The cost-effectiveness of online training for managers: Real life results

The Benefits of Online Management Training When you calculate management training costs, you can’t overlook the fact that every day a person spends in training is one day of lost work.

So it follows that a day-long training session with nine learners is nine lost work days.

That’s almost two weeks of lost productivity.

At that rate it’s no wonder why:

  • Many managers get no formal training, and
  • Many organizations that train their managers struggle to keep up with it.

A recent poll by Communications Bulletin for Managers and Supervisors found 89.3% of managers said they were not adequately prepared when they started out as managers.

If businesses devoted the kind of time it takes to train managers, people would never keep pace with their workloads, right?

Wrong. It doesn’t have to be like that.

The past decade has seen a significant growth in online education, or e-learning. Business environments especially benefit from the time and cost savings offered by computerized training that employees can participate in anywhere, at any time.

How popular is it? Everybody’s moving that way. For instance, a survey of 500 training directors reported in Online Learning News showed:

  • 60% had e-learning initiatives
  • 86% were converting instructor-led sessions to e-learning
  • 78% were developing or enhancing e-learning opportunities

How much money can e-learning save? Lots. And far more important, the value of improved performance over time dramatically boosts the return on investment.

For example, the basic web-based course of study for a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer program costs less than $100 for a one-year subscription. A comparable classroom program would involve four to six weeks in the classroom in 3-to-5 day chunks at a cost of $8,000 to $15,000. And if the training facility is out of town and you factor in learner salary, travel, and lodging, the cost can exceed $25,000.

  • IBM said online training saved $200 million in one recent year, providing five times the learning at one-third the cost of their previous methods.
  • By blending 80% e-learning with 20% classroom instruction, Ernst &Young said it cut training costs 35% while improving consistency and scalability.
  • Rockwell Collins reduced training costs by 40% with only a 25 % conversion to e-learning.

Sure, those are big companies. But management training costs will also fall considerably for small and mid-sized firms that take advantage of widely available E-learning programs.

Top 3 Real-life Values

No. 1 is cost:  The annual subscription costs to some of the top-rated e-learning programs for managers, for instance, are less than $500 a year. These kinds of programs typically will have 10 to 15 training sessions. They are the kinds of sessions that all managers can benefit from, covering essential topics like bias, legal issues and communication and soft skills. The value is realized because the subscription cost doesn’t change whether the e-training is used by one learner, or 100 learners. It’s the same cost! The more people who take it, the lower the cost per head.

No. 2 is convenience:  Forget having nine managers in a day-long training seminar. The best e-learning courses are less than 30 minutes per session and can be taken any time, anywhere — at home, at lunch, at a desk — wherever there is web access and it is convenient for the learner.  No travel expenses, no scheduling headaches.

No. 3 is consistency:  Even the best classroom instructors can stray from the topic, or learners can lose focus, miss crucial information and fall behind. With an e-learning course, the information is the same for every learner who clicks the mouse. And if a learner misses something, just click on rewind.

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the benefits of online management training. To see the other articles, please go to The Benefits of Online Management Training page.

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