The remote workforce has been slowly growing for the past several years. However, the recent pandemic and the various safety restrictions that have been in place on and off over the last year have changed this. Before the pandemic, about 5% of the workforce was working remotely. A year later, this number is expected to settle between 20-30% (1).
A new model of the hybrid workplace is on the horizon. In a recent survey by Gartner, it was found that 82% of business leaders shared that they plan to let employees continue to work from home at least part of the time moving forward (2).
A hybrid workplace is where employees work from home part time and in the office the rest of the week. This model provides employees more flexibility in their schedules while still allowing them to get face-to-face interactions with their peers. The hybrid model is also cost-effective. Organizations who adopt the hybrid workplace will no longer need large office spaces and executive suites will grow in popularity. Although this new approach has many benefits, the workplace’s shift has significantly impacted the way organizations handle the professional development of their employees.
Many of the traditional instructor-led training courses are less suitable for today’s learners. The current high demand for employee training has left many business leaders searching for modern training delivery methods to engage employees and enhance their learning experiences.
There are five training course delivery and design methods that business leaders should know about today when it comes to training the remote workforce.
One of the fastest-growing design and delivery methods in the world of corporate training today is microlearning. This training format is when the learning content is broken into several different bite-sized segments. Each segment’s content focuses on a specific singular topic so that it is short, clear, and understandable. This form of training is highly effective and has been used to increase both engagement and knowledge retention. The effectiveness comes from the small bite-sized packaging and the ability to consume it where and when the audience wants.
Microlearning is an effective training method for teams that both work remotely and in the office. This training method gives employees more flexibility in which topics they focus on and reduces the amount of time they spend with training. Microlearning materials can also be an effective way to provide just-in-time training materials for employees who may need a quick refresher course on the job.
Developing employee training programs that are mobile responsive can boost engagement and course completion rates. Mobile learning increases program accessibility and makes it easier for learners to complete training no matter their location and at a time that is most convenient for them. Today’s learners use their smartphones to learn and access new information making this format very familiar and user-friendly.
Video-based courses are another training delivery method that can effectively engage remote learners. Today videos are designed with interactive features and simulations to help build context around each topic. This type of training also gives employees the ability to watch the video when it is most convenient and allows them to learn at their own pace.
Virtual Training Methods
In many cases, virtual web-based training can be used in place of more traditional classroom training sessions. Virtual instructor lead classes or VILT allow employees in different locations to participate in an online instructor-led course that usually includes social elements and activities that further facilitate learning. This effective training method has grown in popularity due to its ability to incorporate social activities and discussions throughout the courses.
An adaptive learning strategy is the use of AI and computer algorithms to create personalized learning paths for individual learners. It is common for employees to have varying levels of experience, learning preferences, and work from different locations. Using an adaptive learning strategy helps organizations deliver the most relevant and effective training content to each learner. This reduces the time needed for training while improving the quality of employee learning experiences. This strategy is especially useful for companies that use a hybrid workplace model because they can use technology to streamline and suggest the most useful content for individuals.
The way we work today looks vastly different than it did just a year ago and it is clear that how the workforce consumes learning will continue to evolve. As we move forward and organizations continue to develop their post Covid19 learning plans, we can expect to see the hybrid workplace become a part of the new normal. Hybrid work environments will greatly influence what effective training delivery looks like in the future. Adopting remote-friendly training programs now will help your organization prepare for the future.
Learn more about the future of work and watch the webinar replay, The L&D Vision for 2021.