Academic reviews have pointed out how people’s employability, which is defined as their ability to gain and maintain a desired job in a formal organization, depends on what they are likely to learn and not on what they already know.
This has changed the learning game for corporations, making them think hard on how to make learning continuous in order to retain their best talent. When it comes to employee training, traditional rules of pedagogy are no longer helpful in achieving learning objectives.
A big factor that people might state here is the role of content. While there is no denying the fact that content does play an inexplicable role in enhancing online learning, what matters more is how it fits into the learner’s experience. The effectiveness of mobile learning and microlearning depends on the ‘learning journey’ that structures the content in a way that transforms the entire learning experience of the employees.
One size fits all approach no longer gets results in learning. You need to give opportunities to employees that allow them to reach their true potential and fill unique knowledge gaps.
76% of millennials think professional development opportunities are one of the most important elements of company culture. The same employees cited lack of skills development as one of the main reason they would choose to voluntarily leave their job positions.
This statistics show that employees today do not believe in wasting time in an organization that doesn’t not quench their thirst for knowledge. Organizations need to put employees in the driving seat if they want to keep their talent happy and engaged, and retain them for long.
One way to do this is by creating Learning Paths. A learning path refers to a set of lessons or interactive content items such as videos, images, assessments and other training material that are combined together in one compound course. The aim of a learning path is to take care of the unique needs of each individual learner and custom define the training according to what is desired.
Learning paths frees training from the clutches of time and space constraints, and puts learners in the driver’s seat. Learners can take charge of what to learn, how to learn and when to learn. Learning paths pass the control and definition of learning content and processes from the hands of subject matter experts and instructional designers into the hands on the learners. With a learning path in place, training is neither driven by a trainer nor a pre-determined training calendar, but by the learners themselves.
Here is how a learning path puts employees at the driver’s seat:
1. It helps employees pick and choose courses
A learning path can be created in a way that gives learners a lot of options to choose from. They can be presented with a set of varied courses that interest them, out of which they pick what they want. On the basis of these choices, the rest of the path follows a customized route, delivering snippets of information that the learner is actually interested in. Such a system keeps engagement levels high as there is no kind of force being used to develop knowledge and skills. A predefined target is introduced to the learner, and the interest in the topic ensures that the learners stay connected to the training they are consuming, and show a genuine interest in completing tasks and achieving targets defined within the learning path.
2. It gives employees a user-friendly experience
A learning path presents a knowledge base to learners once they enter their own preferences. Finding content and information around areas of interest and choosing the order in which the learner wants to consume the courses can be picked by them. Modern looking, easy to use mobile learning apps with good visual impact and easy installation makes learning hassle free. With organized categories and tags, learning paths offer an intelligent solution to organize the vast pool of content within it. This helps learners streamline what they want as per the relevant tags and makes it easier to find.
3. It promotes self-learning
Today’s learners are empowered and they like to explore on their own, provided they have the right kind of opportunity and guidance. Learners might want to solve and find answers to basic issues themselves than relying on a third person for every other thing. Learners already have access to a vast sea of information and they want quick results. With a learning path, employees will have the freedom to access information whenever and wherever they want, at their own convenience. This will enable true self learning which can empower learners to do more.
4. It keeps employees motivated
Learning paths ensure better learning experiences through technology. Giving employees access to a knowledge base, they can gain knowledge at their own convenience. This not only improves their skills but also makes them confident. After all, knowledge is power and if organizations invest in providing knowledge to their employees, they are likely to reward organizations with their loyalty. When the learners choose their own path, they are more motivated to complete it.
5. It provides rapid access to information
Content such as microlearning, reference documents, assessments and worksheets are useful only when they can be accessed quickly. This needs to be backed by easy navigation and first class searching and tagging capabilities. Putting relevant information at every employee’s fingertips will enable them to find quick responses to ad-hoc queries. Through a learning path, an employee will also know which are the most important topics, so that they are always prepared for answers. With regular updates getting incorporated into the knowledge base, employees can stay updated with latest development in the field of their interest.
6. It offers personalized information
Every employee is surrounded by too much information in all forms across the internet. As
such, it becomes very difficult to distinguish the right information from the rest because of
the huge volumes. A learning path helps employees filter out distractions and get information that is targeted, useful and timely without getting frustrated or wasting time. Through features such as personalized portals, targeted subscriptions, RSS feeds, tagging and specialized search engines, relevant information can be sorted and tailor made for a department without creating room for confusion.
A learning path decreases the reliance of employees on “trainers” in the traditional sense. Such kind of learning comes from everyday experience and hence is far more relatable than information found in training powerpoints. Learning is more precise and prescriptive, and provided at the moment of need through short bursts of content. Reminders are sent to learners from time to time, that act as inspiration that motivates them go to back and complete the courses. Such personalized paths give online learners the opportunity to pursue their learning goals and meet their individual needs.
Learning is a journey and needs to be available throughout the entire employee lifecycle. For this, both great content, and fast and slick access is vital for organizations to crack. Only then can organizations truly improve the employee performance and productivity.