As the world around us gets smaller, technological advancements make it possible for us to collaborate faster and with ease. Distance is no longer an issue – corporate offices can now get access to each other all the time. This is a huge boon to the training function as well. Training managers do not have to take into extensive planning required to bring busy professionals together for a training schedule. With new-age web conferencing tools, it is possible to hold meetings and training sessions with audio-video interactions and added features like desktop sharing, whiteboards, polls, webinars and so on.
For start-ups and smaller organizations with limited training budget, it gives a global reach and helps them make their business international. For bigger enterprises, it increases inter-organizational communication and builds knowledge within its structure. It is clear from a recent study that there are many benefits that can be reaped by a modern organization by investing in enterprise-wide web-enabled conferencing and other collaboration tools.
- Savings in Travel Cost: Investing in web collaboration tools gives the greatest benefit of savings in travel costs. This accounts for a large chunk of the training budget, so the organizations end up making reasonable savings, which can be then directed to creation of better learning content and so on. With conferencing and other web-enabled collaborative tools, employees do not have to travel for training sessions. Trainers as well as learners can also utilize the recording and saving functions built within most collaboration tools. Training sessions can thus be saved for future utilization or for learners who cannot attend the session live.
- Saving in Communication cost: Most organizations also have to spend on other modes of communication such as phone calls, snail mail and other modes of one-to-one communication. In the absence of collaboration tools, the process of making calls or sending out mails is often a repetitive process – wasting both time and moneys. With conferencing or collaboration tools, a lot of learners can log in to a single platform and attend a training session simultaneously. With facilities like two-way chat and direct calls, collaboration is real time – benefitting the learners by addressing their needs there and then.
- Increased access to Knowledge: Most corporate learners are aware of the many benefits of elearning, but do not have regular access to the trainings that they want – due to time constraints or unavailability of resources. Collaboration and conferencing tools also make a lot of trainings available for the learners – even when resources are limited. For instance, when a learner does not have access to a computer or internet, they can phone-in through a landline and join a conference. They can listen-in on the live session and then later download or print out the handouts from the resource section within the collaboration platform. Furthermore, an online platform gives them more comfort than a room full of unknown faces would and encourages them to open up more.
- Availability of experts: There are a lot of experts within the organization as well as top performers from the industry who are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge, but cannot travel or take time out from their busy schedules to train within a classroom format. These experts can be connected with learners with the help of collaboration tools. In turn, learners can also share their doubts or queries over the online platform to get answers immediately. They can also join in to listen to a knowledge-sharing talk that helps them to do their work better and boosts their confidence as well.
- Increased employee satisfaction: Closer collaborations build fruitful working relationships within the organization and therefore increase satisfaction of the employees. Employees have better access to knowledge and industry experts, which hones their skills. Over time, continued collaboration helps develop better faith in the organization – enabling them to achieve excellence in the quality of work.
Conferencing and web-enabled collaboration tools not only have short-time benefits of cost saving, but also the long-term benefits of better-trained employees. For the competitive market where knowledge is the greatest strength of all, collaboration tools are certainly a good investment with the promise of a positive ROI.
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