In the previous blog talking about traditional training solutions, I explored some reasons for why traditional training solutions don’t work anymore. This blog is a continuation of that list.
- Lack of training in multiple formats
Typically, organizations put up eLearning courses that can be accessed over a laptop. While this does meet the needs of a majority of learners who have desk-bound jobs, it fails to take into account those groups of employees who are more likely to access training on the go.
- Lack of byte-sized learning options
When an employee comes to the training portal for a quick bite, but is presented with a huge 5-course meal, it is unlikely that he/ she will wade through all the materials to get answers to their immediate and pressing need. Despite most sales training and HR departments being aware of the pitfalls of lengthy, complicated course structures with multiple activities, many organizations persist in going about training the longer traditional way. Why? Because it may have worked in the past. But to drive learner engagement today, we cannot afford to ignore changing employee needs. If you think of it, any new product out there is the result of addressing changing consumer preferences. But when it comes to training, we tend to ignore changing learner preferences, and miss the bus altogether.
- Lack of resources
Often, it is not enough just to host trainings. What is required is to also make training resources available in a way that they are linked to the actual trainings. Organizations may have excellent resources, but when these are scattered all over the place, without any direction on when to use what, learners simply don’t make use of these resources. So it is important to organize these resources carefully, link them to courses, make them available on search through comprehensive metadata and to have experts recommend them to learners through related discussions in the community of practice.
- Lack of a community
It is a known fact that classroom trainings are highly effective because of the shared learning and the instant nature of collaboration and interaction that is possible through this medium. How do we tap this core factor for our virtual learners? The answer is to build up a community of practice on the training portal itself by using the various collaborative options available through most standard LMSs. As learners interact with each other and with experts, they can see how just-in-time solutions to their problems can be available by tapping into the collective wisdom of the community. So why aren’t more organizations doing this if it is a proven technique to improve training effectiveness and drive learner engagement? Because building and maintaining a community is a lot of hard work. But if you want to keep the momentum going, you will have to figure out what kind of effort and resources are required to create a platform for learners on which they can participate in the community and get real answers to real problems.
- Lack of a strong vision for the training function
Traditional training departments have to re-engineer themselves for success. And any kind of change is unpleasant, with resistance typically running high. Sometimes, the will is there, but the vision and direction is lacking.
These are some of our thoughts at CommLab India on what the new age demands of learning are. We’d love to hear your opinion.