Think about today’s great societal challenges: health issues, poverty, employment, skills challenges, the environment, education, the ageing population, equality, disability issues, etc. Many employers recognise that these factors have a tremendous impact on staff’s performance in the workplace, yet commonly only provide education or support in topics with a direct link to the job-role of the individual and business strategy.
The focus on restricting training to role-specific responsibilities makes perfect sense; why would you offer staff training on topics not directly related to their role? Well, for many organisations, the answer lies in the value of broad staff experience and their ability to draw from a wide knowledge base.
More and more organisations are placing value on their staff's experience and offer a range of broad training initiatives as a clear statement of intent to invest in the individual, rather than just the role. To do this they are harnessing the power of a blended learning strategy to maximise the potential of their workforce’s will and self-determination.
How can online learning support a blended learning strategy?
Online learning has helped to shape the modern training landscape and has created new opportunities for organisations in terms of the breadth and depth of subject matters that can be covered. It vastly improves access to workplace learning, allowing those who cannot readily access a training room to undertake personal development as readily as those based in offices - and this is just one of many benefits.
Today, online learning content is created once and re-purposed thousands of times, providing much more affordable, accessible and diverse training opportunities, which are a world away from the boring e-Learning models that many have experienced in the past. It allows employers to provide training on a vast array of topics via ever-growing libraries of course content, soft skills training and bitesize learning modules.
On-demand learning also offers the employee a level of autonomy that will be vital for the creation of tomorrow’s more responsive and agile organisations and communities. Employers retain the ability to allocate or ‘push’ training to employees but there’s now a whole suite of content waiting to be explored and completed as the need, or will, arises. Offering this autonomy to staff has proven to be a far more efficient, beneficial and risk-friendly model of training and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that autonomy and mastery increase employee motivation in the workplace.
Then there are insights – online learning affords the opportunity to really get under the hood of your organisation and find out far more about the habits, talents and aspirations of employees. A priority if your organisation is to reduce costs, retain and attract new talent and create an agile workforce.
It’s never been easier to trial and test an online learning system but with so many on the market, it can be difficult and potentially time-consuming to research and choose the right one.
This is why we designed My Development Zone to help solve some of the problems associated with outdated online learning models and why the platform has become so successful in such a short time. With over 450 courses on the platform, learners now have a world of learning at their fingertips, where they can build their own lifelong learning pathways whilst also focusing on the development needs selected by employers. The tools found within the system such as content authoring also give power to organisations to be able to build their own online learning courses to reflect their own training and development needs. Please do take up our offer of a free 14-day trial and see how a journey of lifelong learning will add value to your organisation and your personal development.
Jayne Skyrme is e-Learning Development Manager at My Development Zone. To arrange a trial of the award-winning e-Learning platform, My Development Zone, or for support in putting together your firm’s online learning strategy contact Jayne on firstname.lastname@example.org.