoring, peer coaching, and more. 

How do companies use e-learning?

The value of online learning became all too clear in 2020. With businesses forced to rethink decades-old training strategies, many organizations went with the “plug-and-chug” method as a temporary response to office closures. 

So rather than adapting corporate training to a remote environment, scores of L&D teams simply uploaded materials to an LMS and called it a day. A select view reinvented their entire strategy around e-learning. 

But many businesses never returned to a full in-office model. So four years out, it’s past time to take stock of our corporate e-learning programs to maximize L&D programs for dispersed teams. 

Common use cases for online learning

Corporate e-learning comes in many forms, and it has several common use cases in modern corporate settings, such as: 

Compared to traditional corporate training solutions, online training helps integrate learning into an employee’s busy life while reducing the costs associated with traditional employee development. This also increases training options for companies and allows them to invest more into improving their workforce.

Trends in e-learning for employee development

With the need for online training and professional development increasing, companies are investing further in e-learning, which in turn encourages innovation. 

The options for digital learning extend beyond simple LMS functions and video lectures. Some of the most notable trends in e-learning courses include: 

  • Augmented and Virtual Reality – Use of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) is on the rise in many industries. For instance, VR is already being used in healthcare to train providers. Some of the top uses included surgery simulations, patient care, and emergency preparedness. 
  • Generative AI –  Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic in corporate settings for its impact on productivity and the evolution of job skills, but it has applications for employee development as well. Harvard Business Review suggests that machine learning can be used to develop personalized learning pathways and even AI mentoring.
  • Mobile learning – Learning on the go offers further benefits to e-learning, including schedule flexibility, portability, and access to more content. In contrast to traditional methods of learning, mobile learning can provide a wide variety of training materials that include audio-visual presentations, assessments, chat features, 1:1 coaching or mentoring, and video lessons.
  • Gamification – Combining elements of gameplay with corporate training may sound like a somewhat unlikely combination, but it’s highly effective for working with today’s technology and innovation. This unique approach to e-learning provides a fun experience through challenges and achievements. Most notably, gamification increases engagement by incentivizing learning.
  • Video-based learning – People watch an average of 17 hours of video per week. So it’s no surprise it’s one of the most effective ways to learn. Learning via video is faster and easier because it combines different styles of learning. In this case, the trainee works more efficiently as a result of frequent changes in on-screen sensory and auditory stimulation.
  • Micro-courses – Microlearning leaves behind lengthy lectures in favour of engaging short videos or activities that can be shared across departments. Micro-courses also make learning in the flow of work possible. Micro mentoring can also be useful for e-learning, giving employees a career boost in short, on-the-go sessions.
eBook Colleague Connect: A Program for Stronger Employee Ties

What makes corporate e-learning valuable in the workplace?

Online training and development offer immense value to L&D departments and the organizations they serve. E-learning is more affordable, accessible, and efficient than other forms of learning as well. This comes down to three factors:

  1. Accessibility – Employees learn new skills and improve their knowledge at their own pace. Rather than force employees at different levels of competency to proceed at the same speed, e-learning is an inherently customized approach that lets learners grow at a rate that’s comfortable for them.
  2. Flexibility – Corporate e-learning can be done remotely, and, in some cases, on mobile. For companies with numerous employees or dispersed global teams, it circumvents the challenges of providing face-to-face in-house training, such as cost and location.
  3. Affordability  – Once you have an online learning platform, e-learning is a more cost-effective way to deliver corporate training. By shifting learning to a digital environment, many organizations can avoid upfront costs associated with implementing new L&D programs. Corporate e-learning also improves employee productivity by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs better. In the long term, this increases company revenue.

Benefits of e-learning in the workplace

Companies use learning management systems (LMS) and e-learning platforms because they’re pre-built with features relevant to online learning. But the benefits of e-learning go beyond convenience to include:

  • Remaining competitive – Corporate e-learning is a must-have in modern workplaces. Investing in the quality of your program can help your organization to attract top talent.
  • Developing career paths – L&D teams can monitor trainee progress and make sure they meet their performance milestones. e-Learning can also help employees set and achieve long-term career goals
  • Training new hires – New employees can learn at their own pace when they use online learning and receive immediate feedback. This gives companies a chance to improve the effectiveness of training new hires.
  • Upskilling existing employees – Online leadership and management courses help tenured employees to upskill more easily. Future leaders participating in continuous learning through online management training can plan their workloads around their online coursework, and avoid excessive travel time.
  • Encouraging workplace learning – With all content in one place,  learning is easier and becomes baked into your company culture. This culture of learning can generate as much as a 50% increase in revenue for every employee. 

Challenges with corporate e-learning 

It is undoubtedly true that e-learning will play a role in the future of employee development, but there are clear challenges as well. 

Here are some of the current issues that corporate e-learning programs face:

  • Lack of collaboration – With employees being able to work at their own pace, corporate learning has become more isolated and distanced. 
  • Irrelevance – e-Learning platforms can deliver a lot of different training courses, but this can overwhelm employees browsing courses. Further, if the training isn’t relevant to their day-to-day it won’t be a priority.
  • Low retention – It can be easier to abandon a course than to finish one. Because the courses require employees to step away from their day-to-day tasks, they may spend too little time on learning to make an impact. 
  • Poor engagement – Because e-learning is typically a solo activity, many employees aren’t as engaged with the content. They would rather learn from their peers or develop their careers with the help of mentors.

How to use social interaction in corporate e-learning 

One way to overcome these challenges is to add a social interaction component to your e-learning programs. Face-to-face relationship building is an important part of enjoying and improving at more or less every skill; unfortunately, most corporate e-learning programs have yet to find a way to integrate this effectively.

Much of our learning is done socially. The 70:20:10 learning framework states that:

  • 70% of our workplace learning comes from direct experience (doing our jobs).
  • 20% comes from our relationships with others: coaches, mentors, or peers.
  • 10% comes from individual studies like coursework or formal training.

To engage more team members you need to add a variety of 1:1 and group interactions. Here are some of our faves.

Peer learning

Peer support is a crucial component of an employee development plan. This support can come from a variety of sources:

  • Peer coaching – In peer coaching, employees observe their colleagues to build confidence in their own skills. By pairing employees for 1:1 learning opportunities, employees help each other grow and can encourage career development. Peers can also instill some healthy competition and accountability. 
  • Team building – You can encourage informal learning behaviors through a variety of team-building activities, such as virtual coffee chats, company retreats, outdoor activities, escape rooms, and much more. 
  • Employee resource groups (ERGs)Employee-led groups help to create a more inclusive workplace culture by encouraging employees from similar backgrounds or characteristics to lean on one another for support. ERG leaders can be some of the most effective mentors in your company.

Mentoring programs

Mentorship is crucial to employee development and training. Employees who participate in mentorship programs get promoted 5 times faster than those not in them. 

There’s also a clear link between mentoring and improved organizational performance. In fact, corporate training platforms like Together can help integrate real mentorship and improve outcomes of e-learning programs. 

Some benefits of mentorship include: 

🧠 Learn More: Mentorship program admins from The United Nations and The Forum unpack how to run world-class mentoring programs. Watch the full panel discussion.

Up your corporate e-learning game with a mentoring program from Together

Corporate e-learning has changed. Simply posting training materials online and inviting teams to a digital course in your LMS isn’t enough. To train remote employees effectively, modern dispersed teams need social interaction and employee engagement. 

Though it can bolster a strong pre-existing training program, online learning is not a silver bullet for employee development. The best outcomes in corporate e-learning come from powerful interpersonal connections.

This is where Together comes in. 

Instead of simply offering isolated e-learning, our mentorship and peer-learning programs help form meaningful one-on-one relationships between peers and mentor-mentee pairings.

Mentoring programs accelerate learning and development while making learning significantly more enjoyable. Gone are the days of boring, classroom-style lectures — today’s mentorship-based e-learning is engaging, collaborative, and mutually supportive. 

Curious what a mentorship program can do for your corporate e-learning program? Book a 15-minute call with our team to find out.

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