As most seasoned corporate learning and development (L&D) professionals can attest, increases in corporate L&D budgets were once a very hard-fought proposition. However, the tide has been changing quite significantly over the last few years. One reason for this is that more CEOs are making L&D a priority. According to research by PwC, 79% of CEOs surveyed feel that an under-skilled workforce is threatening their business growth.
This is great for L&D professionals, as budgets and buy-in for upskilling and reskilling are at all-time highs. However, this increase in demand for L&D programs has resulted in a new kind of problem: content overload. According to LinkedIn’s most recent workplace learning report, as much as 47% of an L&D’s time is spent building and sourcing learning program and compliance training content. This means less time for things like identifying skills gaps, identifying learning needs and other important aspects of the L&D function.
The good news is there are some simple solutions to this problem. For L&D professionals looking to spend less time building and sourcing content, and more time implementing and championing programming, here are three strategies that are sure to please.
Microlearning is a must
In its simplest form, microlearning is a delivery format where users receive short-form content, usually via text message or other short-form mediums, over an extended period. Research suggests this form of learning is even preferred. The American Institute of Physics found that 90% of respondents welcomed a microlearning approach to learning, compared to 75% for email, 72% for video clips, and 65% for images.
When comparing microlearning to traditional learning, the research also found that 82% of users rated microlearning as holistic and user-friendly, compared to less than 25% for traditional learning. That’s why major employers like DuPont utilize text-based microlearning as a supplement to their online learning initiatives. DuPont Sustainable Solutions has designed text-based courses for onboarding employees, compliance training, sales skills improvement, health and wellness programs and refresher trainings.
When compared to other e-learning methodologies, microlearning takes less time and money to produce. It takes anywhere from 90 to 204 hours, and $10,000 on average, to produce an hour of e-learning content. In comparison, text-based microlearning course creation takes less than a week, and can be done with zero production costs.
Text-based microlearning is also the most accessible way to deliver programming. Not every employee has access to a computer and high-speed Internet, but almost all have a way to receive text messages. For employees out in the field, text-based microlearning meets them where they are, when they have time to learn.
Online learning provides flexibility
Forget about expensive prerecorded, over-produced videos. Companies like Virtually and awarenow ma
Most online training systems require participants to go through hours of pre-recorded videos. Live systems remove this production headache and enable companies to host any type of live online program including classes, bootcamps, group coaching, etc. Live training platforms include everything needed for compliance training, skill-specific training, mentoring and coaching, and more, and are often a great supplement to microlearning programs.
Online, live L&D is super flexible too, unlike videos and print programs. Programs that operate in cohorts, where a group of learners goes through a curriculum together, makes these systems great for decentralized workforces as well. For organizations that want a program that operates similar to an online school, platforms like Virtually and awarenow are perfect.
Putting people first is priority #1
No matter how big your budget is, or how much time you can dedicate to content and tools, it is important to remember that L&D is all about people. As trainers, educators, and coaches, the primary responsibility for L&D professionals is the development of people. This is sometimes overlooked, especially as employment has shifted from lifetime employment to a model where workers are retained only as long as they add value to the enterprise.
In fact, a lack of L&D is one of the key reasons people cite for leaving a company. Either they became obsolete and were replaced, or they felt they were stuck in the same role without the opportunity to advance. That’s why L&D professionals must always remember that human capital requires ongoing investments to retain its value. When knowledge becomes outdated or forgotten, the value of human capital declines.
At the end of the day, tools and technologies can’t replace the impact of listening to employees and meeting them where they are — and that’s what learning leaders do best.