Professional development is taking a step forward. The days of endless hours of lectures and massive training binders are numbered. EdSurge.com details five new methods of corporate learning that are on the rise. The biggest theme in all this change is student-centered learning. HR is no longer handing down the lessons how they want. The future of training is in listening to the demands of workers who want professional development that is relevant to them and their needs.
Better Workplace Training
First, workers want to work through more case studies and simulations that demonstrate how exactly what they learn in a training can be applied on the job. Traditional methods of teaching will not help them remember what they need to know to do their jobs well. Employees want practical, experiential learning that shows them how to utilize their new knowledge right away. This type of learning also helps them clarify confusing aspects of their job and provides them opportunities to ask questions.
Additionally, the future of workplace training is likely to be in online courses that have nothing to do with more traditional online learner management systems. LMS training programs are outdated and hard to use. They typically don’t allow much room for variety in how course material is delivered. Users want video, interesting content, and easy-to use platforms, and organizations are delivering. The platforms that allow users to search for the information they need immediately is also gaining traction. Video is being used more and more in corporate learning, but many organizations still deliver their trainings online via approaches that don’t resonate with today’s worker.
Furthermore, organizations are hiring more experts in various fields to provide the specialized training employees need. Learning generalists may coordinate an entire learning program within a company but be ignorant of the specific learning needs of a particular group of workers. HR officers often do not receive much professional development themselves.
Learning style is another concern for corporate HR departments. Workers can often find the information they need to advance their knowledge of their profession online. They choose courses, documents, videos, and other training material that is delivered in the style in which they learn best. Employees want to have more say in how content is taught.
Workers also often would like to direct their own learning. They may want to choose the specific skills and competencies to develop them and then to decide how to obtain that training. Having control over how they learn can help them feel more motivated to complete a training and to put extra effort into it.
Companies are starting to listen more to the needs of their employees when it comes to workplace training. Workers have ideas about how they want to learn, and they also know the areas in which they need to improve. Collaboration with employees in the selection and offerings of workplace training programs can lead to better satisfaction and retention of new material presented. Employees want to have a say in their professional development, and a training program that speaks to their individual needs is likely to have more success than one that is written by someone unfamiliar with the job and the employees.
What to Do if Your Employees Don’t Like Professional Development
Your employees may not like sitting through hours of training, but they may like to get out of the office for a while. If their training is out of town, they might even be able to squeeze in a little sightseeing after class. Despite these positives, many employees would rather avoid sitting through another training class. They feel they are boring and a waste of time in many instances. Gwen Moran of FastCompany.com offers some tips to make your business’ trainings more engaging for your employees.
The magazine Training reported in 2015 that corporate training is using technology at a higher rate than ever before. Organizations are focusing their trainings on particular skills employees need. They are creating material that is conveyed in a number of formats. Some of the include games, print materials, in-person training, online simulators, and video modules. These formats address the different ways people learn, and that makes the trainings more enjoyable and memorable.
Employees want to go to trainings that are relevant to their particular work situations. They need to be timely. They want to work through trainings that provide new, useful information that they can use right away on the job. Microlearning is one such way to maximize training time. A popular type of microlearning is online modules that require a small amount of time to complete. Each one emphasizes a specific skill. Employees can complete the modules online when they have time. Short training modules keep employees from having to understand and retain too much information at one time. There are some topics that require longer trainings, but this format is good for instructing employees in the basics.
Interactive trainings give employees a chance to work with others and to share knowledge by working together. This type of training also provides employees with opportunities to practice what they have just learned. When presented with the chance to apply what they’ve learned, employees are more likely to remember what they’ve been taught. The information is more practical and relevant and less theoretical and abstract.
For online trainings, some organizations are improving the learning interfaces to be more enjoyable and interactive. They are also designing games that teach employees skills such as strategizing. Interactive training is more fun than reading a book or listening to a lecture, and it helps employees stay more engaged during the whole learning process.
When managers reinforce what employees learn in trainings back on the job site, employees are more likely to retain and utilize that new information. Additionally, managers should support training and encourage employees to take advantage of training opportunities. Employees are more likely to want to attend and complete trainings when their managers demonstrate support for them.
By focusing on getting managers on board with trainings that are engaging and relevant, your organization can help employees think of training with less skepticism and boredom. Your business needs employees to learn new skills so that it stays competitive, and employees need trainings that meet their needs on the job and as learners. Meet in the middle, and your trainings will be more enjoyable and effective.