Booking venues, printing course curriculums, sourcing an industry expert and securing a supplier for catering are still part of the sometimes-annoying activities involved in organising training events within SME companies.
On training day, you are welcomed with either a no-show rate of more than 50% of attendees or a full house of learners only pitching up because they are forced to do so, or due to the free food and beverages on offer. Afterwards, everyone leaves the venue behind (and often their course material too) with information already forgotten by the time they return home and managers none the wiser during the next few weeks when productivity is still slumping, and no uptick in performance is visible.
Enter the world of Learning Management Systems (LMS), E-Learning and Online Training Solutions.
For corporates, the implementation of digital training strategies has already been a reality for the last two decades. In the SME space though, most of us are still stuck in analogue times where terms such as Mobile-Learning, Animation or Gamification are as foreign as the blueprints of Elon Musk’s anticipated compound on Mars. (ok, perhaps not that foreign).
Time to Innovate
Whether you are in the business of selling bricks or building digs, it is time to smell the coffee and get onboard with more innovative methods of training your staff:
- Statistics show that 67% of employees access learning programs via their mobile devices hence the influx of Mobile Learning or M-Learning tools.
- The average employee looks at their phone over 150 times per day, so why not offer some valuable learning content to ‘’consume’’ as an alternative to pics from the Royal Wedding or the most recent antics of the Kardashian clan?
- Learners can now receive just in time training, from anywhere at any time!
- The Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts that mobile users will surpass electricity users by 2020. It is definitely time to join the M-Learning game.
- A whopping 75% of workers are casual gamers according to a TalentLMS survey. Yes, your prim and proper PA may as well be a leading competitor in Grand Theft Auto V or Call of Duty: WWII.
- Make your training entertaining by including principles of play into the learning process. For them, it will be fun and games, while you receive the gains in productivity and profit. Sounds like a win-win solution both ways tight?
- Leaderboards, point systems, reward tokens and badges are tangible forms of dynamic recognition individual performance and creates healthy competition amongst staff.
- An opportunity to promote learning while workers are riding The Tube, by offering them access to content on a tube of a different kind.....aka YouTube.
- Corporate organisations worldwide are adopting online video platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo and Digital Motion, as part of their LMS delivery platforms.
- Video learning is a powerful tool to attract, engage and teach learners in disruptive times. It is cost effective, time efficient and the training benefits almost instantaneous
- What are you waiting for? Purchase that green screen, create a channel and start filming away.
- Wearable Learning
- One of the newest trends in LMS innovation strategies is to wear a training device not for physical activities, but for learning pursuits.
- Google Glass, Apple Watch and GoPro Camera all facilitate ample opportunities for interactive and on the job training with live feed technology.
- Seamless collaboration between supervisor and learner is made possible with a simple finger swipe or hand movement providing instantaneous feedback or access to real-time support.
- Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Holograms will be the go-to training tools of the next decade. Make sure you join this world of ‘’make believe’’ sooner, rather than later to benefit from its infinite learning prospects.
- Story Telling
- The producers of Sesame Street and Teletubbies got it a hundred per cent right when they ideated the concept of storytelling as a means to deliver educational content to children. Stories improve knowledge retention because they activate the memory processing part of the brain with audio and visual stimuli that simulate real life experiences.
- Using narration as a training methodology provides am authentic context for the student and therefore makes information easier to recall.
- Stories are entertaining and can captivate a learner audience far more than a list of random facts and bullet points.
- Flip It
- The flipped classroom approach is perhaps the most viable method to use as a stepping stone into digitised learning.
- Also called Blended Learning, this method combines the best of both online and offline training tactics.
- Educational content is firstly accessed online with instructional videos and presentations and then followed with in-class (instructor-led) activities to delve deeper into the material and test understanding in a face to face environment.
- Using flipping techniques to deliver content is especially feasible if you have a multigenerational workforce where you need to engage Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennial staff simultaneously.
- Leveraging the OOCs
- The most bang for your buck comes from OOCs (Online Open Courses) when that bank balance looks a bit gloomy, and your finance guy is advocating the importance of cutting expenses on a daily basis.
- OOCs are generally free to use or offer subscriptions with minimal associated costs.
- MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) represent a distance-based approach to e-learning and is accessible to large volumes of learners to enable mass participation and social collaboration between students and trainers. MOOCs are useful when employees need to attain a specific certification or qualification to progress in their careers because the platforms partner with top universities and educational institutions to produce curriculums and content.
- COOCs (Corporate Open Online Courses) are the platforms that provide learning and development programmes to increase worker knowledge about specific industry topics or improve competence in certain operational areas. Subscribers can come from multiple companies in a particular industry or be grouped by specific job title and position profile.
- SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses) offer small groups of people access to tailor-made courses in a business-to-business context. These courses use a blended approach to learning where online resources are combined with instructor-based teaching.
- How do you eat an Elephant? Well, probably bite by bite, and this is precisely what Micro-Learning endeavours to accomplish in the training environment.
- The impracticality of disrupting employees from their daily tasks to attend training events is a thing of the past.
- Micro-Learning ingenuities offer frequent bite-sized chunks of information to employees in 2-5 minute timeframes which affords material to be more consumable, easier to remember and further encourage the immediate application thereof.
Today’s learning platforms must help people find learning content quickly (videos, documents, or short courses), make it easy to publish and recommend content, and integrate video and other digital content right into our daily lives - Josh Bersin, Deloitte