If you struggle to develop structured training programmes for your employees, know you’re not alone. Just 29% of UK organisations say they have a clear learning and development plan in place for employees, and 74% of workers say that a lack of employee development opportunities is preventing them from reaching their full potential, according to CIPD research.
This suggests UK L&D teams are finding it hard to deliver the training courses employees want. Many organisations simply don’t have the resources to deliver great learning, and creating courses takes too long, making it difficult to produce timely and relevant learning materials.
For many UK businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these problems. And as our priorities shift, it’s clear employees are willing to walk away from companies that fail to offer enough training opportunities. L&D teams now need to deliver engaging materials that cater to each learner's unique needs—and that starts with involving everyone in the learning process.
In this article, we’re going to look at five essential best practices you can implement to enhance your learning and development strategy, from tips to encourage employees to address their own learning needs, to leveraging Collaborative Learning platforms, mobile learning, and the new blended learning.
First up, how to give your employees a voice.
In the UK, 97% of organisations still have L&D, Senior Directors and line managers identifying learner needs. This needs to change. That’s why the first best practice toward creating an effective learning and development programme is to decentralise the learning process. You can do this by turning top-down training on its head and instead letting learners declare their own learning needs. L&D teams can then facilitate content creation of those topics.
Today, learners expect to have a real say in how–and what–they learn. Are employees hungry for a blended learning approach with a mix of online and in-person training, or do they want to consume bite-sized, interactive and social information? Figuring this out early on will help L&D teams develop training materials in the best possible format.
For L&D teams, understanding the skills your learners want to develop is the number one best practice in L&D— it also happens to be one of the key pillars of Collaborative Learning.
Your organisation’s knowledge is its greatest asset: L&D teams need a way to put it to work. Collaborative Learning is a methodology that allows you to do just that— it enables employees to share their knowledge and expertise so that each member of the team can learn new skills from their coworkers.
Research shows that using Collaborative Learning increases course engagement rates to over 90%. That’s because employees can teach and learn from each other at the same time, developing skills that are directly relevant to their day-to-day roles.
One of the main benefits of Collaborative Learning is that it's democratised, giving employees greater control over the type of training they experience. More control increases training relevance and decreases reliance on the L&D manager, which fast-tracks the overall content creation process with iterative learning opportunities.
And another benefit of Collaborative Learning? L&D teams can leverage subject-matter experts within the business to guide the course creation process. This helps to develop engaging course materials, encourage peer-to-peer learning, and increase employee engagement through actively drawing on internal knowledge and expertise.
A collaborative approach to learning is the second best practice UK L&D teams need to consider in 2022. Learn more about leveraging Collaborative Learning in our ebook: What is Collaborative Learning?
Our next essential best practice? Incorporate mobile learning into your L&D strategy.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are more open to offering hybrid, flexible, or fully remote working options. With this new way of working, organisations must reach learners where they are. For many of us, this means on our smartphones.
The ubiquitous nature of smartphones (and tablets—just over half of Brits own one of those), makes them an excellent hub for upskilling and professional development. Learners can complete bite-sized courses on the way to work, during a 10-minute at-home break, waiting in line at the post office, or pretty much anywhere else.
Implementing a mobile learning solution is a great way to create a seamless learning experience, and organisations are opting for this type of solution more and more. In fact, 70% of UK companies have reported they’ve increased usage of mobile device-based learning over the last two to three years.
So what should you look for in a mobile learning solution? Checking off these criteria will help you create a mobile learning experience that meets your learner's expectations:
Mobile learning will be critical in reaching your learners in 2022 and beyond. But to execute a mobile learning strategy you need a learning management system (LMS) in place first.
Learning management systems are the foundation of online learning. A modern, collaborative LMS platform lets you create, distribute, and manage your learning programmes.
But to get the most out of an LMS, you need to facilitate Collaborative Learning with the following features:
Focus on these LMS features and you’re sure to build a culture of continuous learning. But what other learning solutions can you adopt to ensure you’re following L&D best practices and taking the steps to become a true learning organisation? Blended learning.
Blended learning—as many L&D teams know it—is a combination of teacher-led classroom sessions (e.g. lectures and presentations) and self-paced eLearning prepared by an instructor (e.g. video lessons, slideshow presentations and text-based modules).
The problem with this format is that it relies on top-down training, or one-way flows of information from instructor to student—hardly particularly collaborative or engaging. That’s why we here at 360Learning have been advocating a new type of blended learning solution—and this is set to really take off in 2022.
Even before COVID-19 hit, experts were pointing toward a future defined by collaboration and digital connectivity. Today, learners expect more collaboration, personalisation and flexibility than top-down training can provide, regardless of whether it’s in-person or online.
So what will this new blended learning look like? Well, splitting training into two types of learning is worth preserving. But it’s not about digital vs physical. Instead, training should be a combination of:
This new blended learning asks which learning experiences should be asynchronous and which should be synchronous, collaboration being the key factor for success in both cases. In addition, this new format allows faster content creation, more engaging content and it offers learners increased flexibility.
So, that’s a wrap. Here, we’ve outlined the five essential best practices in learning and development you need in 2022. And what do all of these have in common? They all utilise aspects of Collaborative Learning.
Collaborative Learning is key to ensuring that your learners have control over the type of training materials and opportunities they have access to. For L&D teams, developing a culture of Collaborative Learning and implementing these best practices will be imperative to creating structured learning materials and maintaining employee engagement in 2022 and beyond.
If you want to find out more about how Collaborative Learning can help engage your employees, get in touch with one of our experts today.