From the time the COVID-19 pandemic began, L&D professionals have had to alter their approach to corporate and leadership training. Face-to-face instructor-led sessions have transitioned into virtual instructor-led training (VILT) sessions, and the emerging trend is here to stay.
Conventional corporate training programs have their own share of shortcomings. For instance, when training is not customized according to the employee’s specific needs, preferences, and skillsets, it can be quite stagnant. And leadership training, which covers deeper and more complex topics – has to be well-designed. This is where blended learning comes in. It enhances learning outcomes for senior management by combining online learning with traditional, instructor-led face-to-face sessions.
Benefits of Combining Blended Learning Techniques With Leadership Training
Unlike technical skills, leadership is a skill that can’t be acquired by merely taking a course. Organizations need experienced coaches and mentors to train senior managers by providing real-world insights and shared experiences. Therefore, in person instructor-led training sessions were always the go-to choice for leadership training.
Unfortunately, the logistic legwork has made it difficult to conduct in-person training sessions. Thus, blended learning has become a necessity overnight. This innovative training method can accommodate several engrossing formats including microlearning, VILT, and gamified courses to mimic the experience of instructor-led training while at the same time improving learning outcomes.
Looking to Boost the Effectiveness of Leadership Training?
Here’s how blended learning can help:
- Increases learning impact
- Personalizes learning
- Enhances flexibility
- Reduces cost and offers scale
Let’s check some of the key benefits of combining blended learning techniques with leadership training.
1. Increased Learning Impact
On paper, blended learning can look like a mismatch of online and traditional training methods. However, if you look at it from a different angle, you’d notice that these two approaches complement each other, and, due to its cost-effectiveness and flexibility, the blended learning model is becoming increasingly appealing to organizations and learners alike.
The interactive nature of the blended learning approach gives leaders the freedom to actively participate in sessions, improve their skills faster, and apply what they have learned to their everyday tasks. Additionally, many employees are becoming increasingly comfortable with online training. Thus, blended learning offers them the opportunity to learn new skills and investigate new concepts from the safety of their comfort zones.
2. Personalized Learning
Every leader is different. You cannot teach a fish to climb a tree or a lion to breathe underwater. In other words, you cannot try to upskill everyone using the same methods and approaches. Therefore, you need to let each employee determine their own learning objectives. The best benefit of blended learning is that it supports distinct types of learning styles.
For instance, some individuals enjoy spending a long time on exercises and group projects online, while others prefer short instructional videos. And blended learning can support this!
3. Enhanced Flexibility
Blended learning is perfect for modern employees with busy routines and tight schedules. It enables them to participate in training asynchronously. In other words, those who find it difficult to commit to in-person sessions can learn at their convenience by taking online training courses.
4. Improved Workplace Connections
While eLearning offers a host of benefits, it doesn’t necessarily facilitate a lot of interaction with co-workers or instructors. However, blended learning overcomes this obstacle naturally. Blended learning enhances leadership training programs, encourages teamwork, and helps leaders effectively connect with others through digital media.
5. Reduced Costs and Enhanced Scalability
By using a blended learning approach, L&D teams and managers significantly reduce leadership training costs in terms of travel, facilitator accommodation, training materials, booking venues, and instructor fees. Moreover, blended learning programs are scalable, which means their content can be upgraded over time based on emerging trends, skillsets, and organizational needs.
6. Enhanced Learning Outcomes Due to Multiple Modalities
Many studies suggest that most people learn better when they participate in multiple modes of learning such as VILT sessions, microlearning videos, and quizzes, just to name a few. Moreover, blended learning adds the human element by employing techniques such as video conferencing, discussion forums, and social media platforms that work together to improve knowledge retention and application.
How to Put Blended Learning Together With Leadership Training
Here’s how blended learning can be used to facilitate leadership training.
1. Microlearning for Awareness
Before commencing your leadership program, you can proactively create awareness of the courses’ objectives and components using bite-sized modules, that include short videos, infographics, and interactive surveys. Microlearning is a fantastic way to gain attention and enhance the anticipation and excitement of learners.
It also enables psychological assessments vis-a-vis short quizzes and simulations which help you understand your participants’ strengths, weaknesses, and leadership styles.
2. Virtual Instructor-led Training (VILT) for Coaching
Leadership training requires experienced mentors. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that instructors need to carry out their sessions in-person. VILT is a smart alternative – for instance, participants can learn from and interact with their instructors and peers to clarify and get answers to their questions, engage in interesting, thought-provoking conversations, and participate in stimulating group activities.
During VILT, learners can also share their views regarding a particular topic or concept and receive real-time feedback while gaining additional skills such as effective communicating, problem-solving, creative and critical thinking.
3. Gamified eLearning Courses for Enhanced Participation
Enhancing eLearning courses with gamification can drastically increase learner participation, engagement, and motivation. Utilizing scores and rewards can instill a spirit of excitement and healthy competition amongst learners in a fun, immersive environment and give them a sense of achievement.
Blended learning is an excellent means of facilitating leadership training. Leadership coaches and L&D teams can leverage scenario-based learning and simulations to enable aspiring senior managers to display their skills namely negotiation, logical reasoning, prioritization, and conflict management.
Summing it Up!
Leadership training is on another level and doesn’t involve upskilling employees with technical skills and concepts. Rather, it is designed to help individuals expand their capacity to groom teams. Blended learning combines several formats into one powerful program to offer learners a holistic, immersive learning experience. Of course, you must employ cutting-edge technologies, when it comes to creating the most effective digitally facilitated program.
If you are looking to maximize your training efficiencies with blended learning, then here’s a comprehensive guide that’s just the thing. Download this free eBook now!