Technology, as we all well know, has changed just about everything in the last decade or so. Relative to the way we learn, the Internet opens a door to instant problem-solving, fact-finding, and quality research that we wouldn’t have been able to access as easily before.
As younger generations are making their debut in the corporate workforce, learning and development is experiencing a wide awakening. Traditional training tactics, methods, and materials aren’t working as well as they use to, and our learners are finding ways to train and learn themselves. This learning independence comes from a lifetime of accessibility. Younger generations like some Gen X’ers, Millennials, and upcoming Gen Z, have experienced more time in their lives with technology than without.
It seems obvious then that our training should evolve with our learners, yet many organizations stick with the old ways. The young generations are worth retaining; they’re smart, self-motivated, driven, and have developed skills necessary to keep up in today’s workforce. So why then are so many companies choosing to neglect learner preference?
According to an article from TrainingZone, “company training” was rated as the least effective way to learn in the workplace in a survey where respondents rated ten learning styles.
So why is this happening?
It’s happening because your learners have an un-gated knowledge source at their fingertips 24/7. 70% of employees use search engines to learn what they need to know for work and unlock their smartphones about nine times per hour during a typical workday.
Additionally, every year “how-to” searches on YouTube are increasing by 70%. These statistics explain why traditional lecture style training paired with a 4-inch training binder isn’t cutting it anymore.
Instant gratification is to blame. Why would your employees take more time to find something in your training guide during a problem, if that they could find it much faster on the web?
Employees spend nearly five times as much time learning on their own than they do during formal training.
Now that we know the problem, the solution is evident. If there was a way to make your materials more accessible to your learners by replicating the instant gratification they’re used to, would it improve your learner engagement and performance?
Chances are, it certainly would. Giving your employees the “just-in-time” access to your training materials will offer a great form of performance support and adheres to your changing corporate learners’ preferences.
Sources: “Learning & Development has already changed…Have you adapted?” by David James, trainingzone.co.uk.