“Effective training is more than just business — it’s personal”

Time, energy and capital spent on training is a constant for many companies. Continuous upskilling results in an organization of engaged, high performing staff — something every company wants. For business to grow, employees must follow suit. Companies that prioritize development know they’re maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.

For those companies, providing informational deliverables that give employees what they need to succeed is as basic as providing tools to do their job. But to assure training is successful, it’s important to look at deliverables through the lens of the user. Just as employees arrange their workstations in a way that works best for them, training should be personalized.

Making it effective

For training to be absorbed and retained, it must be relevant to the learner. Unboxed CEO Brian Leach tells HR Dive that requiring employees to complete training that doesn’t match their day-to-day is a sure way to keep engagement and completion rates low. When information is provided as needed, for example, engagement is high and learning is significant. The ability to confirm and test knowledge immediately enhances the experience and helps employees retain the information.

In addition, training must be aligned with the skill level of the learner. A “one-size-fits-all” strategy for training loses focus on the critical role the learner plays in training. Learning content based only on what the company needs to teach employees, rather than what employees need to learn, could turn off employees to future opportunities for growth.

Making it personal

Beyond skills and relevancy, we all learn differently. Some look for detailed instructions; others learn best in a hands-on environment. Some absorb knowledge with repetition; others grasp concepts quickly and easily become bored. Aligning learning with the needs, abilities and learning style of each individual is key to successful training.

Individualized learning doesn’t have to be overly cumbersome. It largely involves making sure there are a variety of ways to learn, and giving employees access to the methods that work best for them. Creating learner-centric training can increase engagement and retention, and open the door for continuous learning and growth.

As the needs and behaviors of learners change, there are a few key elements necessary for an optimal, learner-driven experience, according to Diane Belcher, senior director of product management at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. In a soon-to-be published white paper, the organization notes that optimized learning is:

  • Relevant. Content should be relevant to the issues learners face and the matters facing the organization.
  • Personalized. Allowing a learner to dictate what they want to learn provides a more meaningful experience.
  • Mobile-ready. Learning anywhere, anytime, is key in today’s fast-paced world. The learner-driven experience needs to be flexible and convenient.

Training also should grow with employees; Their needs, skill sets and curiosity are fluid, so training should be fluid as well. Leach says that starts with a curriculum strategy: Determining what kind of training you need for each role and business function and then defining the modalities that work best for each topic. Companies can create their own content, source it online or partner with a content provider, he said. “When training is modular like this, you have the flexibility to assign it to different learning paths as needed.”

Source: HR Dive

Date: 09th January, 2018


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