Learning & Development In The Era Of The Employee

One-size-fits-all learning programs are no longer sufficient to cultivate a worthwhile learning experience for employees. In today’s age, developing a strong L&D experience can be the competitive edge that many companies need. The rise of technology has gifted L&D with a wide expanse of options and opportunities for companies to capitalize on. From mobile learning to learning communities, companies can provide their employees with a variety of effective learning experiences.

Here are some samples of how top businesses are tackling L&D for inspiration on how your company can cultivate your own L&D experience:

Individualized Learning

Individualized learning is critical for offering learning and development that is pertinent to your employees. These programs offer customized learning material based on an employee's skills, experiences, and job role. Though individualized learning platforms can recommend many avenues for employees, ultimately, this learning is meant to be employee-driven. Employees know better than anyone what they want to learn and when they want to learn it. Individualized learning offers your employees autonomy in developing their own careers. According to our Employee Learning & Development survey back in October, 44% of respondents have access to an online course catalogue, 21% can take university courses, 18% can take virtual college courses, and 14% can take massive open online courses (MOOCs). These are all popular approaches to individualized learning, and employers should ensure that employees are designing learning experiences that best fit their own needs. Take a look at how Facebook and Paychex encourage their employees to choose their own L&D paths:

Facebook: As a company employing many young workers, Facebook needs to provide its employees autonomy, flexibility, and feedback. Thus, Facebook offers many avenues of learning such as on-demand courses and career flexibility from which their employees can choose. Through this approach, L&D is also personalized across all departments.

Paychex: Paychex understands that their new sales and service employees arrive from a variety of backgrounds. Their customized new-hire training programs combine virtual learning with instructor-led courses so that employees starting from different experiences can all arrive at the same level of work.

Video-Based Learning

Video-based learning offers employees a visual approach to learning. They also offer employees the opportunity to take their learning at their own pace, adding more flexibility to the learning process. Video-based learning today is often tied to microlearning, as these videos are normally short but effective. Our survey respondents indicated that only 16% of respondents work in organizations that support microlearning communities with employee-authored videos. Having learning-based videos led by leadership within a company can create a connection between associates and executives.Take a look at how Adobe and Pandora implement video-based learning:

Adobe: Video-based learning allows Adobe to offer leadership development to its many employees. Adobe offers on-demand e-learning labs that are only an hour long.

Pandora: Pandora's manager training videos are all created in-house. Their manager training is offered online and on-demand, and each course takes less than 15 minutes to finish.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR

To provide your employees with a more hands-on approach, alternate reality and virtual reality programs can help place your employees right in the moment. Especially for companies focused on customer service, AR and VR platforms can provide both realistic and effective training programs that account for many scenarios. These training simulators allow employees to experience real-world scenarios, giving them the confidence to engage with customers. According to our L&D survey, only 6% of organizations support VR training programs. AR and VR headsets can prove costly, so these types of programs may be of more benefit to smaller organizations or large organizations with centralized learning facilities. Take a look at how KFC and Walmart have integrated AR and VR into their training programs:

KFC: KFC's VR simulations supplement their cook training program. Employees still complete the steps required in cook training, but they can experience hands-on cooking without using up cooking materials and supplies.

Walmart: Walmart Academy training centers across the nation have begun implementing VR headsets in their trainings. The headsets supplement the employee training by allowing employees to experience situations that would be inconvenient to train for in real time, such as spills or holiday rushes.

What has your company tried to improve Learning & Development at your organization? Do you have success stories to share? If so, drop us a comment.