Updated: Apr 30, 2020
The current learning climate is ever-changing and along with it, so are the needs of our learners. No two employees are the same and neither are their learning needs but there are some trends among modern learners that, if learning professionals take note of, will ensure training is engaging and relevant for every single employee. Here are 8 ways to ensure your learning solution is up to date with the needs of the modern learner.
The multi-faceted demands modern workers face mean that our learners are busier and more pressed for time than ever before (1). As consumers, learners ingest media in bite-sized chunks of information, something it is important that L&D professionals take note of. Learning materials should only be as short as possible and as long as necessary in order to provide employees with as much information as possible in the short amount of time employees have to put towards their personal development. An eLearning solution that provides employees with short-form, concise learning materials in the same fashion news and entertainment platforms do, will feel similar to the efficient, engaging way they are used to taking in new information.
We have all likely found ourselves curiously intrigued by the accuracy of the ‘recommended for you’ section of our favourite entertainment platform. ‘How did they know?’, we might think while happily clicking on the next piece of media that feels tailor-made for us. These platforms use data-driven algorithms to recommend content based on what we have already searched and enjoyed. A service some modern eLearning platforms provide today. There is no better way to cater perfectly to a learner than by providing continuous recommendations of training content that is sure to be of interest to them.
The next time you’re sitting on public transport, killing time in a waiting room or even relaxing in your local café, take notice of what the people around you are doing. Likely nearly every single one of them will be reading or listening to something on a mobile device. It is becoming increasingly crucial that L&D professionals take advantage of these moments by providing downloadable, mobile-friendly learning content. Many jobs are becoming decreasingly dependent on location meaning employees need fast access to information from anywhere making it necessary that learning is not only accessible from a classroom or work desktop.
The modern employee’s learning needs are as varied as the employees themselves and so is the speed in which they learn. While checking up on learners’ progress through exams and social learning is an effective way to monitor usage and engagement, not allowing learners to train at their own pace can backfire and discourage them from engaging in the platform entirely. Self-paced learning leads to self-directed learning and encouraging employees to learn at their own pace will increase usage rates as well as making it easier for learners to retain information and apply it more quickly in their roles.
When an employee is looking to learn, there are some skills that, for many reasons such as fear of repercussion or appearing underqualified, they may not necessarily want their employer or manager to know about. In order to create a proactive learning culture, and meet the learning needs of every employee, it is important that staff are encouraged to seek out as much learning as they can without the concern of backlash or judgment.
Offer a lot of content
Some employees will be interested in listening to a short clip in which an expert talks them through ways of improving their time management skills, some may be searching for an engaging audiobook that covers the keys to success, while others will be more intrigued by an eBook that offers tips on closing a sale. The more varied both the learning content as well as the formats it is provided through, the more employees it will engage.
Update content regularly
As with social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and entertainment streaming services, if content is static, employees will quickly lose interest and may be reluctant to return to their company’s learning platform. It is important for organisations to choose a learning solution that regularly updates and adds new content which will engage and intrigue employees far more than recycled information they have already consumed.
Promote soft skills
Whether in post-secondary education, hiring or onboarding training, organisations have begun to realise that our focus on tech ability has negatively impacted employees’ essential soft skills such as communication, time management, empathy, and creativity within the modern employee. In fact, when Bookboon surveyed over 300 L&D professionals, nearly 80 percent said they believe there is a soft skills gap within their organisations. These soft skills will not old be essential for the future of work but will increase in importance as technology and artificial intelligence continue to integrate into the workplace. Ensuring learning solutions cover a wide variety of soft skills will increase the impact on the lives of learners both within and outside of their roles.
Catering your learning solutions to meet the needs of every single employee within an organisation can seem like an impossible task but by following these common modern learning trends, L&D professionals can engage more employees and provide the most impactful learning possible.
Post by: Thomas Buus Madsen