Corporate learning is different from school learning or even self-development. For professionals seeking to improve employee training, it helps to remember you can’t just take an approach from other industries and expect it to pay off without adapting the solutions to your own unique work environment.
Hence, downloading educational software, used in classrooms, is not the best idea — it just doesn’t correspond with professional purposes.
We researched different ways to improve employee training when implementing learning software into your company’s workflow.
Here’s what we learned, and here’s what worked:
Apply a blended learning approach
Learning is a dynamic process, and it’s highly individual. Some people learn better by reading while others by watching webinars or tutorials. One employee might prefer to dive deeply into the matter, while another needs to get a general understanding of the subject first. As you may see, it depends on personality factors, and these differences can be critical for determining the process efficiency.
HR managers should take this variety of learning approaches into account by:
- Offering a possibility to get the information via different mediums. If you create a video guide for your employees, make sure to provide them with a transcript. Some people will want to review the information in the printed form or will simply have no time to listen to the entire video.
- Adapting to different speeds. The YouTube speed modification feature corresponds to these needs perfectly. Some people will prefer to slow things down, listening to the file on 0.75 speed, while others will put it on 1.5 speed because it helps them to keep focus. Again, both methods are valid — you just need to provide access to this customization.
- Experimenting with formatting. Some people like their study material to be color-coded, while others prefer a typical bold-italic combination. It’s best if the platform allows team members to highlight information in whichever way they find fitting.
The key to providing a blended approach is flexibility. Don’t insist on a single learning framework — it won’t work for everyone. Instead, start by interviewing your team members and learn more about their studying preferences.
Provide relevant and tailored content
Personalization is essential to effective learning. An employee should be fully aware of how this information or skill will contribute specifically to the workflow or individual progress. This includes a possibility to customize the curriculum, remove or add topics and change the order of the subjects at the mentor’s discretion.
These aspects seem obvious at first glance, but it’s also something that the majority of companies neglect. The Deloitte report on the learning management system shows that only 3% of companies recognize personalization as a crucial aspect of their employees’ development.
This aspect is especially valuable for Millennials — for them, training and development are the most important choice criteria when it comes to selecting a workplace. Yes, it’s even more important than bonuses and flexibility.
Strive to assist your employees in their self-development as well as a corporate one. Not everything they learn in the office should be connected to the company. Employees should feel that they are growing as individuals, not just as a part of the system.
Take learner analytics seriously
With such a diverse and customizable approach to learning, it might naturally be challenging for employers to keep track of the process efficiency. Since implementing professional learning software is an investment, it’s only natural that you should know your returns.
Before starting to determine KPIs, employees need to focus on building an algorithm. Basically, you need to unite all used mediums and approaches in the single framework. All learning content can be divided into two large groups:
- In-house learning. These are the activities that teams perform together and on a mandatory basis. You need to define what kinds of knowledge or skills you want to develop and put these out for the discussion. The results include getting certification and badges, employee activity increases and higher-quality of shared experiences.
- Recommendations. These include non-mandatory learning activities that might happen in the workplace or outside. A training specialist should regularly share books, tools, courses, reports, blogs, personalities and videos. They shouldn’t directly concern the company’s goals and tasks, but they should generally contribute to employees’ personal development.
In learning software, you can track both kinds of interactions. The employees can leave reviews and rate the content, as well as recommend suggested sources to other team members. Also, you can see how the learned information relates to the employee’s skills and the company’s tasks. On top of that, you can create regular reports that summarize your team’s learning progress.
Include soft skills training
Focusing on hard skills is a common mistake of many companies that start to explore learning. The roots of the problem are clear — such skills are easier to measure, and you feel the progress right away. However, this short-term system doesn’t correspond with the market’s realities. Now both end-users and companies seek professionals who have high communication, teamwork and problem-solving competences.
Source: LinkedIn Global Trends
The major advantage of soft skills is that they are universal and can be used in any kind of project. If you need your employees to shift to a different field, there will likely be a need to relearn hard skills, but soft skills will be useful in any kind of situation.
Business owners and HR managers often complain that soft skills are hard to measure. However, there are AI-based analysis tools — like Koru or Pymetrics — that use language recognition and behavioral patterns to assess employee’s progress in communication, teamwork, self-discipline and others. Additionally, soft skills can be evaluated with the help of interviews, tests and constant monitoring.
Reward and recognize training achievements
The final learning step is appreciation and gratification. Learning should be recognized by the team and management as hard work and rewarded accordingly. There is an important distinction to make here — by rewards, we don’t necessarily mean monetary bonuses. You can reward diligent learners by providing them better learning opportunities.
Possible incentives can include:
- Tickets to professional conferences. A company should sponsor participation in educational events at least for its most competent employees. It’s great if a company has financial opportunities to sponsor a trip to an international event — such practices hugely contribute to the company’s reputation among clients, partners and potential employees.
- New learning material. You can provide successful learners with in-depth courses or find them a mentor. The only thing to remember here is that these new opportunities should be seen as an upgrade, compared to the possibilities, provided before.
- More responsibility. For competitive and driven Millennials, it’s important when employers put their trust in them and increase their work competences. In addition to that, you should reflect on these changes in monetary bonuses so that each team member will feel appreciated and valued.
It’s important to always think one step forward. Don’t strive to offer your employees the best possible learning experience right away, instead, take some time to provide accessible solutions, and offer upgraded opportunities to the most interested individuals.
With learning software, managing these education opportunities is much easier, since you always have clear statistics and flexible filters.
The bottom line
Learning software provides companies with access to detailed plans, pre-made learning templates, interactive video, audio and text platforms, and personalized curriculum. You will have a customized learning platform that fits your companies’ needs and takes the personal differences of your employees into account.
Implementing continuous learning in the workplace requires a systematic approach above all. You need to have a clear strategy in mind and understand the end goals. All skills and knowledge should fall into a single framework and support the company’s vision and values. With learning software, not only can you organize all learning materials, statistics and suggestions into a single platform, but you will also know exactly what your team accomplished.