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Cut Training Costs with online learning

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Cut training costs with online learningWhether you’re sticking to a budget or have bottomless pockets, you need to think about the how much the eLearning costs. If trying to cut training costs in your organisation, you may have already considered an online learning solution as a good fit for your L&D budget.

Whilst there are lots of sensible reasons to move away from costly face-to-face training (or implement a blended learning approach), budgetary restrictions often act as the catalyst for taking the plunge with online learning.

And it’s true that online learning can cut costs in just about every area of the training budget. There is no need to pay for travel or find accommodation for your workforce. You don’t have to pay a workshop leader or pull employees out of their daily activities. You don’t need to pay for lunch or venue costs. All you need is internet access.

This flexible approach allows learners to work towards their self-development at their convenience. Learning can now take place during lunch breaks, in PJs just before bed and on their daily commute: one of the reasons eLearning saves money is that is ensures staff are away from work for the smallest period of time possible.

Because eLearning is considerably quicker and more effective than the classroom alternative, you will save a significant sum when it comes to opportunity costs. Induction times will be quicker and downtime among your staff will decrease to a minimum – all fantastic reasons to go online!

Companies who cut Training Costs with online learning

Let’s take a look at some examples of how online learning has been used to cut training costs:

  • We recently helped Bensons for Beds roll out Bensons Academy. The aim was to improve staff performance, remove costs and raise staff engagement. Through the Academy, Bensons were able to communicate their future direction to every member of staff (1,500+) and help their team develop a more effective sales process. The Academy was a rousing success and saved Bensons £500,000 in training costs.
  • When Dow Chemical switched to an online learning approach, they cut their average spending per learner by $84 to just $11. In total, this saved them $34m (Shepherd, 2002).
  • Since 2001, BT have utilised online learning to make 1,700 courses available to their staff. This has saved them upwards of £12m (Computing.co.uk, 2005).
  • Looking to save money on their training budget and push the benefits onto their customers, Nortel adopted an eLearning training programme. Nortel estimates that North American customers saved $7.7m between 2005 and 2006 thanks to their new learning approach (Bersin, 2007).

These are clear cases of organisations using online learning to cut training costs and secure a measurable return on their training spend. In fact, it has been estimated that, companies experience a 40-60% cost savings when comparing instructor-led courses with technology-delivered courses (GeoLearning, 2003). Can you afford not to go online?!

The main advantage of a cloud-based online learning solution is that it lets you engage your employees with their training on a continual basis – not just during face-to-face training sessions, but that’s not all…

Increasing intellectual capital

As companies attempt to survive in the knowledge and information age, the importance of intellectual capital only continues to grow. Organisations often speak of the value of human capital – the combined human capacity to use skills, know-how and expertise to meet a wide variety of business needs and problems. It’s clear that if you boil any business down to its basics all you are left with are its people. Yet far too many organisations fail to invest enough in their staff – neglecting this wealth of knowledge and experience.

So what is the solution for those looking to prove their dedication to the development of their workforce and organisational growth? The ordinary response is ‘training’!

But there’s more to it than that. What is important here is not just delivering training; it is delivering the right kind of training, in the right way, to the right people at the right time. Your training needs to engage, stimulate and, most importantly, stick.


Just like classroom training, online learning requires engagement at every level of the process. From upper management down to the learners themselves – there has to be some kind of engagement strategy in place. Without this high level of engagement, your training programme is doomed to failure. This means that your training’s return on investment is reliant on the amount of effort you put into effectively engaging your staff with their own self-development.

An online learning approach can save you a lot of money – but only if you enter into it with the right attitude and work to boost engagement. If you’re looking for ways to increase engagement and get more bang for your buck, download our Engagement Engine Workbook by clicking the button!

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