It’s a frustrating experience to choose a workplace training program and not see the improvement in employee productivity that you were expecting. Many programs promise to cover important subjects, but are they engaging enough to hold your team’s attention?
Online learning is on the rise with new and exciting resources for optimizing employee training programs. With the insurgence of smartphone usage, mobile learning is also gaining popularity. But, as many teachers will tell you, there’s often no replacement for classroom learning.
So, how do you decide which option is best for your professional development training program, ensuring that employees are engaged and have convenient access to learning materials? The good news: You don’t have to choose just one.
Blended delivery options for workplace training benefit your organization by:
- Catering to employees with heavy workloads and scheduling conflicts
- Making it possible to tailor materials based on employees’ needs and preferred styles of learning
See how offering a combination of classroom, online and mobile employee training options enables your business to provide the professional development program that best suits your team. Here’s a breakdown of each one to help you get a better understanding and find the right balance for your company.
Face-to-face interaction with an instructor may be the more traditional model for employee training programs, but that doesn’t mean it’s outdated. Many people learn best by listening, asking questions and engaging in conversation.
Sometimes, employees need clarification on course material. A classroom discussion allows the instructor to provide additional, relevant information and to answer any questions that may arise.
Classroom learning also offers some of the following advantages:
- Instructors are able to adapt to different learning styles. If employees prefer to have an open discussion about learning materials, the instructor has the flexibility to adjust from a lecture-based teaching style. If, on the other hand, employees need more encouragement for participation, the instructor is able to engage them with questions and written activities.
- Social interaction makes learning more fun. The shared experience of being in a classroom setting and learning new materials with other team members is exciting. Employees have an opportunity to interact with people they may not typically see. New conversations and interesting course topics also add novelty to an employee’s day.
- Instructors and employees both benefit from valuable feedback. Classroom training is an opportunity for team members to ask questions about situations they’ve encountered in the past or might expect to see soon, and an instructor has the chance to offer advice based on their knowledge of the subject. Similarly, employees may share tips they have learned and let the instructor know what they thought of the training session. This makes it easier to adapt upcoming courses based on employee interest.
Just as some people learn better by listening, many of your employees understand concepts better by “doing.” Online employee training is an interactive experience that keeps your team engaged with useful information and exercises.
Your employees reap the following benefits of online learning:
- They are able to adapt learning times to their own schedule. Team members have important projects, family commitments and other time pressures to work around during training. If they aren’t able to make a classroom session, they have access to the course materials 24/7.
- They have the option to break up learning sections into manageable chunks of time. If an employee has to manage training during the workday, they may want to fit it in between other, more pressing projects. Taking a break from course content also enables them to come back to it feeling refreshed later.
- Online employee training is suitable for employees who work remotely or don’t commute to the office every day. Instead of connecting to a meeting over the phone or videoconference, team members may engage directly with the course materials online, in a learning environment structured for this type of engagement.
- Online learning targets employees who want access to subject material outside of the time frame that classroom learning allows. Knowledge is always available online, so your training program is an opportunity to engage team members who seek to go above and beyond.
Mobile learning packs a similar punch to online learning: Resources are always available, no matter the time of day. One additional advantage is its “on-the-go” convenience.
Your employees may have downtime when they are free to learn new leadership, sales or customer service tips. The only hitch? They don’t have access to an instructor or computer. Consider the following perks of mobile learning:
- Employees are able to access training materials from anywhere. Whether they are commuting, traveling for business or waiting for an appointment, mobile learning materials are always available.
- Convenient access enables team members to reference training materials quickly and easily. People often think through work issues in their spare time. If an employee is at home with their work computer shut down for the day, they are able to access course content from their phone for a key piece of advice or information.
- Mobile course materials are enticing for employees who are in the habit of checking their phones frequently. When habitual phone-checkers open their email and nothing new has come in, they may be thinking, “What now?” With training materials readily available, employees can access the next topic assigned in their training or get a head start on readings.
Finding The Right Combination For Your Team
Here’s what you need to know when choosing an employee training program delivery option: Everyone has a different learning style. Classroom training may be better for a top sales person at your company, but perhaps the head of IT prefers online learning.
By finding the right blend of training options, you provide a more effective training program. You need to reach your employees in ways that get them to understand important concepts. Improved morale and productivity should be your ultimate goals.
Want to know how employee training programs help your team members become better leaders? Find out how succession planning ensures a smooth transition of leadership in the event of an organizational change.