Training is an essential part of any company’s success. That’s a fact. But instead of simply settling by training your employees and hoping for the best, you should aim higher. A well-planned training program will lead to higher retention rates among employees and faster results for your company.
But what makes a successful training program in 2016?
Some companies are still a decade in past — relying only on long in-classroom presentations to brings its employees up to speed. This is an expensive, ineffective, and time-consuming way to train your workforce.
Besides, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020. That means companies can’t afford to laugh off or dismiss their preferred way of learning: interactive lessons (including video and gamification) that they can access on computers and mobile devices alike.
Is your training department still stuck in the past? Folks, it’s time to go digital! Here are the four main reasons why you should consider modernizing your training programs immediately – right now – like, yesterday! :
Reason #1: Millennials hate your current training
It should be a surprise to no one that Millennials are tech-savvy and they don't believe in being shackled to tradition or location. When they’re not working, they are consuming information across from a variety of devices and platforms — changing between media types over 25 times per hour.
How could anyone then honestly expect them to sit through long drawn-out, 1-hour PowerPoint-based lectures? When they are forced to attend this type of training, employees aren’t able to retain the content. In fact, four out of every five employees will forget what they learned in the classroom within 30 days.
Millennials expect technology to play a significant role in the learning process, so instead of just relying on traditional lecture-style training, integrate both traditional and digital content to meet their demanding needs. Try implementing eLearning courses that include short videos and interactive components, as they also expect for training to incorporate multimedia resources and even aspects of entertainment .
For example, UL, a global independent safety science company, recently implemented a blended learning program to support modern learning needs better. Their program encouraged active participation by offering short spurts of learning in bite-sized modules; employees can learn at their pace and across a variety of devices including their mobile phones.
This doesn’t mean you need to eliminate classroom training altogether. But keep in mind that employees want to learn on the device of choice and access content at their ideal time and location. Try including eLearning and mobile learning into your training mix to engage those modern learners.
Reason #2: Track your employees’ performance
Once you roll out a training program, you need to know if it’s successful. Right?
In the traditional classroom model, trainers often had to manually track students’ performance. This practice is both time-consuming and prone to errors; it doesn’t quickly and accurately show if your training is succeeding.
On the contrary, using digital technologies as an integral component of the training strategy, allows your company to see instantly how your employees are performing; many training platforms come with built-in analytics and data reporting so your business can easily see areas of success and failure.
For example, using technology, like a Learning Management System (LMS), you can answer these questions:
- Did the employees complete the training program?
- How long did they engage with the training material?
- Where did they struggle the most? Were there specific sections where they abandoned their training or didn’t seem to grasp the material?
This will give you confidence that learners are understanding your training material — while also letting you quickly see challenging areas where training could be improved.
Reason #3: Personalization and differentiation
Traditional training programs are designed once and taught to everyone in a uniform way; there is no flexibility to adjust based on the individual employee.
But employees have come to expect personalization in their life (e.g. the online shopping recommendations they receive based on their browsing history) and training is no different. Modern training programs need to consider each employee as an individual who learns and consumes information in a unique way. There is nothing learners hate as much as having to undertake content which is not right for them. Employees want to receive content which is aligned to their actual role in the company, their previous knowledge, and their interests.
Personalized learning goes a step beyond teaching in a digital setting. It allows for employees to learn curriculum that is meaningful and relatable — and at a pace and location that is suited to each. Personalized learning can be present in the classroom (although this is time-consuming and expensive); companies can use technology to roll it out smoothly and efficiently.
One of the benefits of online training is that it is much more flexible than the traditional ILT approach. For instance, with asynchronous eLearning, employees can choose courses that help them meet their goals and take them at their ideal learning pace. The training program can also offer recommendations to the employees about subjects of potential interest or show topics that their colleagues have highlighted as important. Mobile devices and other online learning techniques have made it possible to teach anytime and anywhere.
When used correctly, technology can give employees the power to be responsible for directing their learning. This will ensure that they are engaged and actively pursuing more learning and development opportunities in the company.
Reason #4: Update content faster
As your company grows, your training program will need to grow as well. Rather than having to remove old lectures and start from scratch, eLearning courses allow for much faster updates. You can edit small portions of the content, replace one video from another, or adjust specific activities within the curriculum.
This saves your company time and money, and serves your employees better, too. They’ll be receiving the most up-to-date training possible, and you’ll be able to focus your time instead on ensuring that the content is effective.
1. What do millennials expect from technology and customer service?http://blog.fullfabric.com/millennials-technology-customer-service
2. Modernizing eLearning for the Mobile Age http://newscience.ul.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/UL_NS_WHS_ModernizingElearningForTheMobileAge_Article.pdf
3. Modernize Your Corporate Learning: The Time is Now https://www.saba.com/media/1040514/saba-tb-modern-learning-f.pdf
4. Reaching the UML: the Untethered Modern Learner https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/reaching-uml-untethered-modern-learner-digital-fluency-coach?trk=mp-author-card
5. Are You a Modern Learner? https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/Human-Capital-Blog/2016/06/Are-You-a-Modern-Learner
6. Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace https://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/executive-development/custom-programs/~/media/DF1C11C056874DDA8097271A1ED48662.ashx
7. 13 Reasons Why Digital Learning is Better http://tommarch.com/2012/01/digital-learning/
8. Personalized Learning: A Guide for Engaging Students with Technology http://www.iste.org/handlers/ProductAttachment.ashx?ProductID=3122&Type=Download