Billions of pounds are spent on professional training every year. With so much money going into training, you want to make sure that your learners have a good attitude towards it. Are they appreciating the learning and development opportunities being offered to them?
Employee attitudes to learning and development saw a shift in 2020. To make sure that your learning and development courses are appreciated by your colleagues, read on for 4 key concerns of learners in 2021.
1. Mobile Learning
The pandemic put an end to structured learning being the norm. People needed flexibility in order to adapt their working life and fit it into their home life.
And even after the pandemic “ends”, that doesn’t mean that people will suddenly be ready to change the routines they’ve settled into, and come back to the office to learn in a regimented way when they have seen that it is possible to do so from home.
Therefore, you need to make sure your learning and development programmes are flexible. A key part of this is allowing for mobile learning. Are your learning and development resources available online, for viewing on multiple devices?
Learners have seen how unnecessary it is to take time off from their projects, and spend time and money travelling to training events. This is because we all now know that these can easily be attended from home or on-the-go. Even when your training events are held in person, they should be recorded to reach a remote audience. Learners will realise if the flexibility offered to them in 2020, is suddenly taken away.
Mobile learning does not just represent you as innovative and considerate – it also works. Online learning has been shown to increase productivity and the learning process by 15%.
Gamification is the practice of including game elements into non-game contexts. This can include introducing competitive elements to learning. For instance, leaderboards are introduced, letting people compete to earn more Experience Points or other rewards through displaying knowledge in quizzes, polls, games etc. Before the pandemic, it was already making its way into some contexts. Educational computer games were included in school curriculums to help motivate younger learners. But it also had potential, mostly untapped until now, for corporate learning and development programmes.
The pandemic forced learning and development teams to make all learning material accessible online. This shift to online learning made teams realise the many opportunities for online gamification of learning and development.
The use of mobile applications and online quizzes and polls became more of a norm, and somewhat of a necessity as the draining nature of 2020 meant that gamification was a valuable way of spiking engagement.
Learners do not want L&D programmes to return to a monotonous nature once things go “back to normal”. They crave interaction in a fun and competitive way. They will find it easier to adjust to formal training if you put in the effort to make it enjoyable. If you’re worried about learners being unable to retain new information after a year away from the office, be assured that gamification has been proven to make people take in information faster.
3. Increased Collaboration Opportunities
However, learners don’t have to compete against each other to be engaged in post-pandemic training initiatives. They can also collaborate. After a year of people learning and working on their own, or together but at a distance, employees and other learners have been feeling neglected or lost. They are welcoming opportunities to work in collaboration.
We recommend incorporating tasks in your learning and development programmes that require some teamwork. If your programmes are still taking place online, make it clear that you understand the difficulties in collaborating with someone remotely and that it is all in the spirit of social collaboration.
To mitigate the difficulties associated with remote collaboration, make sure that your events are not difficult for everyone to view. Make sure that you can explain tasks well to your remote learners via a high quality video - we all know too well the fatiguing difficulty of trying to understand instructions given over a glitching Zoom call and then getting group work done in a laggy breakout room.
2020 brought to the forefront issues such as Black Lives Matter. These issues had been present all along but resulted in more calls for institutions to take actions. It is integral that, as well as in the overall culture of your organisation, learning and development programmes drive diversity and inclusion. Training people to follow your organisation’s standards must include giving them a full awareness of these issues.
This is different to a base awareness because, as opposed to your learners just knowing that diversity is important, they must also proactively strive for inclusion. This requires a lot of planning, as people from all ranks in your organisation must be trained in this. They should be keen to unlearn their unconscious biases, follow values of inclusion, and not discriminate. Leaders should be able to state how their hiring practices follow these values. Employees lower down in the pipeline who are being prepared for succession planning should also be prepared to take the organisation in a more tolerant direction.
Overall, the pandemic, and 2020’s social movements, have led to many changes in how organisational culture is approached and structured. This has inevitably meant that core changes to how employees develop through an organisation, have to be made to meet employee standards.
Do you organise learning and development events for your organisation? If so, do you take the above factors into account?
To innovate your learning and development events, and show them to a wider audience to demonstrate that you are following learning and development trends, consider getting them livestreamed and/or recorded by CPDonline.