As we don our corporate outfit and polished shoes for work, we are preparing ourselves to learn all over again. It seems that the knowledge and skills we have gathered from our days of formal education are insufficient for us to remain relevant in the real world.
Learning is not exclusively for new hires. An employee may have to undergo training and development in circumstances where he/she is required to fill the gaps in their knowledge and skills to achieve career progression or improve their work performance.
Training has come a long way since the early 2000s - from physical classrooms to e-learning tools that utilise machine learning and artificial intelligence, which further boost our digitally dependent learners' learning progress today.
Workplace training often associates itself as imposing and dreadful to employees. However, as innovations in education technology (aka edtech) become more accessible to all, there are more ways to engage employees and get them to adopt a lifelong learning mindset to remain relevant.
Today, training and developing employees within the digital space has become a top priority for many organisations' top management, and its importance should not be undermined.
"Development is an investment, not an expense."
According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), organisations with comprehensive training programmes have 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalised training.
Employees are a company's greatest assets, and great managers and leaders know that developing their employees is key to continued success and growth for the business.
There are several reasons why learning and development bring about enormous returns for the company.
We are so well-connected to the world of digital information that owning at least three tech devices is considered a norm.
With everyone owning tech devices that makes it very accessible to connect to the worldwide web, learning on the go becomes a trend and corporate e-learning becomes a necessity (more than ever).
As the business landscape continues to evolve to meet new industrial innovations and policies, it is even more critical than ever that employees keep up to date with these changes to remain relevant.
To ensure learning remains a top business priority, companies must proactively provide just-in-time learning and training courses that align with business needs and individual learning needs.
This implies that education has to be made available anywhere, anytime, at the point of need, explaining why companies are cutting down on traditional classroom training and favouring digital learning.
Digital learning allows for a broader mix of experiences. Each of us has our preferred style of learning. Some learners are visually inclined, while others are more auditory and kinesthetic learners.
Learners find that with digital learning, they could explore a world of resources that caters to their needs. Videos, podcasts, webinars, e-learning modules and interacting with virtual teachers such as chatbots are ways technology can cater to the diverse needs of learners.
Learners can interact with the content at their own pace and review materials to aid understanding. Learning analytics allow for opportunities to perceive the areas that learners are struggling with and tailor personalised learning paths for learning.
Doing away with a "one-size-fits-all" approach help learners engage with content, reinforce skills critical for job development and help them actively create rather than passively consume.
Besides, the accessibility of information at the touch of your fingertips means that learners save a great deal of time hunting for information elsewhere.
Before the age of digital technologies, a junior employee unfamiliar with a business process may seek out a senior employee or his mentor face-to-face for help. Such a process could take hours or days depending on his ability to locate the right person and the person's availability to guide him at a mutually convenient time.
Now, he could easily engage his company's chatbot to ask the same question and get the answer instantaneously. Such information is available 24/7, which means employees become self-reliant, less intimidated to seek help and more motivated to learn.
For new hires, having an "online mentor" could mean that they take a shorter time to settle down and become productive sooner. Businesses have started to include virtual mentors as part of their on-boarding, recruitment and operations process to lessen the workload on human resources to focus on other priorities.
As training and development needs evolve, utilising technology should be part of an ongoing learning culture in every organisation, and this will ultimately develop every employee into active and interested learners who can push for tremendous success for the company.
The most critical question you need to start thinking about is: How do I design training to build knowledge and translate knowledge to performance?
We hope you enjoyed this article as it sheds light on the importance of adapting to the evolution of learning and development. If you're interested in levelling up your business's learning capabilities, check out our chatbot to learn here!