5 Reasons Off-the-Shelf Online Training Courses are a must-have for Employee L&D

Amit Gautam
Amit Gautam August 26, 2020

At a time when L&D professionals are constantly trying to find innovative ways to fulfil the needs of their diverse workforce and offer the desired skills training, eLearning is witnessing a revolution like never before. Especially, as the corporate world is adjusting to a new normal amidst a pandemic, it is more important than ever now for L&D to offer online training opportunities and strengthen employee training and development programs.

Since the past few years, L&D budgets have already been growing. As per ATD’s State of the Industry report, organizations are spending almost $1,252 on training and development per employee, while the Training Industry Report states the budget for corporate training in the US is $70.65 billion. LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report 2020 also states that 57% of L&D pros expect to spend more on online learning. However, it’s not enough to simply allocate resources for training. In an industry that has a proliferation of online training and online courses, it is up to L&D leaders to pick the right kind of employee training programs to offer the best eLearning solutions as per the needs of their workforce.

Organizations today have the option of choosing between Custom-Developed eLearning courses or going for Off-The-Shelf (OTS) eLearning courses. While custom-developed personalized courses are created as per the specific required of an organization, they are nonetheless more expensive and time-consuming in terms of selecting vendors and getting the actual courses developed.

OTS courses, on the other hand, are online repositories/libraries of eLearning courses that are readily available in the eLearning landscape. All that organizations have to do is pick the ones that fulfil their employee training and development needs and they are good to go! OTS courses are also the right solutions in an era when digital transformation has inspired an upskilling and reskilling revolution.

Here are five reasons why OTS online training courses are a must-have for employee L&D:

1. Ready-to-use and convenient

A useful benefit of OTS courses is that they are available now and there’s no need to wait for two or three months for the content to be developed. They are a great option specially to meet urgent learning requirements that many organizations face. Also, the courses are developed as per industry standards and there’s no need to worry about maintenance and updates in regards to compliance training since it managed swiftly by the vendor.

These courses are also compatible with an LMS, hassle-free and offer easy deployment, so that employees can quickly take the online training and kick-start their learning journey. Online content providers like Plethora offer a range of OTS courses by partnering with industry bigwigs like Skillsoft, BizLibrary, Learning Planet and Go1.

2. Tried and tested solutions for upskilling and reskilling

The right OTS courses are in the true sense tried and tested solutions. There is consistency in the courses which means learners do not have to spend a lot of time navigating their way through the content. OTS courses also offer the highest quality in terms of relevance and design. They are developed by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and experienced professionals which is why their efficacy is guaranteed. As per the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2018, more than half (54%) of all employees will require significant upskilling by 2022. Considering this, such courses assume an increased importance to meet upskilling needs.

3. Available in varied formats

Most of these OTS courses come in a host of formats to suit different styles of learning. Organizations can choose from myriad options like videos, microlearning content, HTML5 designed etc as per the needs of their employees. Vendors sometimes even offer trials of the entire course which provides an opportunity to understand the efficacy of the course and check if it suits specific requirements.

4. Cost-effective and economical

The cost of buying OTS courses most often is cheaper than investing in custom-developed content. In the price of a few customized courses, it is possible to have an entire library of OTS courses at the fingertips of employees. In order to develop customized eLearning courses, companies need to hire/onboard SMEs, graphic designers, purchase authoring tools, while buying them from other vendors is also a costly affair. OTS courses, on the other hand, have all of this work already taken care of. Organizations simply need to pick and choose the cost-effective courses and ensure that employees can embark upon their online training journey.

5. Help L&D ramp up employee training & development

According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, while companies spend more than $130 billon on training and development worldwide, many still struggle to provide a modern online learning experience. OTS courses are an effective way to underpin this issue. They have content that can be reused and assets that can be localised and deployed globally. L&D can offer more robust learning experiences by clubbing their own learning programs with OTS courses and provide blended learning to employees to ramp up engagement.

The modern versions of OTS online training libraries are extremely effective learning tools that can take your employee training programs to the next level. Readily available OTS courses incorporated into an efficient and innovative LMS can surely help organizations achieve their desired learning impact.