The new learning audience is dynamic, mobile and highly sophisticated.
L&D teams must push the envelope
to create new blended learning strategies.
Organizations today are quickly understanding that their learning strategies need to be restructured. With changes in how work is performed (telecommuting, globalization, decentralized workforces) and in the learning audience itself (Baby Boomers to Gen Me), organizations face the most complex learning environment ever presented.
The fundamental driver for this quickly increasing level of complexity is that learning in all forms must take a blended approach to attract the learner to want to learn and maximize depth and length of retention. Learning that isn’t appealing to the learner (i.e., fun, interesting and highly relevant to their professional and personal development) will go nowhere.
There are two components to making learning appealing:
- Learning Content Development, which must employ imagery and mixed media with eye-popping graphics that draw the learner into the subject.
- Delivery, which must be multi-modal to keep the learner’s attention and make the learning easy to apply. Most importantly, the delivery must be done in a way that provides performance support at the time of need of the learner. The days of the one size fits all course have come to a close.
These principles apply to all forms of learning, including mandatory and compliance training. Just because learning is required doesn’t mean that learners will remember it or apply it – and they will go kicking and screaming into having to participate. The most heavily regulated organization must apply a blended learning strategy that compels people to want to learn and offers an engaging way to do so.
We also must realize that learning is happening all around us in the workplace. In today’s need for learning and training that is relevant and available at the speed of business, employees seek out what they need to know, from whomever has it.
Organizations must understand that the new learning audience is dynamic, mobile and highly sophisticated. Learning and Development teams must push the envelope to create new blended learning strategies that embody an instructional, collaborative and formative approach that attracts and motivates the learner. But do we understand how to develop a high-octane blended learning approach? How do we make sure that this approach is aligned with the needs and compliance requirements of the business?
We must develop learning strategies that include:
- Multiple modalities that promote and encourage a mix of company and learner-generated content
- Socialization and discussion around the learning
- Coaching and mentoring to help reinforce the learning
- Real-world practical application that encourages learners to embrace a new way of thinking and acting.
Without this approach, learning will just be a “check the box” exercise with no discernable impact on individual or organizational performance.
Michael oversees consulting, strategic services, and advisory support for Brandon Hall Group members. Michael is also one of the company’s principal analysts covering topics such as learning, talent, sales and marketing, and executive management.
Michael will be the keynote speaker at NextSteps 2016, NetDimensions’ Global User Conference, on April 13th – 15th. Learn more at the NextSteps website.