Employees today have access to high-quality job training materials that give them an advantage that couldn’t have been imagined a generation ago. And companies are recognizing the effect that this easy access to training has on employee productivity and on the bottom line.
As we continue to make advances in employee skills training, it is important to consider another area of influence that this technology can positively affect. As eLearning initiatives are having more of an impact on a company’s internal constituency, training departments are being asked to design training like this for external stakeholders as well. Partners and vendors who sell your products can benefit from having access to the most current information your company can offer them. Most business partners would be extremely grateful to have training that is designed specifically for them. After all, their bottom line stands to benefit as well.
In business as in most things, information is power. The more information we have about how a product or service works, the more likely we will be to effectively represent it. This is especially true for our partners, vendors and even our clients. If we educate them on just what our products and services can do, they become much more effective in positively representing and selling our brand.
This approach is not new of course. Training our business partners has been a highly effective practice for almost as long as there has been training. What is different today is that the access to on-demand training has never been greater. It is made available by extending eLearning programs via secure Intranets and mobile networks. Business partners, vendors and even customers can access the latest information about our products, our services and our business at the touch of a button.
So, is there a downside to extending eLearning to our outside stakeholders? Well, it is a cost that likely won’t make it directly onto a company’s bottom line. In this regard, eLearning for external clients can be viewed as an unrecoverable expense. But the benefit to a brand and to a company’s image is undeniable. And the good news is that the cost of producing these eLearning lessons is coming down all the time. Soon it will be more expensive NOT to train our partners, vendors and clients.
The bottom line is that any investment in product training is a good investment for the vast majority of businesses. By giving our partners access to the latest in product information and skills training, we are creating a more knowledgeable support team. eLearning is here to stay and those companies who invest in training their business partners sooner rather than later, will likely find a more loyal and better trained work-force.
Jeffrey A. Roth is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Interactyx Limited. Jeff regularly contributes articles on social learning trends, eLearning issues and how learning management systems impact organizations.
Interactyx Limited is the developer of social learning management system (LMS), TOPYX®.
TOPYX social LMS was voted 2012′s "Best Social Learning Solution" and has over 10 million users worldwide. Learn more about TOPYX at http://interactyx.com.Website: interactyx.com