Blog: A Quick Look at New Rules and Methods for Corporate Learning
What is it people say, “The only constant is change?” It turns out, for corporate training, those people aren’t wrong. As a training specialist and industry observer, I want to explore some of the ways constant change currently affects corporate learning.
Always Factor in Change
A prime example of this new change is the recent shift in how we work. Flexible schedules and a remote workforce are now a permanent reality. And for Millennial workers, this way of working is all they know. Regarding corporate learning, defined and structured training paths are no longer the only option. The new off-site office landscape has created a clear push for independent and self-directed learning journeys. This new territory is significant for trainers to understand when creating learning and conducting their courses.
Another factor closely related to the above is the ever-improving technology available to learners. People, especially Millennials and younger, are quick to adapt and utilize these new learning tools. I would even say they embrace it as new tech often promises easier workflows. Pro-tip: don’t overlook new tech just because you are not yet familiar with it. Consider it the daily double of learning experiences.
New Rules Rule
Quick and convenient content is the way. Chunk and curate your content to make it relevant. Don’t bog your materials down with unnecessary links, printed materials, or details. Make knowledge easily accessible through quick video demonstrations or simple step-by-step documentation.
Also, do not apply full-course training when implementing a new process or change. Devise a 30-minute training session or create a 5–10-minute video demonstration. Keep it short and sweet.
Go the On-Demand Way
Knowing how people prefer to learn can be essential to a student’s success. For learner engagement, trainers should take cues from services like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, etc. It’s the trainer’s job to observe any patterns then, understand effective methods, and allow room for voice and flexibility.
Also, encourage employees to submit training requests on a topic of their choosing. This request should include the subject, their preferred method of training (in-person, video, documentation, etc.), and when the learner is available. This approach provides a reciprocal exchange that engages both parties. Maybe not Stranger Things on-demand during lunch engaging, but definitely work engaging.
Don’t Stop, Be-Learning
Training should not happen occasionally; it needs to be continuous. Identify the resources the employees need to obtain the knowledge, determine when employees need training, and design the training to ensure the right content is delivered when required (see on-demand examples above.)
For my company, whenever our developers have changed or added a new process in our CRM, Salesforce, they will host a demo meeting to introduce the approach to the department supervisors and test for accuracy. Once approved, the training department quickly documents the process, prepares the required materials, and schedules training sessions for the affected employees. This process promotes efficiency and allows us to do our due diligence before pushing a new process into production. The point is our learning process is a perpetual motion machine that provides evolutionary energy for our training programs.
Change is inevitable and can feel exponential. When properly embedded, trainers can act as proper gatekeepers and agents for new processes, personnel preferences, and updated learning methods. And with happily trained employees, you will set your operation up for success.