Continuous Learning for the Modern Employee

Shifts in technology and employee expectations place new demands on learning and development professionals. A recent L&D report by LinkedIn states that developing employees is top of mind for executives. Furthermore, employees at all levels expect dynamic, meaningful, self-directed, and continuous learning opportunities (Deloitte, 2016). Research suggests that 25% of employees leave their jobs because there aren’t enough training or development opportunities. The importance of training and development is clear; however, L&D professionals are faced with obstacles, including a lack of time and a continuously changing work environment. Harvard Business Review suggests that one of the biggest challenges of traditional training programs is that the information either does not stick, or becomes obsolete not long after training. This requires organizations to replace traditional isolated trainings with continuous training if they want to see optimal results.

Bite-sized Learning

“Bite-sized” has become a popular buzzword in today’s learning and development world. This growing trend has many advantages for organizations and learners. Bite-sized content refers to content that is easy to consume and understand. The extensive benefits of bite-size learning include increased engagement, retention, and productivity. Bite-sized learning can take place online or face-to-face. Whatever the delivery method, it is important to keep the content to 10 minutes or less. This provides enough time to deliver useful content, while maintaining the learner’s attention and avoiding information overload. Here are some ways to bring bite-sized learning to life:

E-Learning Modules

If you haven’t implemented micro-lessons via your e-learning platform, you are missing a great opportunity for ongoing training. These micro-lessons focus on key information and display the content organized in “chunks” using videos, infographics, and pictures. Chunking content in this way helps focus learners on what is most important. Increases in mobile technology capabilities allow learners to access these micro-lessons from their mobile devices. This significantly increases the learners’ accessibility and allows for on-demand learning that fits their schedule. Check out this article for more information on creating and implementing bite-sized e-learning modules. While e-learning is beneficial, it may not be cost-effective for smaller organizations. However, there are still many ways to engage in continuous learning.

Daily Briefing Cards

A useful tool that we provide for our clients is a deck of daily briefing cards. These cards can be used during morning meetings, pre-shifts, or any type of informal briefing. The cards can also be sent electronically, where a different card is provided as part of a newsletter or memo. Each card focuses on a different topic, typically related to the organization’s values, mission, or vision. Additional daily training topics include customer service, upselling, teamwork, and habits for optimal performance.

Learning Library

As Josh Bersin puts it, employees know that “the learning curve is the earning curve, and today’s employees are actively seeking self-learning experiences. They want to be able to access bite-sized information at their convenience that will help them be successful and advance in their roles. By creating a learning library through an online portal or file sharing program (i.e., Dropbox or Google Drive), companies can include internal and external content based on topics important to the employees. This content should be relevant and timely to ensure engagement. It is necessary to seek employee input to customize the information. Provide a way for employees to leave comments or provide feedback on the topics they are most interested in. Tailored content will resonate more with employees.

While bite-sized learning is a great way to create a continuous learning environment, it is important to note that there are still benefits to the longer-lasting training events. Training events are a great way to bring everyone together to educate and reinforce the company’s values and desired behaviors. A combination of training events and continuous learning tools will help create a learning environment within your organization. At SGEi, we create and deliver top-quality trainings and continuous learning tools to ensure optimal customer service.  Connect with us to learn more!

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