hype around e-learning might lead you to believe it is a cure for the world’s
ills. What difference is it really making to organisations? Sue Clark asks
people at the forefront of the intranet revolution
Director of training and development, Prudential Portfolio Managers
have 3,000 employees worldwide and it is impossible for us to get the right
training to the right person at the right time using conventional methods.
e-learning allows us to provide development with more value and more focus. We
use the analogy of the restaurant. Instead of giving our employees a menu of
courses we think are good for them and when it is convenient for us, we stock
the larder and allow them to take what they require when they need it.
are 760 on-line courses and 90 knowledge sharing networks, which people can reach
on our intranet or the Internet. They are divided into 90 learning areas under
11 faculties; together we call this “The I”.
can preclude the shared experience, but The I is a part of a larger focus on
performance support which includes traditional courses (details of 3,200 are
listed on The I) and coaching. We follow up these conventional methods with
short bites of e-mail development to reinforce the learning.
went live in March 1999 and the 500 of our 3,000 employees who can access the intranet
(the rest use the Internet) have visited the site 4,124 times, and looked at
113,356 pages. While not a core driver, the success of e-learning contributed
to our coming in 30 per cent under budget last year.
Head of learning distribution ,CGU Insurance
networked training PCs were set up primarily to enable access of technical
training to our branch-based staff at a time of great activity – the merger
between Commercial Union and General Accident.
key drivers, therefore, were instant and flexible availability of a wide range
of modules coupled with the advantages of local delivery of training which
reduced time wasted on travel and minimised absence from the workplace.
who were used to classroom events had to adapt to greater use of technology
coupled with self management of their learning programmes. While the long term
cost of this delivery medium is less than traditional means, many staff still
hanker for the residential course at the staff college.
experience shows that delivery to the desktop is most effective for technical
training of short duration. Our staff prefer to engage in prolonged learning
events on separate PCs set in quieter sections of the office. For the future we
see mixed delivery solutions with e-learning focusing on just-in-time training.
Senior manager, e-learning, Lloyds TSB
TSB launched its corporate university last year and with it the launch of
e-learning. We want to provide just-in-time learning at the desk, through our
web site, accessed through both the Internet and our intranet.
developments have included an e-learning familiarisation programme for
trainers. This was conducted on-line and trainers learned how to coach
delegates and facilitate discussion groups using this medium.
is encouraging that we have more requests from trainers to develop skills in
on-line course design and that many see e-learning as an opportunity, not a
of our residential training sites have cyber-cafés, used by delegates and
trainers. These facilities supplement residential programmes and provide the
opportunity to experiment and become familiar with e-learning.
are about to launch the first phase of our web-enabled career development tools
to an audience of 20,000. This was developed in-house in a short time scale.
The web technology provided us with cost effective methods to distribute and
keep material up to date.
for the future include the development of on-line training transactions,
testing, and the sharing of knowledge/information that will enable us to
improve our efficiency.
using web technology, we have embarked upon a journey, although with the web
environment changing at such a pace who knows where this will lead? This is
part of the challenge for the function.
HR director, Royal Bank of Scotland
sheer pace of change in the financial and retail banking sectors is immense,
and to meet these demands, we realised our whole approach to training also had to
change dramatically. This paradigm shift means that we require a learning
platform that is more flexible, more consistent and accommodates the differing
learning styles of our staff.
learning delivers these, particularly self-paced learning, and is a welcome
addition to our learning platform.
on-line learning programme is part of an HR web delivery programme to deliver
self-service HR to 20,000 staff through our HR intranet site. A key part of
this programme has been a significant investment in a bespoke learning network
stretching into 650 branches. This network has allowed the bank to deliver
training via the intranet to approximately 7,000 employees.
addition it has streamlined the administration process with functionality such
as on-line course booking and ordering of distance learning. This has already
delivered a return on capital of over 700 per cent.
key element in the bank’s on-line learning strategy enables staff to access
broadcast events without leaving their branch. The broadcasts, sent via
satellite, are viewed using PCs within each branch.
Senior HR manager, London Borough of Newham
learning enables staff to address their development needs quickly and
accurately. Contrast this to a longish wait for an appropriate course which, by
its nature, cannot possibly be individually tailored. Time and money spent on
training is thus used more effectively in many cases. People enjoy the privacy
of the approach, and welcome the freedom to repeat things until they really
understand. It also avoids things like role play which can inhibit
participation and learning for some.
some have found it a lonely experience and miss group interaction which, in
turn, detracts from their learning. Obviously, one key message is that
individuals can legitimately choose the method to suit their particular
it is also important to encourage experimentation with new things.