How to Increase Employee Retention in eLearning


Employee retention in eLearning has become an important measure of success in an ever-changing education and professional development landscape. Technology has shifted significantly towards digital platforms, making eLearning at work more important than ever. However, despite the numerous benefits of eLearning, it presents unique challenges, especially with employee retention of eLearning information. It is essential to address these challenges to maximize eLearning programs’ effectiveness and develop the best team possible.

eLearning in the Modern Day

eLearning platforms offer an accessible, flexible, and scalable approach to learning, catering to both academic and corporate environments. The convenience of accessing a wide range of courses from any location has made eLearning a popular choice, especially for onboarding employees. The increasing adoption of eLearning is reflected in its growing market size, with reports indicating a continuous upward trend. The attraction of these programs lies in their ability to cater to various learning styles and move at the trainee’s pace. Adding Interactive content, multimedia integration, and personalized learning paths can enhance the learning experience. Additionally, eLearning platforms provide valuable data insights that enable educators and trainers to monitor employee progress and engagement effectively. Despite these advantages, however, one of the primary concerns is the employee retention rate of eLearning programs – ensuring that learners consume the content and retain and apply the knowledge they have gained.

The Challenges of eLearning

E-learning platforms present unique challenges that can impact the effectiveness and retention of learning. The lack of physical interaction in digital environments and the distractions of the online world can hinder the learner from engaging with the presented content. It often requires high levels of self-motivation, which is becoming rarer with each year. All this, combined with occasional technical issues and the digital divide, further complicates accessibility, making it essential to address these challenges quickly but carefully. Overcoming the following barriers is crucial for creating an inclusive, engaging, and effective e-learning experience:

  • Lack of Direct Interaction: The lack of a physical classroom and direct teacher-student interaction may cause learners to feel isolated and disengaged, cutting into their motivation.
  • Digital Distractions: The digital landscape offers various distractions, such as social media and web browsing, that can divert one’s attention from eLearning material, diminishing focus and retention.
  • One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Many eLearning courses fail to accommodate individual learning styles, leading to lower engagement and retention rates.
  • Limited Practical Application: Some eLearning modules do not provide practical application opportunities, making it difficult for learners to internalize and truly learn the necessary information.
  • Interest, Self-motivation, and Time Management: Learners can struggle to engage with eLearning content due to lacking interest, self-motivation, and time management skills.
  • Technical Issues and Accessibility: Unreliable internet connections and lack of access to technology can also hinder learning. Even with reliable connections and access to technology, technical issues can still fall from the sky, hindering all learners for as long as it’s down.
  • Information Overload: eLearning courses, especially without proper organization, can be overwhelming, leading to reduced retention.
  • Lack of Immediate Feedback: In eLearning environments, immediate feedback is often lacking, impeding learning and reducing the opportunity for quick corrections.
  • Inadequate Learner Support: The lack of adequate support structures, such as tutor assistance or peer support networks, can leave learners feeling unsupported and hinder their learning progress.
  • Varied Quality of Content: The quality of eLearning content varies greatly, impacting learner satisfaction and retention.

Tips for Increasing Employee Retention

Improving employee retention of eLearning material is crucial for the success of online education programs. The following strategies address the unique challenges of eLearning, making the learning process more effective and enjoyable for employees:

  • Interactive and Engaging Content: Interactive elements like quizzes, simulations, and gamification can enhance the learning experience by reinforcing knowledge through active participation and making it more enjoyable.
  • Microlearning Approach: Microlearning breaks content into smaller, more manageable chunks, making absorbing information easier for the modern learner’s shorter attention span. With this, learners can progress at their own pace without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Personalization: Tailoring eLearning courses to meet individual learning styles can significantly improve engagement and retention rates. Personalized learning paths make the content more relevant and interesting for each learner.
  • Social Learning Opportunities: Incorporating forums, discussion groups, and collaborative projects can create a sense of community, encourage social learning, and enhance knowledge-sharing among peers, leading to a better learning experience and retention.
  • Real-world Application: Link eLearning content to role-playing and real-world scenarios to enhance retention. Learners better understand the material’s relevance and applicability, leading to higher retention rates.
  • Regular Assessments and Feedback: Regular assessments should be implemented to measure understanding and retention. Feedback from instructors and automated systems can also provide valuable insights into the ROI of the eLearning program and motivate learners to improve.
  • Leveraging Multimedia and Storytelling: It’s recommended to use a mix of multimedia formats, such as videos, infographics, and podcasts, to cater to different learning preferences. Storytelling is a powerful tool that can make content more memorable and relatable.
  • Continuous Learning Culture: Foster a culture of continuous learning within the organization. Encourage learners to practice their knowledge and skills and provide ongoing learning and development opportunities.
  • Accessibility and Flexibility: It is important to make eLearning courses accessible across multiple devices and offer flexibility regarding when and where learning occurs. This adaptability is crucial in accommodating the varying schedules and commitments of learners.
  • Monitoring and Improvement: It is important to regularly check the effectiveness of eLearning programs and be receptive to feedback. Utilize analytics to monitor learners’ progress and identify areas requiring improvement. Keeping the content and delivery method up-to-date and making necessary enhancements can help ensure that the courses remain relevant and effective.

Employee retention of eLearning programs is not solely dependent on completing courses. Ensuring that the acquired knowledge is retained and applied effectively is equally, if not more, important. To improve the efficacy of eLearning programs, organizations need to tackle the unique challenges of eLearning and implement strategies that promote engagement and retention.

Does your business’s eLearning need a touch-up? Contact a Scalability representative about improving your employee’s training retention.