What eLearning Professionals Need To Know About An Employer Before Joining Them
Internet has brought a revolution in the way education and learning are imparted to individuals and professionals specialized in a particular field of study. Learning on the internet, also known as eLearning, involves online courses; training and lectures designed as per the learners’ needs. These are cost effective and enhance the individual’s productivity. Online courses available on these sites are tailored as per the learners’ needs, and can be undertaken at any time without having to bother about attending regular and/or mandatory classes.
However, eLearning professionals need to be aware of certain elements about the employer before joining them so that they can pursue their course with ease. The following are the points that need to be considered by such professionals in this regard:
- Identify if the job profile aligns with the knowledge and skills.
Before getting hired by any employer it is of vital importance to identify whether the course undertaken through eLearning (or skills gained) can be applied to the job profile being offered. For example, if you have taken up an eLearning program on retail management, then it would be absurd to join an employer offering human resource consulting services. Why work with the wrong employer? Understanding the job profile, responsibilities to be undertaken, and scope for career growth is necessary. Working with an organization where the job profile matches with the education, competencies, and experience gained through eLearning is advisable for eLearning professionals.
- Identify whether the employer supports eLearning.
It is advisable for eLearning professionals to be clearly aware whether the employer supports eLearning at the workplace. eLearners must deliberately find the answer to the question: Does the employer encourage eLearning in the workplace? Employers with a negative perception about online learning will make it difficult for the individual to successfully pursue with the course that is already undertaken. Hence, choosing an employer that has knowledge of the benefits of eLearning, its advantages are advocated. The employers must be able to realize that short term eLearning programs help employees to contribute to the organization in the way of better productivity and performance. Companies such as British Telecom in the UK offer an interesting platform for eLearning professionals and deliver 85% of formal training using online techniques to more than 100,000 employees. Such companies have created a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where employees can gain access to online courses, lectures, and training materials via a single portal. Similarly, retail companies such as Sainsbury’s eLearning By Design is a supportive program encouraged by the organization as a source of learning and fun for eLearning professionals.
- Find out whether the employer has significant IT infrastructure for eLearning.
The employer must have fully managed services with well-developed Information Technology (IT) and network infrastructure. Hence, go ahead and find out – How far is the existing IT infrastructure conductive to eLearning programs? This must also include maintenance and upgrade so that you, as an eLearning professional are able to focus easily on content, administration, and results. The employer must also have a well-integrated eLearning mechanism with the Human Resources and other processes. Healthcare organizations such as NHS (National Health Services) have their own eLearning portal which provides employees with state of the art access to online learning, gaining necessary skill sets through online training modules and excel in their career path. Organizations or employers with lack of appropriate access to IT will make it difficult for an eLearning professional to continue with the course already undertaken or aspiring to take up other courses.
- Identify if the employer is flexible with job timings and leaves.
Before entering into a contract with an employer, explore – Is the employer flexible with the job timings, provides leisure time, and necessary leave? An eLearning professional must clearly discuss with the employer different terms regarding the job timings, hours of work, leave entitlement, etc. This will make it easier to assess whether taking up a new online course/training or continuing with an ongoing eLearning program will be easier to continue. Prolonged shifts, burnout and stress, and the inability to get leaves will be a hindrance to carry on with eLearning courses and its successful completion will be questionable. Most employers have rigid HR policies that fail to offer flexibility to employees to prepare urgent online projects. Employers offering necessary leaves and leisure time to employees to successfully manage their online training programs must be preferred.
- Be sure that the eLearning program offered by the employer is compliant with external regulations.
In case the employer offers eLearning courses, it is necessary to identify whether such courses are useful and comply with ethical and legal standards. Find out – Is the eLearning program offered by the Employer complaint? Legal requirements make it necessary that eLearning courses do not include content that is inappropriate and access to proper learning material is made easier. Giant multinational companies such as Tesco provide an effective eLearning platform for professionals that meet the compliance standards. Hence, an eLearning professional must carry out extensive checks about the employer and/or the organization by visiting its official website, newsletters, HR policies, and word of mouth content.
Referring to the above 5 points, it may be inferred that eLearning professionals need to do their homework before joining a potential employer. Working with an organization where they can exhibit their learning skills through open communication and sharing of ideas is of utmost importance. It will also be a good decision to choose to work with an employer having an interest in eLearning mechanism, with the right infrastructure and support systems.