As businesses are becoming more globalized, new techniques of training staff has emerged. Online Learning is fast growing part of employee development programs best practice of many major corporations throughout the world as well as for small businesses. According to State of Industry Report (2008), 25% of U.S. companies deliver online training to employees through externalservices in 2007 alone. The consistency in the message and the cost savings are only two reasons for the rapid growth of this type of training.
Online learning, also known as e-learning can be defined as a web-based dynamic learning process mainly focused on the student, not in the instructor. The term can be defined “as education and training delivered by an instructor or self-paced from acurriculum database stored on the enterprise local area network” (Tai, 2007, P. 4). In broader terms, e-learning is defined as the “use of internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance” (Rosenberg, 2001). In other words, online learning or e-learning is a number of tools and processes by which a person can acquire certain knowledge in a specific issue,where there are no physical limitations of time and space, and where students can access knowledge anytime and from anywhere, as long as they have a computer and access to Internet.
Companies use the E-learning style as a training channel not only to get better performance from employees, but also to support company’s business strategy and goals (Noe, 2010, P. 305-307). Align with the businessstrategy, “E-learning can result in improved performance, greater speed to market, increased operating efficiency, higher retention and greater return on investment (ROI)” (Tai, 2007, P. 6). Online learning process could be considered as a synonymous of improving human capital competences and capabilities more effectively, faster and to more employees at a short time. The outdated training manualsare being replaced by online learning solutions more cost-effective, keeping employees aware of everything from policy changes to business work style.
Firms with branch offices, traveling sales force, even government agencies and academies have found that online learning saves time and money. It eliminates travel expenses, parking, child care and other costs that have to be cover whenattending a classroom. It is also more effective than traditional methods of learning because students enjoy the advantage of learning in their own time and at their own pace. Employees can learn at home or in their office, with access to material 24/7 because you only need a computer and Internet access. Other benefits that can be acquired from this new learning style is that Instructors can easilyupdate the teaching materials as new information becomes available. Most textbooks are obsolete before they are printed. Additionally, online technologies allow interaction with other students and instructors of the courses increasing the effectiveness of a learning environment.
This is a best practice that is used throughout Banco Popular. Its online learning program is offered through an externalconsultant called Skills Soft, which is a provider of on e-learning and performance support solutions for companies throughout the world. Using this platform, Banco Popular offered online courses to their employees, mainly courses of Human Resources, Finances, and Customer Service. Employees have the opportunity to choose the course of interest from a catalog that contains courses related to thesubjects described above. It is important to highlight that Banco Popular consider this topic necessary to achieve the company’s objectives, primarily customer services’ courses because they are an organization that offers financial services.
The Human Recourses Department of Banco Popular tries to encourage their employees to take the online courses by offering rewards. As more courses you...