5 ways to improve corporate learning initiatives

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Starting and running a business has never meant smooth sailing for entrepreneurs, but the global pandemic has taken business to a whole new level of roughness. Businesses across industries have faced major challenges and uncertainties – ranging from liquidity to network security in a work-at-home world, to Continuity of Learning and Development (L&D), and more – and we are not yet out of the storm. However, if a calm sea has never made a skilled sailor, there may also be some long-term benefits and lessons for those who have managed to stay afloat.

In particular, when it comes to learning and development, companies have had to “raise the bar” over the past 18 months. For example, continuous learning initiatives could not be “continuous” without transformations and adjustments in the face of a changing business landscape.

And despite all the recent changes, there are likely more to come in learning and development, an area crucial for employee performance and motivation. In today’s volatile business environment and in the midst of “the big resignation,” employees value companies that help them improve and learn new skills in a flexible way. Anytime, anywhere, professional development opportunities can foster employee loyalty which will later translate into business growth.

Related: Why Continuous Learning Is Essential For Entrepreneurs And Their Teams

So how can you optimize your training and development strategy to attract and retain valuable employees, and engage and develop your workforce? While there is no single answer to this question, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

1. Embrace the virtual learning environment

First, consider the realities of remote working, an environment that is likely to stay here in one form or another. Packing employees into an auditorium for “Death to PowerPoint” sessions is often just not viable now (and honestly, has it ever been this effective?). Take the opportunity to map training formats to the work environments, schedules and preferences of your employees, reducing stress and boredom and maximizing participation, engagement and retention.

Employees who can perform their work remotely will look for employers who allow them to do so, even partially, in hybrid work environments. These employees must always be integrated and develop new skills. Digital tools enabling asynchronous e-learning (at the convenience of the learner) are therefore essential for capturing and transferring knowledge. On-demand training can also be combined with synchronous learning methods (for example, in person or live, online), for example when introducing new skills and then during live role-playing which put skills into action.

2. Personalize training experiences

How do you learn best? Look at a document? Watch a video? Perform the task yourself? When it comes to learning, it is important to consider the individual. No two employees are the same: they have different strengths, abilities, goals, learning preferences, needs, etc. Learning technologies make it possible to personalize learning experiences and ‘pathways’ in a variety of ways, from the form and delivery of content to knowledge assessments and so on. . Adult learners are sophisticated learners, so you must meet their specific needs if you want to align their individual goals with those of your organization.

Related: The 4 Key Learning Styles And How To Use Them To Learn, Teach & Grow Your Business

3. Shake the boat

Today, L&D departments (not to mention companies as a whole) are faced with the need to juggle constant change. The pandemic has accelerated many business processes, requiring agility and resilience, and your training and development strategy must take this into account.

So take an agile approach to quickly adapt to any new requirements: keep what works, improve what is missing, and remove what is not. You can tailor your training strategies by periodically assessing knowledge gaps, monitoring training participation and outcomes on an ongoing basis, and soliciting employee feedback (on content, delivery mechanisms, formats evaluation, etc.). In addition, many learning technologies also offer adaptive learning capabilities, allowing employees to access learning content specifically tailored to their needs and to progress at a pace that reflects their skills, abilities and skills. performance.

4. Don’t guess – rate

To make the best business decisions, it’s important to rely on data. In corporate learning, too, trends are easier to spot when you look at the data, as are potential issues in your training program. However, the problem with data is that we have so much of it; it can be difficult (as a human) to filter it out and see what we need. So don’t just collect learning data, but put it to use – by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and robust analytics capabilities, for example, to help to turn information into action.

Related: Big Data Combined With Machine Learning Helps Businesses Make Much Smarter Decisions

5. Keep an eye on the horizon

Last but not least, you should always think about the future. The online learning industry is advancing at an incredible rate. Technologies like speech recognition, virtual reality (VR), emotional analysis, and AI are closer to becoming the norm in training than most people realize. Many future e-learning technologies are based on automation, which is built into many of the tools we already use. By regularly taking the pulse of these advances, you can steer your L&D strategy in the right direction.

Especially in times of unpredictability, honing your L&D strategy may not come smoothly, but that sure doesn’t mean it’s time to give up ship. Employee learning and development programs are now more important than ever. Knowledgeable employees who are constantly improving their skills are incredibly valuable resources, especially during tough times. Therefore, fine-tuning training and development strategies to meet employee needs and external demands is simply good business practice… so let’s all mobilize to optimize learning.