Online or e-training has grown in popularity in the past decade, particularly due to its 24/7 availability, ease of use, and accessibility. For these reasons, many organizations choose online training to orient newly hired employees. While many workplaces are drawn to the flexibility and, of course, the lower costs of online training, the benefits of face-to-face training may be well worth giving old school methods a fresh look. Not all content can be seamlessly translated into the digital world just yet, and for this reason, there are aspects of face-to-face training that simply cannot be recreated by online training.
At our core, humans are social creatures. We thrive on social interactions, and while technology and social media have made it easier than ever to connect, face-to-face interaction has a strong impact on our cognitive and behavioral processes. In-person training faciliates engagement, communication, and stronger learning overall, and something that is lacking in the online training experience. Face-to-face training fosters collaboration and teamwork. It also offers unique opportunities for networking – a handshake and in-person conversation are exponentially better than exchanging impersonal emails back and forth. Networking is one of the key aspects of business, and face-to-face training offers a simple and easy way to form these connections. Relationships are strengthened by these face-to-face interactions, especially because body language and behavioral mannerisms come into play during in-person trainings. It provides for a far richer emotional experience, which can be essential in creating lasting impressions.
Another benefit of face-to-face training is its potential for adaptability. A good instructor can recognize and meet the needs of their specific participants – if they need more help with certain topics, the instructor can adjust the course to meet these needs, creating a more positive learning environment for all. E-training can fall into the rut of not having that type of flexibility available, which could be detrimental to certain types of learners. In addition to its adaptability, however, face-to-face training boosts concentration and engagement. An online course essentially boils down to watching a video or chatting in a chatroom; face-to-face training necessitates a higher level of focus. Distractions that can plague e-learners are removed in an in-person environment; there’s no opportunity to “multi-task” while speedily clicking through an online course’s screens when you attend a face-to-face training session. As a result, it’s clear that face-to-face training can help learners truly learn the material, rather than simply skimming through a video or slideshow. While nothing can beat online learning’s convenience and flexibility for those with strict schedules, the level of interaction that face-to-face training provides is incomparable.
Finally, the cost-effectiveness of virtual training may be rather misleading. If your workers aren’t adequately participating in or learning from the materials provided, then you may have to spend more money down the line in retraining your employees, which would negate the savings from choosing online training. As a result, it’s important for companies to consider what’s most important to them – do they need the flexibility that online training provides, or are they willing to spend a little bit more to invest in face-to-face training and the interaction that comes with it? It depends on what your goals are as a brand and company, but do not discount the advantages that face-to-face training can bring.
At Exenta, we recognize the value of face-to-face training and we support our new client implemenations with focused training for the users of our ERP, PLM REVO and Shop Floor Control solutions. In-person training is an important step in our seamless implementation experience and is part of the Exenta Difference, and our Proven Path™ Methodology, one of the reasons customers choose us 9 times more than other fashion technology partners.