E-learning has prompted an expansion in income for 42 percent of organisations in the United States alone. In fact, accredited online courses are one of the best ways to upskill your staff, improve productivity and, ultimately, drive business growth.

Here’s how to make the most out of your professional development and find the right online course for you and your team.

How to source cost-effective online courses

Managers and team leaders work hard to keep up with changing legislation across a variety of sectors. But it’s not just legislation that they struggle to learn. Businesses deploy new tools and find more effective ways of working every day, and regulation is evolving rapidly thanks to technology and new data protection laws.

Trying to source a cost-effective online course that is both specific to an industry and up-to-date with the correct information, then, can be a challenge, especially when you’re trying to measure and report a positive return-on-investment.

To find the right online course for your business, we recommend that the first thing you do is make a checklist of your business’s most important priorities, taking into account the size of your training budget.

This will help to narrow your scope and speed up decision-making to get training courses underway.

What to avoid when sourcing an accredited online course

Nobody’s saying budgets are limitless, so if you choose an inexpensive online course, choose wisely. Encouraging staff to study for qualifications which turn out to be irrelevant to their job role could also devalue team members and leave them feeling disheartened and unmotivated.

Similarly, courses that are too basic and don’t encourage a healthy challenge might lead to boredom and wasted time, which is neither good for your staff or your business’s productivity levels.

With this now prefaced, then, here are some tips to make the most out of accredited online courses.

For companies: Get a return on your investment

Know your business

What does an average day look like? What skills do you need for statutory compliance? How many people with specific skills should be on duty at any one time to keep things ticking over?

If you are constantly understaffed or using agency talent because in-house skills are short, you’ve got a problem. Training should be driven by your business’s needs before anything else.

Know your staff

Your HR department should keep records of any previous training undertaken and how long ago it occurred. You can save yourself time, effort and stress by understanding the skills your individual employees already possess. Talk to them individually or have them fill out an online form.

Take suggestions

Your employees are your most valuable resource. They’re also the least dependable; people change their ambitions all the time.

Take account of their career direction and consider their opinions on training needs. This can be incredibly helpful when you are making the hard choices of which accredited online course to choose.

For individuals: Making the most of online courses

Take notes

Handwritten notes can be a useful memory aid while you’re on a course, but don’t try to write down everything. Simple bullet points are enough.

Apply your learning to the real world

Abstract concepts are easy to forget. Scribbles that seemed obvious on the day can be hard to decipher once you’re out of the classroom.

Contextualising what you learn to real-world problems and people helps to lodge concepts in the brain and make them easier to recall.

Set action points

It’s easy to be enthused about a new skill when faced with a passionate, professional trainer. But it’s equally easy to abandon plans as soon as the course ends.

That’s why it’s important to set action points. They’re a great way to conclude any accredited online course and will help you put your skills to good use. Be sure to set reminders in a diary to remind you what you will do after, say, one, three or six months.

Smarter learning with Me Learning

Choosing a Me Learning course could be what keeps your business on top of changes. Those all-too-frequent alterations to government and departmental policy are frustrating to get your head around, and smart learning could be the solution you need.

At Me Learning, we offer CPD (continuing professional development) accredited courses for individuals, charities and local government, all tailored for maximum impact in the shortest space of time.

We strive to support staff working in some of the most complex sectors, including safeguarding and mental health in children. We’ve also partnered with Skills for Health to bring our accredited online courses to the widest possible audience, making it even easier for business’s to reap the benefits of online training and demonstrate an good ROI.

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