September 24, 2015

“Online Courses Make Learning Personalized and Affordable"

About 2,000 Efes employees are studying on Why is the company changing all the training over to the online format? What is the secret of the course with a high completion rate? This is what Marina Veselovskaya, Efes T&D Manager has told us.

Marina Veselovskaya

- How many Efes employees are learning?

- At the moment, about 1,900 employees of our company are learning on Also, 800 people are sales representatives in the key cities. All the training for them is conducted only online.

The approach to Efes corporate learning is changing right in front of our eyes. A year ago, full-time education was clearly predominant, mostly relying on the internal examination. I.e. our coaches developed the training themselves, wrote the material themselves, held classes themselves, etc.

Now we are reorienting our program towards eLearning, and reducing the amount of classroom to a minimum. First of all, it concerns the theoretical part of the training, which is not related to skills development. We are trying to provide it in an online format.

- Why have you decided to make a transition to online learning? What problems do you solve with the help of eLearning?

- The answer is obvious – first of all, accessibility in all the regions is important for us, as well as independence from time zones. These severe restrictions on internal courses do not exist in eLearning. In addition, this format is most efficient in terms of costs and results.

Online training is good because it allows for course structuring to be conveniently organized, to track learners’ progress, test their knowledge. I can make a program for an employee, send him reminders if he forgets to do his training, and assess the effectiveness of this training.

And of course, the analytics. It is important for me to know the amount of courses and tests an employeehas passed, as well as to understand what topics are of interest to him, what skills he develops. Based on this information, not only can you create a professional portrait of an employee, but you can also learn about his goals and plans. One person may develop professional competence, another one may focus on leadership and management – it's also food for thought.

- Does training motivate employees?

- For motivation and effective learning to take place, an individual approach to each employee is important. Some may need professional knowledge; others have to improve their management skills, etc. Ideally, training should be as targeted as possible, and the easiest way to implement that is through the online format.

Currently, eLearning for us is a rather utilitarian instrument for delivering information. We have engaged Eduson as a form of motivation, especially for remote workers. Previously, it was difficult to find a time and conditions for learning that would be comfortable for everyone. Now employees are provided with resources and opportunities to watch, read, and develop in all the areas of interest to them at any time convenient for them.

- What criteria and indicators do you use to assess the effectiveness of the training?

- By implementing online training, we aimed to solve 2 problems – reduce spending and transfer knowledge. Therefore, we plan to evaluate its effectiveness by comparing the costs associated with online learning with the costs associated with instructor-led training and assess the quantitative figures for studying these courses. In our case, it is too early to talk about any concrete results. It takes time for colleagues to become accustomed to the new format and appreciate all the advantages of online learning.

If we talk about effectiveness, we have key performance indicators such as expenditure budgeting, and the number of students. Sales representatives also add sales growth to these indicators. Of course, not every online course can be evaluated by business indicators. For instance, if we train accountants, it will be harder to measure the direct impact on their performance.

- How do you encourage employees to enroll in a training?

- Here we work in tandem with the company's management and its individual offices. For example, in sales management, they send out weekly reports on the results of learning dynamics for each one of the regions. Accordingly, every manager knows the situation and can influence it: to remind and make sure that his entire team has passed all the mandatory training and testing.

We also publish a monthly newsletter on the new and the most interesting Eduson courses for the entire company. For a greater employee motivation we have announced a competition for the most active participants in online education. But, of course, the most important is that our leaders are aware that they are also responsible for training their employees and are trying to contribute as much as possible.

Does the course format influence one’s involvement?

- It is the quality of delivering information combined with the quality of the content that has any influence, not so much the format. It's clear that the interactive presentation works better than the standard switching of slides. It is the same with the video. Even if the content of a video course is familiar and obvious to everyone, but if it is presented by a terrific speaker, listening to whom is interesting, the course proves to be really engaging.

- Would you share your plans with us?

- A variety of training simulators will definitely be popular: interactive simulators, online battles, and financial training simulators. We are actively developing a program in improving financial literacy. For example, our managers who work with the key clients should be able to quickly assess the profitability of a project’s financial terms, prices, discounts, and profitability of transactions.

We will definitely be developing in the direction of gamification – where emphasis will be placed on interactive presentations, videos, business study cases. Those few training sessions, which are still held by instructors, will be combined with the distance learning to the best of our ability.

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