Overcoming Resistance to E-Learning
If you’ve never used e-learning in your business, you might meet some resistance to its introduction. If you already use e-learning, you might know some people who still object to its use.
Some of the most common objections include:
- I don’t have time
- I can’t learn this on a computer or phone
- It’s not the same as classroom-based learning
- It’s too impersonal
- E-learning won’t be as effective as learning in a classroom
Overcoming these objections is essential to ensuring you achieve your goals on an individual basis, but it’s also important overall. This is because any negativity around the implementation or distribution of a new training course can have a detrimental impact more generally on your training strategy.
Below are some tips you can use to overcome resistance to e-learning. Before going into the tips, though, does your organisation have a learning culture?
The Importance of a Learning Culture
You are much less likely to meet resistance to e-learning – or any other method of learning – if you have a learning culture in your business.
A learning culture is having a focus that encourages all employees to improve their competency levels as well as their skills, knowledge, and performance. Doing this involves having policies that prioritise learning and continuing professional development, as well as offering practical support to employees.
If a learning culture like this does not exist in your organisation, you should work towards establishing and then nurturing it as the benefits are substantial.
Tips to Help You Overcome Objections to E-Learning
You need to take a proactive approach to overcome resistance to e-learning. This often means finding out the main source of the resistance and discovering why those that are resistant are so against e-learning.
Here are seven tips to help you deal with e-learning resistance.
1. Communicate Clearly with Employees
People are often resistant to change when they feel change is being forced on them. If they don’t feel part of the process, they will naturally push back.
As with many other aspects of business, one of the main solutions to this is to communicate with your staff throughout the process. You will encounter much less resistance if you adopt this approach rather than informing them you are introducing e-learning at the same time as sending them details of their first course.
2. Highlight the Benefits of E-Learning
It’s important you explain the benefits of e-learning as this will help the learner understand why you are making this change. Although this is not an exhaustive list, the benefits that e-learning offers includes:
- More cost-effective than classroom-based learning, particularly when a lot of travel is involved for people to attend in-person training sessions
- Less of a time burden on learners, not least because they don’t have to travel to a training session
- More flexible as learners can complete modules and courses at a time that suits them
- Much easier to personalise the content of e-learning courses to make it more relevant to individual learners
- Quicker and easier to deploy e-learning courses, particularly in disparate teams or if the training involves employees in multiple locations
- Achieves better outcomes than classroom-based training, including higher engagement levels, higher learner satisfaction rates, and better retention rates
- Ensures all learners receive the same learning experience
3. Highlight the Benefits to the Learner of Completing the Course
You also need to highlight the benefits of the specific course for the learner. Depending on the topic, objective, or motivation, this can be more difficult with some courses than with others.
However, you should explain clearly to the learner how the knowledge and skills they will gain by completing the course will help them in their work as well as in broader professional and personal terms.
4. Offer Support
One common concern that learners have when presented with an e-learning course for the first time is that they will be on their own. While some people relish this, others find the prospect daunting.
You should make clear to learners that e-learning is just the delivery method for the training. Tell them there is still support available, outline the nature of that support (i.e. who they can contact and what they can get help with), and let them know how they can access the support.
5. Include Progress Indicators
This tip helps once an initially reluctant individual makes a start on an e-learning course. Including small elements like progress indicators can have a significant impact on turning people around. One of the reasons for this is they feel more in control and they get a sense of achievement.
6. Incentivise or Reward
You can also consider incentivising your team or offering them rewards. Those rewards don’t even need to have a monetary value. Simple badge and achievement rewards, like those found in popular games, can have a substantial impact.
7. Deliver on Promises in Relation to Content
One of the benefits of e-learning over other forms of training delivery is that e-learning courses are more engaging.
It’s important you follow through on this, however, by making your e-learning courses as fun, interesting, and engaging as possible. There are lots of ways you can achieve this including using video, infographics, quizzes, scenarios, and more.
Focus on Return on Investment
Getting as many people to buy into your e-learning courses and overall training strategy is important to maximise return on investment. You will always have some who will resist whatever you try to do, but the above tips will help you achieve your objectives.