Delivering Effective & Relevant Training to the Modern Learner

 In Blog

By: Susan Ruhl

Recently I had the pleasure of facilitating the OI Global Partners meeting in Toronto, ON. I was joined by thirty partner firms from around the globe to discuss the disruption being seen in the marketplace and trends that affect talent management and career transition. It is always interesting to note the themes that are being seen as a concern for organizations globally. This time, one theme came up over and over again.

Delivering effective, relevant training to the modern learner

According to a new report by Bersin, “today’s employees are overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient. Flexibility in where and how they earn is increasingly important.” As employers are faced with the escalating nature of the digital revolution and its effect on learning and working habits of their talent, it is becoming increasingly difficult to deliver training that will stick. Some of the interesting data located within the Bersin report include stats such as:

  • 1% of a typical workweek is currently available for training
  • 80% of workforce learning happens via on the job interactions with peers and managers
  • 70% use search engines to learn what they need for their jobs

How then are organizations changing to meet the demand of quality training in a very constricted period of time? Gone are the days of the 8 hour classroom training. Research shows that only 10% of that type of instruction will actually be applied in the workplace. Frankly, modern learner or not, for true learning to take place, there must be reinforcement over time. The difference is that the modern learner is accessing information, content and other people in ways not seen previously.

Companies then are faced with adapting the delivery of training so that it addresses this change by providing more modular learning and support. Short segments of training reinforced by short videos and short homework assignments; that is the trend taking place today. There still is a critical piece that, until recently, has largely gone unprepared. The manager. Often organizations expect that their managers are automatically equipped to reinforce and support the desired change. This often proves to be an unrealistic assumption. It is by equipping the manager to have the conversations and to make the change “safe” for the employee that true organizational change takes place.

For more specific guidance on how you can create effective training in your organization, contact us today.

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  • Michael Faber

    Amen Susan! Managers are critical to an employee’s continued growth, and thus their (hopefully) increasing value to the organization and clients. Likewise, I’d add that as individual contributors see their leaders embrace learning and growth in their own careers, it becomes acceptable for everyone to admit that while they don’t “know it all” they are willing to learn.

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