I am frequently asked, by all types of associations, how they can utilize e-learning for their members. Perhaps it is because e-learning is a hot topic. Maybe it is because members are asking their associations for more training – provided on the member’s schedule. Maybe it is because small to medium size businesses are choosing to no longer pay for on-site trainers.
Associations face the same issues other types of businesses face. They must compete for the dollars and time that members can contribute to the association and to community commitment. Associations must earn their members’ commitment, or they risk deflating membership levels and perhaps even a disengaged constituency. Overall, associations must look for ways to separate themselves from their competition and improve their members’ experiences.
Here are several ways associations can use e-learning for their members, and, in doing so, provide value:
By providing e-learning / training that can be taken at a member’s convenience, you increase the number of members that take the trainings, the commitment they can make to the trainings, the benefits they obtain from the trainings, and the skills they gain to run their businesses. The result is a stronger business and member.
Through e-learning, an association can create a stronger training curriculum, based on its members’ interests and requests, available to members and their respective employees year round. This indicates an association’s ability to satisfy its members’ business needs in a way that enables the members themselves to prioritize what they need, while maximizing the association’s training offering.
Through e-learning and creating stronger businesses and members, an association can in turn create a stronger community, industry or market; greater leadership and innovation within that community, industry or market; a more dynamic referral network, and ultimately short and long term community, industry or market growth and development.
If you are an association, do you wish to provide many of the benefits discussed above? If so, what is standing in your way of providing an e-learning skill development program for your members?
If you are a member, do you wish your association offered an e-learning skill development program? If so, why not ask them for this?