If you use SAP software on the job, then you are likely not too comfortable with your expertise in the software and the amount of training you have received for it.

According to a recent SAP survey, 41.5 percent of respondents (1230 responses from SAP professionals from 83 countries) said they hadn’t received sufficient training to perform their jobs.

While this seems like a bleak statistic, the survey contained some good news, too — an increasing preference for e-learning over instructor-led training has created the opportunity for convenient and affordable training. So, SAP professionals can start rectifying this lack of training without a huge investment of time or money.

Here’s how:

1. Ditching PowerPoint

Fifty-one percent of the survey respondents indicated that they prefer to receive their SAP training online. That’s compared to a 29.5 percent preference for instructor-led classroom training, down from 37 percent in 2013. Keep in mind that online training can be through self-paced e-learning or instructor-led virtual training. Both are viable options and can be used as a mix, but e-learning provides the maximum flexibility and cost savings.

There is quite a bit of upside to e-learning. For starters, students can go at their own pace. When you gather a group of professionals into a room, they undoubtedly have varying levels of experience and knowledge. It’s hard for an instructor to accommodate everyone without going too slow for some and too fast for others. With e-learning, students can move quickly through areas they already understand, saving time and avoiding frustration or boredom. Also, the costs are much lower and the course more scalable compared to traditional classroom training. With about a fifth (21.4 percent) of respondents citing insufficient training budgets as the main obstacle to enough training, less expensive options should help the numbers.

The message for SAP professionals is clear — high-quality SAP e-learning is available and one doesn’t have to seek out an expensive, in-person class. If one wants to ask the employer for more training, it is easier to fit e-learning into the budget and schedule. This way, employees can not only go at their own pace, but they maximize the investment of both money and time.

The bottom line is that employees are training-starved, and four out of 10 have not received enough training to do their job.

2. Making time

While money is often thought of as the biggest obstacle to sufficient SAP training, having enough time for training was actually cited as a bigger challenge. With SAP e-learning, an entire course can fit around one’s schedule without skipping a beat. Lessons are broken into small bite-sized chunks that can be shoehorned into even the busiest daily schedule. Not only does e-learning provide a flexible training schedule, but it also ramps up productivity through better SAP skills, avoiding common mistakes or learning how to do things more efficiently.

3. Closing the training gap

According to the study, the gap in SAP training is significant.  Sixty-two percent of respondents said they received little or no SAP training in the last 12 months. At the same time, 52 percent reported that they should have received more than 31 hours of training during the year. Wouldn’t it make sense to invest less than a week of working hours, in order to achieve more productivity for the rest of the year?

The top-performing companies know that SAP training is not a one and done event, but rather an ongoing need. They provide opportunities for continuous and convenient learning, which not only creates a more skilled staff, but also happier employees. Nothing is more frustrating than being asked to do a job that one isn’t adequately trained to do.

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