Webinars can be an outstanding training tool—not just for prospects and clients, but also for your own staff. There are some real benefits to turning to webinars rather than classroom training, but there are drawbacks to consider as well. Here’s an overview.
Pro: it’s cost-effective. Produce a series of webinars one time, and they’ll continue offering effective training for as long as the information they present is current. If you go the traditional route, it can cost more to hire classroom instructors on an ongoing basis or redirect other employees to training duties. In addition, there are no lodging or travel costs, even if you have employees all over the country or throughout the world.
Pro: it’s flexible. Employees can log on at any time, from any computer, to continue with their webinar training. You don’t need to set aside (or rent) extra training space for classroom instruction, and you don’t have to ask your employees to devote time or resources to training during the work day.
Pro: employees can train from anywhere. If you’re offering classroom instruction in a space outside your corporate location or after hours, it can be a hassle for employees to get there. With webinar training, employees can easily fit their studies around their work and home duties, and they don’t have to make an additional trip to get trained.
Pro: webinars allow you to reach audiences far and wide. With webinars, it’s particularly easy to train across distances. If your workforce is located throughout the country or all over the world, you can offer webinar training without having to get all the employees together in one room—or pay for travel costs.
Pro: it frees up training staff. If you already have a dedicated training team, your webinar series can free them from having to lead entry-level or basic classroom presentations. They’ll have more time and resources to dedicate to providing one-on-one training and consultations for employees who need the extra help or who are getting particularly in-depth training.
Con: Lack of in-person interaction with trainers. One downside to webinar training is that it’s usually done alone, without communication from an instructor. Employees don’t get to be evaluated or ask questions in real time. However, webinar training platforms do allow for online evaluation, and you could pair a webinar training program with periodic one-on-one meetings with trainers to answer more difficult questions.
Con: lack of in-person interaction with other students. Some students work best by working with others. With webinars, students don’t get to interact with their peers in real life. That doesn’t mean there’s always no interaction, however. Online forums and video chat can be a great way to collaborate and work with fellow students.
There are plenty of pros to webinar training, and although there are also some drawbacks, many companies find that the benefits outweigh them. If your company has a large number of employees to train, especially if they are in many different locations, webinar training is definitely worth looking into.