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Is it possible to change company behavior through online training?

Is it possible to change company behavior through online training?
Catia Dos Santos
 Catia Dos Santos
18/09/2019: eLearning is an excellent tool to acquire skills, but is it also able to stimulate a change in the corporate culture and favor the application of what has been learned?

The fact that online education serves to acquire new knowledge is demonstrated by the fact that every year the sector continues to grow, convincing more and more companies to invest in digital learning. Both technical skills and soft skills can be transmitted exploiting the numerous advantages of eLearning, such as the possibility of learning through different channels and in any place.
The real question is: what happens after the training course? Will students really be able to apply the knowledge learned? The answer depends on the ability of the online course not only to transmit useful knowledge, but also to stimulate in the beneficiaries of the course a change in behavior that pushes them to put into practice what they have learned. This means that the courses in eLearning, in the long run, must succeed in influencing the corporate culture. Let's see why and how.

What is corporate culture and why does it matter in eLearning?

Corporate culture is a set of unwritten rules that characterize every company. It translates into values, behaviors and attitudes that determine the organization, the business model and every other aspect of a company's life. In eLearning, as in general education, it is essential to take corporate culture into consideration. This determines the approach to training and preferences about learning modalities. Taking it into account means preparing an online course that is attentive to the needs of the beneficiaries and therefore able to achieve the educational objectives.

How does e-learning affect business behavior?

Changing behaviors is one of the greatest human challenges and no online course, however personalized and specific, can think of succeeding immediately. It is even more difficult, if not impossible, to change the established corporate culture from one day to the next. However, with some tricks you can influence the behaviors in the workplace before, during and after the online course and consequently, influence the corporate culture:

  • Talk to the participants before the course is created to understand what their problems are and why they need the course. The next step is to stimulate a reflection on what behaviors could improve their performance and clearly explain what the course objectives will be.
  • Use the information acquired to personalize the course and prepare content and exercises related to the real problems of the beneficiaries. In this way it is possible to explain through relevant examples for the beneficiaries how their behavior can affect performance.
  • Follow the beneficiaries even after the end of the course allowing them to apply what they have learned at the time of need.

Which eLearning tools can generate a change in behavior?

In the different phases of preparation, delivery and follow-up of an online course, different tools can be used to influence the behavior of the learners:

  • Analysis of needs. If transformed into an opportunity for brainstorming, it will serve the beneficiaries to understand what are the problems on which they themselves can act to improve performance.
  • Storytelling. Training can take the form of a story with a character in which the beneficiaries can recognize themselves. Concrete examples, audio and images that create an emotional connection are more effective in changing behavior.
  • Social learning. Inserting moments of social learning into e-learning stimulates the comparison of peers, the application of knowledge at the time of need and therefore affects behavioral change. Discussion forums, group work and video chat can be adopted even after the end of the course to reinforce what has been learned.

An e-learning course can influence the corporate culture by acting on behaviors that hinder the achievement of corporate goals. To do this, it must be designed starting from the needs of the course beneficiaries, stimulate their participation with meaningful contents and examples and continue to follow them in applying what they have learned even after the end of the course. Needs analysis, storytelling, simulations, microlearning are some of the tools that eLearning can use to generate a change in the behavior of the beneficiaries before, during and after the course.

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