A Case Study Analysis of Factors that Influence Attrition Rates in Voluntary Online Training Programs
This article examines utilization of online training courses in a Midwest-based landscaping company in the United States. The company had implemented online training to facilitate employee development for their 5,000 employees who were in locations throughout the United States. The courses had been in place for about a decade before the organization attempted to evaluate their effectiveness. In the 14-month process of collecting data to evaluate course effectiveness, researchers discovered that only 21% of employees who enrolled in online training during this time period actually completed the training. This finding surprised researchers and company management and motivated an investigation into the causes underlying this high rate of attrition. Attrition survey data revealed that attrition was not due to dissatisfaction with course design, technology, or content. Rather, lack of time available both at work and at home was the principal factor that contributed to course attrition. Additional contributing factors included course enrollment procedures, low employee motivation, and employee turnover. Recommendations for implementation of online training in organizational settings are offered.