The economy today is knowledge-led and prone to rapid, unpredictable change. We have been witnessing change like never before, where Learning is crucial for thriving in these challenging times. For the workforce, it is the ability to learn that continues to be the driving force behind adapting to the ‘new normal’. So, for organizations it is now imperative to provide opportunities for learning and development to support employee success as well as business growth.
Learning is a journey, where experiences and interactions contribute to overall performance. Infopro Learning recognizes this and builds a multi-faceted approach for corporate learning. With a mix of strategies and methods from e-learning, VILTs, games and simulations, guided learning, micro-learning, just-in-time resources and more, Infopro Learning’s learning journeys support the corporate learner for professional development and performance excellence.
To understand how learning journeys unlock human potential and delivers business value, we talked to Infopro Learning VP, Learning Solutions, Anu Galhotra.
Q.”How important is ‘Learning Journey’ in the current paradigm of corporate training?”
While training is usually organized as a single learning event, learning is a journey. It needs much more than a single training event. With advance in the possibilities of online learning, there are so many opportunities for learning professionals to add value, be creative and deliver learning that’s relevant for driving business results. The important thing here is to ensure that the most appropriate learning modalities have been adopted – keeping in mind the needs of the learners as well as the organization.
Many learning professionals have embraced the concept of blended learning journeys, which combines self-paced and guided training methods. A blended approach works very well, especially in the corporate scenario, with improved learning experience, greater flexibility for learners, and better use of resources. Use the right blend – supplement with virtual sessions as necessary – based on learner needs and subject at hand. It is important to remember that the learning journey for corporate learners is best structured with a mix of approaches like on-demand Q&A, mentoring or coaching support, cohort-based learning , periodic Q&A or debrief sessions, supervisor support and so on.
The benefits or outcome that the journey seeks to achieve must be charted out while the solutions is being created. Keeping the end in mind helps achieve the goal – and this is especially true when creating the learning journey. Are you creating the program to improve sales, customer service or the net promoter score? Are you looking to reducing the time to proficiency and increase productivity? Is the leadership program helping learners get promoted to higher ranks and embrace responsibility or is the program enhancing safety and security of employees and helping the organization keep up with compliance mandates? If the expected outcomes are clear, learning journey is crafted to achieve those outcomes.
Q.”From an instructor-led approach to online learning – is the transition really that difficult? How can organizations move efficiently to an online-only training approach?”
The transition to online learning is not difficult – provided we have the right methods to embrace it and have the right expectations around it. For a smooth transition to online learning from an instructor-led approach, we must break some myths around an online-led approach to training.
Myth 1: Human intervention is a must for learning to be effective.
There are lots of ways bring in “human” connect in online learning. Instead of thinking about human connect, we should be thinking about Accountability. Often, we end up confusing the two. There are ways to build accountability in an online programs like Q&A and debrief sessions, intermittent check ins, supervisor involvement, or mentor support. Check ins an Q&A can be on-demand based on learner request, exception-based where lack of learner progress is observed, or built in as regular support from supervisors or external coaches and mentors.
An in-person training with bad content or unskilled trainer can be equally or more ineffective compared to any digital learning.
Myth 2: Online-only learning can’t be used as primary mode of learning.
Online learning can be as impactful and effective, if not more, compared to in-person training. It is definitely more convenient and sustainable, if we focus on two important aspects. First, you need to keep learners in mind and two you need to use the right modalities. One can use tools like empathy maps and learner personas to keep learners at the center of the design process. The idea is to build a deep understanding of end users and their learning preferences Moreover, It is important to the use right modalities with solid content that is aligned to online delivery and the appropriate instructional design.
With the appropriate strategies of design and delivery, online learning can definitely be a success for any organization and varied learner groups.
Myth 3: It is easier to identify high performers in a classroom environment.
Online journeys offer a multitude of ways to identify high performers. In a classroom scenario, the feedback and learner assessment are solely driven by the instructor. With online learning, learner assessment can be tracked more efficiently, with better opportunities to trace their progress and achievements. Frequent online assessments, interactions and simulations provide multiple opportunities to assess learner progress as well as evaluate knowledge and skills.
Q.”Finally, how can we push ROI of training and demonstrate value?”
Online journeys are much more scalable, consistent, and trackable for progress as well as performance. As per research, learners lose over 80% of what they learn right after coming back from the training program which is one single program. Online journeys provide options for spaced learning and for reinforcement, leading to more retention and application. With a spaced out approach, online learning is much less taxing on learner time as well.
For demonstrating the ROI of training, it is important to measure the impact training has on the overall business in addition to behavior changes and learner reaction.
- Results or Outcome of training can be measured though various metrics. While ROI is mostly a lagging indicator, capturing stakeholder expectations such as reduced time to proficiency of newly hired employees and or increase in CSAT score can help you track business performance earlier in the measurement cycle.
- Behavior change measured through learner surveys or supervisor surveys can expose leading indicators to measure business performance effectively. For example, number of hits on the system or reduced questions from superusers is an effective way to measure system adoption.
- You can measure learning progress through intermittent assessments, where you can track scores as well as number of attempts, time spent on assessments and so on. Debrief activities or consistent effort in online community can also add to the experience and measurement.
- Learner reaction to training can be traced in many ways – from a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ record at the end of a video to forms for subjective feedback. Learner surveys at a certain frequency can also tell us what’s working and what’s not, in a certain learning journey. This gives us opportunity to improve learning content as well as strategy or modality to make sure learning is making the desired impact.
L&D teams have been battling hard to make sure the employees are engaged during the recent times of upheaval and change throughout the business world. In this scenario, an online-only approach helps the learners navigate through the learning journey and yields optimum business results as well.