Proper training is the backbone of any successful organization. This is a universal truth in the Learning and Development (L&D) world. Organizations know this but why isn't every organization successful in implementing proper training? The answer is simple: intention doesn't necessarily equate to action; Just because an organization tries to produce quality training doesn't mean that they actually produce impactful learning. Then what is missing? What are the keys to developing a quality training and development program that produces measurable results?
Research supports five ways that produce verifiable changes in organizational performance, revealed in Valamis' White Paper >Five Best Practices in Optimizing Learning Experiences for Organizations:
1. Make learning faster, more efficient, and consistent
Catering to a rapid pace and short-attention-span is paramount in getting information through to today's adult learner. Therefore, organizations must get their L&D departments to capitalize on the learning technologies available to us: the benefits of digital learning and microlearning have never been clearer. By breaking down large pieces of information into bite-sized pieces and then making that information available at the learner's discretion, organizations can cater their employee's learning process to today's global society without sacrificing a quality learning experience. The advantages of online learning include an organization's ability to provide flexibility for those employees in a time crunch, while also providing a continuous learning experience for those who need to check-in multiple times for review or reference of the material.
As society becomes more fast-paced and attention-spans get shorter, it is pivotal to effectively capture the attention of learners by personalizing the learning experience.
2. Personalize the learning experience
The more an organization can make a training process intuitive, enjoyable, and applicable, the more likely it is that their employees will actually engage with the content, learn from it, and use it. In accordance with a widely-accepted adult learning theory, effective training must address both different styles of learning and provide individualized incentive and value for the learner. By leveraging digital learning effectively, organizations can cater to these adult learning principles and create experiential learning activities, personalized learning plans, and even personalized learning experiences. The key consideration here is that in order for this level of personalized learning to be feasible and efficient, organizations must utilize a quality digital learning platform that caters to this approach through features like integration, user profiles, workflow designations, etc.
Another benefit to the personalization of learning is a measurable increase in both the effectiveness of learning and the satisfaction of employees, which translates into long-term retention.
3. Minimize the loss of knowledge through turnover
There is a strong correlation between the employee retention rate and the quality of an organization's learning experience. So, if the organization has created a robust, personalized learning experience that engages their employees and encourages growth, the turnover rate will drop. Of course, some turnover is inevitable—and it happens despite positive experiences like promotions or transfers. Therefore, a quality training program must also take into consideration how to effectively capture and reproduce a seasoned employees' knowledge in order to pass that knowledge on quickly without any production loss after turnover.
The ability to provide metrics to track the effect these training features have on an organization's bottom-line is of the utmost importance. Therefore, it is also pertinent that organizations know how to measure learning impact effectively. But what is learning analytics and how do you know which metrics to track? There are two considerations here: measuring and tracking the impact of learning on employees and job performance, and the impact of learning on the organization.
4. Leverage learning data analytics to verify the impact of effective training and determine the future way of learning
Measuring the learning impact on the learner is important because it is a great way for a company to assess their training efficiency. Individual training metrics can be used to further personalize the learning path and increase the personalization of the learning experience. By tracking an employee's performance, training history, scores, and interests, you can design a highly personalized, extremely efficient training process for them. On a larger scale, capturing the right metrics can allow an organization to see what the gaps are between what their employees know and what they need to know. When paired with an integrated training platform, this data can be immediately leveraged to close that gap to increase organizational efficiency.
Running learning analytics in the entirety of the organization will also help you evaluate the impact of the learning process on the business outcomes.
5. Utilize learning analytics to gauge the effectiveness of the learning in the organization
One of the greatest benefits of online learning, when done correctly, is that even at this level of training optimization, there are still savings in the cost of training. When comparing the money spent on training to the money saved by investing proper resources into quality training programs, organizations must comprehensively review the variety of advantages gained in this venture. These benefits of optimized learning experiences include: an increase in customer and employee satisfaction, an increase in productivity, a reduction in time to competency and delivery time, and a faster speed for product and service rollouts. When taking all of this into consideration, the results are clear: the cost of training is worth it. Optimized learning experiences drive organizational performance. Using the right data analytics, organizations can present verifiable support to their key stakeholders. So, taking the time to go above and beyond to run and present these analytics at the macro level are well worth it to prove the value of optimized training.
If you're really interested in how to build a truly successful, robust, integrative learning experience at your organization, it's worth looking at the research and support provided in Valamis' Five Best Practices in Optimizing Learning Experiences for Organizations. The numbers are there. The research is there. The studies are there. The question is: is your organization there?
There IS a secret to unlocking your company's potential: and these five best practices are the keys that open the door.