3 Things You Need to Know Before Designing Your Workplace Learning Program
Business has evolved to include unprecedented connectivity, access to knowledge, and advanced technologies. Industry leaders are increasingly placing digital transformation at the center of their business strategies and reconfiguring their workplace learning in the process. Here are three tips to help you get the most from your learning and development initiatives by empowering your employees and giving them the necessary skills to thrive in the ever-changing world of work.
1. Time is scarce:
Design with user experience in mind
Josh Bersin’s well-known infographic reveals much about the realities facing today’s workplace learner. Learners, for example, “won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes” and “unlock their smartphones up to 9 times every hour”. Alarmingly, learners have just “1% of a typical work week to focus on training and development”.
In a recent article, Bersin explains that today's "digital learning" does not simply mean producing videos that are easy to view on your phone, it means "bringing learning to where employees are." People expect responsive content available on multiple devices that allows them to use increasingly small pockets of time in their day to learn work-related skills.
Beyond user experience, you can get peoples’ attention and build an effective learning program by considering the five principles of adult learning espoused by Malcolm Knowles:
Learners should understand why something is important to know or do - Employees need to see the practical benefits of their workplace learning – learners need to see how the knowledge they gain helps them accomplish personal and occupational goals.
Learners should have the freedom to learn in their own way - Learners internalize information in different ways. Some respond best to visuals such as graphs and infographics, some learn better through listening and speaking, and others are tactile learners who learn best by experiencing and doing things.
Learning is experiential - No learner wants to sit and consume information for long periods of time, and studies show they won’t retain it either. Get your learners involved to avoid monotony, enhance their engagement, and help them to understand the practical application of new information.
The timing makes learning manageable - Sometimes training schedules can get in the way of day-to-day job responsibilities and add stress instead of alleviating it. Make sure your learners have choices about when they learn, and they will reap the benefits.
The process is positive and encouraging - Inspire confidence and passion by providing positive feedback that emphasizes learners’ strengths.
2. Modular design makes learning material more accessible
L&D organizations have traditionally delivered tactical ‘point-of-need’ training to support the introduction of new products, processes, and tools. As the cycle of new launches continues to shorten, content development teams have struggled to keep up with growing training demands. The training assets developed for this ‘event focused’ training have limited potential for reuse, are difficult to update, and cannot be reconfigured into new assets for other business segments.
Often, content has limited business value once the initial training event has been delivered. This approach to content development is inefficient and usually leads to a cycle of redevelopment, duplication of effort, and unnecessary cost.
If learning content is developed in a modular form, competencies can be broken down into individual learning objectives and aligned to specific learning assets (e.g. videos, demos, simulations, exercises, or testing) and don’t need to be linked to a specific course or topic. This has incredible benefits in an online, competency-based environment, where learning assets can be tagged and mapped differently, making the content more dynamic.
Assets can be managed independently and reconfigured into different learning modules or paths, without the need for redevelopment. This flexible architecture of modularized assets enables organizations to provide a multitude of programs for a wide variety of learners across different business functions and disciplines. It also allows them to easily reconfigure learning into personalized learning paths, catering for the multi-generational diversity of the current workforce.
3. Use technology to unite learning and performance management.
Business leaders want deeper insights into the capabilities of their employees and want to understand if their training is having a tangible impact on employee performance. Traditional measures of training success, such as levels of attendance and test scores, are no longer sufficient.
Data analytics allows employees to identify critical skill gaps by providing insights into their skills and capabilities. Employers can also gauge levels of employee engagement and map how it correlates with key performance indicators (KPIs). Employers can track all learning activity, evaluate the effectiveness of training, correlate the delivered training courses with performance and make better business decisions about training investment and talent management.
Learners in 2017 need a dynamic, multi-device user interface (UI) delivering personalized, on-demand learning assets including video, demonstrations, simulations, scenario-based learning, testing and reinforcement exercises. Workplace learning that facilitates practical, in-role professional development is now squarely in the hands of the learner.
L&D has evolved at a blinding speed. By 2020, personalized learning will be essential to grant learners a more compelling experience and to provide personalized support and refined recommendations based on recognized skills gaps. We continue to move closer to real-time performance feedback and personalized coaching, helping to optimize performance in the workplace like never before.
At SureSkills, we believe the combined power of online competency based learning, modular content design and powerful machine learning technologies will deliver a revolution in learning for the modern worker. Contact SureSkills now or Download our eBook Below if you wish to learn more about these exciting developments and how to implement the right digital learning strategy for your organization.