Regardless of the industry, embracing digital transformation and the integration of technology into everyday business practices has become essential to keep pace in today’s competitive corporate landscape. Traditional workplace norms have been overhauled as many businesses have introduced either fully remote or hybrid work models, ultimately depending on digitalization and technology to maintain daily functions. While factors such as the pandemic and economic uncertainty have accelerated digital transformation for many businesses, employers must keep in mind one major factor that could determine its success and that is its employees. Therefore, these advancements must also be reflected in the learning and development (L&D) strategies that businesses have in place.
The bottom line is as the workplace continues to evolve, so must employee learning and development. Training must be delivered in a way that is convenient and individualized, and in turn, more effective than traditional methods. We have entered a new, digital age, and businesses today must leverage the latest technology and L&D tools available to not only advance employees’ technological skill sets but also their professional development overall. Additionally, this training must support the rapid upskilling of employees to support evolving business needs.
Why Traditional L&D Methods Don’t Work in The Digital Age
Many businesses today are relying on outdated training methods, such as classroom training and hours-long courses, which clearly weren’t built for today’s attention constrained workforce and fail to provide the insights needed for business leaders to determine if their training methods are working. These traditional methods don’t effectively engage employees or enable them to retain critical knowledge to adequately support business outcomes.
When employees are required to sit through long training courses, or when the content they’re being trained on is general and isn’t relevant to their specific job role, they likely feel overwhelmed and fatigued. This can easily translate to resentment and disengagement at work. Today’s remote and hybrid workforces are scattered throughout locations, including offices, homes and even on the road for field positions. For training to be engaging, it must be accessible anywhere, anytime – containing only the critical knowledge needed for employees to succeed.
Furthermore, employees are not only seeking opportunities for upskilling and reskilling, but it has become essential to maintain business practices in the digital age due to ongoing technological advancements. In short, it’s not about the amount of learning content employees receive, rather it comes down to the quality of content they are receiving and the way it is being delivered.
Why Digital Transformation Must Start & End with Employee L&D
As mentioned, in order for a business’s digital transformation to be a success, business leaders must not overlook the role of training their employees. When done correctly, this can produce engaged, confident employees who have an understanding of the transformation and are willing to show their support. However, if done incorrectly and the training isn’t delivered in a way that is effective, it can result in unengaged employees working inefficiently. To prevent this from happening, business leaders must start the process by modernizing their L&D programs, making it possible for their business to succeed and to ensure that their employee training program meets these best practices.
In the digital age of remote-hybrid work, where talent retention and job satisfaction are top priorities, investing in modern workplace learning programs is no longer an option for business leaders. It’s a business imperative. Fortunately, a business’s L&D strategy has the power to play a significant role in shaping an organization’s culture and capabilities.
Training Within the Workflow
Unlike traditional, long training methods, modern workplace learning programs, such as a microlearning platform, can integrate training into employees’ flow of work. This enables L&D content to be delivered through the everyday systems employees are already using and allows them the ability to learn from any location through their preferred tools. Meeting employees where they already are – in the digital places they prefer to spend their time – makes training convenient and easily accessible. This makes them feel more compelled and excited to participate in learning programs, which in turn increases their overall engagement and actual knowledge attainment. Additionally, this limits the amount of time employees spend on training. Research done by SHRM finds that 65% of employees report it is difficult to find the time to take training courses. Convenient, in-the-flow-of-work training helps employees to be more productive with their time while working towards organizational and personal development goals.
Individualized and Adaptive Learning
To keep employees interested and engaged in training, the content must be engaging and individualized to their specific job role. Modern workplace learning programs that leverage neuroscience-based microlearning break through traditional L&D barriers and enable highly personalized learning. This ensures that training aligns with each employee and that specific learning content is delivered at the right moment for tasks and situations they might encounter in the near future. With microlearning, employees receive immediate, personalized feedback. Business leaders are provided insights to measure success, and can pull meaningful data that allows them to determine where additional training is needed – down to the individual learner.
To fully understand ongoing technological advancements in the workplaces, employees must be provided the opportunity for continuous learning. This has also become crucial to attract and retain top talent. Historically, traditional L&D methods have proven challenging for upskilling and reskilling – often viewed as administrative burdens that lack the ability to keep pace with real-time industry changes. However, modern workplace learning programs, particularly microlearning, has been proven to be highly effective for upskilling and reskilling. Rather than burying employees with long-form and one-size-fits-all content, microlearning can educate them on the exact content they need to know in real-time. This approach offers a new perspective on what it means to learn at work and provides employees with a clear opportunity for upskilling and reskilling – which is essential to keep up to speed with the latest digital transformations.
Digital workplace tools are designed to streamline processes in a more time-efficient way, so why shouldn’t employee L&D do the same? Modern workplace learning programs, like microlearning, break down training into smaller, easily digestible chunks of information and focus on one learning objective at a time. Not only does microlearning turn training content into focused pieces of material, but it delivers it in short bursts over spaced intervals of time. This increases proficiency and knowledge retention, while allowing employees to learn in a way that works best for them and at a time that is most convenient. Businesses that invest in the latest technology and L&D tools that offer employees the opportunities to build on their skillset and grow in their careers are not only investing in the employees, but rather the organization as a whole.
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