The workplace is always changing, and there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to training a workforce that varies in abilities, age and allows for schedules that no longer fit the 9-5 norm.
This is where flexible learning comes in, and if your business hasn’t yet invested in flexible learning then 2020 is the year that your business should look to take the leap.
What is flexible learning?
Flexible learning allows employees multiple ways of approaching and learning information that is relevant both to their roles and to the wider business. Flexible learning programmes can take place across multiple mediums, and be conducted any place or time.
Flexible learning methods are great for allowing individuals to access the material they need exactly when they need it, and also whilst they’re on the go. Perfect in a busy work environment that leans heavily on reactive decision making and where individuals need to be constantly topping up on their industry know-how.
There are many different flexible learning methods that your business should be considering for 2020, the three that we would recommend adopting are:
- On-demand e-learning and microlearning
- Virtual learning
- Custom-designed interactive PDF workbooks and toolkits
On-demand e-learning and microlearning
E-learning and microlearning methods are flexible solutions that can be conducted in short bursts online. This can be incredibly beneficial to businesses as they allow individuals maximum flexibility, and learning material is accessible wherever users are as long as they have access to a desktop, tablet or smartphone.
This is advantageous to individuals who may be time-poor, but still need to stay in step with the latest information and learning material in their industries, as they can simply log onto an e-learning or microlearning platform and extract the information they need in the moment.
This can also be a good way to boost confidence. Because individuals have instantaneous access to the information that they need, if an employee in – for example – a customer-facing role encounters a stressful situation, that they are ill-equipped to handle, they can simply find the information they need and take control of the situation.
This is beneficial to businesses as it makes individuals more reactive, and increased confidence will improve employee performance.
Virtual learning refers to a web-based environment method of learning where methods such as multimedia resources and video conferencing are utilised.
Similar to e-learning and microlearning, virtual learning is a beneficial flexible learning solution in that employees can access their virtual learning platform from anywhere and can work to their own pace and ability.
Virtual learning frees employees from the usual drudgery of lectures and paperwork, allowing them to learn when they feel is best for them, and in a location that suits. Virtual learning platforms can be easily updated, which makes it easy for individuals to access the most recent information.
This is favourable to businesses as employees can stay in the know constantly, instead of having periodic training sessions that bombard employees with excess information – much of which will not be retained – and take up precious chunks of time.
Custom-designed interactive PDF workbooks and toolkits
Another flexible learning solution to look out for in 2020, is custom-designed interactive PDF workbooks and toolkits.
These documents provide comprehensive training in a readable format that users are able to interact with as they learn. This is an effective way of learning as users are able to read and absorb information at their own pace, whilst the interactive element of the training increases the engagement of the participant and also the amount of information that they retain.
In contrast to traditional training methods, this flexible learning method allows users to return to the PDF or toolkit whenever they need to do so, in order to refresh their memory and consolidate information.
As PDFs are available to view online, participants can access their interactive workbooks and toolkits whenever they like, making this method of learning incredibly convenient for busy individuals.
This is a beneficial learning method for businesses as employees can improve their knowledge, and reinforce information at their leisure, without the pressure of remembering a mass of information from one training event. This increases the likelihood of employees remembering training material and applying it to real-life situations, at the benefit of the business.
By adopting flexible learning solutions as a part of your workplace training strategy in 2020, your business could benefit from a more informed and confident workforce that actively learns as a part of their role.
By encouraging employees to learn little and often through flexible learning methods, you are equipping individuals with the tools they need to grow into their roles successfully, and carry out their duties in more intelligent, efficient and streamlined ways.
This is sure to profit your business in the near and distant future, and a return on investment will be seen through the increased overall performance of employees.