How to Enhance Your Leadership Training with eLearning

An organization’s success hinges on many factors. Good leaders drive performance by creating higher performing teams that generate better business results.

As a result, the leadership development training is a significant part of the overall training in most organizations. These trainings need to be designed to not only meet current business goals but also future goals. Well-designed leadership trainings increase employee engagement, enhance productivity, and improve retention levels. Most significantly, they help nurture talent as you ready the organization for its future goals. Without this investment, you will not have the strategic or competitive advantage.

None of us are born leaders, and the way to acquiring leadership skills is through multiple channels like:

  • On-the-job (experiential) learning.
  • Structured, formal learning.
  • Semi-structured (Self-Directed) learning.
  • Social or collaborative learning.
  • Mentoring
  • Coaching

In this article, I outline how you can use eLearning based training to enhance the impact of your leadership training.

I begin with a set of challenges associated with the design and delivery of leadership trainings and then show you how eLearning can come to your rescue.

Challenge 1: Too many things to do, too little time…

Given the business dynamics, leaders have a lot on their plate and there just isn’t enough time to invest on learning. But the bottom line is that in today’s fast-paced world, the need for continuous learning is essential to sustain success.

The answer lies in using techniques like eLearning to provide leadership trainings that enable them to effectively juggle between their jobs as well as find time to build or hone their leadership skills.

How eLearning would help: eLearning stands out as the preferred mode of learning on account of its strengths that mesh well with the way today’s learners want to learn. The key benefits eLearning offers for leadership training are:

  1. It provides anytime, anywhere access.
  2. It can be used to provide a personalized learning plan.
  3. It offers learners the flexibility to move across devices (smartphones or tablets to laptops or desktops).
  4. It is self-paced (provides control to the learner to drive the pace to learn).
  5. It is available on demand.
  6. It provides training and other learning resources at the time of need, within their workflow.

Additionally,

  1. Once built, it can be easily deployed to reach a wider audience.
  2. Provides a consistent messaging.
  3. Can be updated easily and redeployed quickly.
  4. Enables organizations to easily track the learning journey.

Furthermore, eLearning enables organizations to address the needs of a multi-generational workforce and factor for globalization challenges with ease.

Challenge 2: Once is not enough—I need more and often…

 Successful leaders make an ongoing investment on learning to stay ahead and lead by example. You cannot create leaders by investing on only discrete trainings during the year. Instead, there is a need to provide learning pathways that can connect with learners all through the year and equip them at many levels. They should also foster a spirit of continuous learning.

How eLearning would help: eLearning can be used to provide leadership trainings that will help employees as follows:

  1. Offer bite-sized, action-oriented formal training that features multiple nuggets connected through a learning path.
  2. Provide ongoing connects through nuggets for practice and mastery.
  3. Reinforce acquired learning and avoid the “Forgetting Curve” from setting in.
  4. Push challenges periodically to stimulate review or further learning.
  5. Provide ongoing updates to keep them in sync with the latest info.
  6. Recommend additional reading.

Challenge 3: One size does not fit all – How to address the multiple facets of leadership training

Leadership trainings aren’t for the senior talent alone. It needs to be offered at several junctures during their career and these training needs require different approaches at each level. Take a look at three key levels to see what is needed at each level.

  1. Early to mid-career leadership training: This is aligned to early talent spotting and grooming them for Team Leads and entry-level managerial positions. The focus at this level is primarily on increasing self-awareness (helping them move from individual contributors to leads/managers) as well as how to motivate and build high-performing teams.
  2. Mid-career leadership training: At this level, the focus shifts toward improving skills to lead larger teams (may include leading a business unit) and skilling them to understand organizational and business dynamics. At this level, they also need to be upskilled to craft business strategies. Here, training alone would not suffice and there must be provision for Social or Collaborative Learning, Coaching and Mentoring as well.
  3. Senior-level leadership training: Given the position (Sr. Executive or CXO position), the training needs change dramatically. They now include complete business planning, competition analysis and business strategy, as well as aspects like innovation that are necessary for an organization to create and sustain a differentiator. At this level, the training needs to have a mix of formal learning and Self-Directed Learning. It also needs to have a blend of Coaching and Mentoring.

How eLearning would help: Although eLearning cannot address all the leadership training needs listed above, it can be certainly used to form the core.

  1. You can design a learning and performance ecosystem to offer the leadership training. This will support a multi-modal approach and will go a long way in fostering a culture of self-directed and continuous learning.
  2. Techniques like Microlearning can be used to create bite-sized and action-oriented learning nuggets that are connected through a learning pathway for each level.
  3. You can leverage on Microlearning to offer highly personalized learning pathways (mapping to career pathways).
  4. You can use the diverse formats of Microlearning (including Video Based Learning) to offer trainings that would resonate with learners at each level. These diverse formats can address different learning styles and the varied preferences of the multi-generational workforce.
  5. They can have suitable interjections of other approaches like shadowing, collaborative learning, and coaching and mentoring to complete the spectrum.

Some of the eLearning strategies that can be adopted for leadership training across the three levels are:

  • Complex Branching Simulations – To stimulate critical thinking and decision making.
  • Case Studies – With scenarios for analysis and application.
  • Scenarios/Challenges that reflect the job dynamics – To help relate to the situations and gear up for problem solving in a safe environment.

Investing on effective leadership training will certainly ensure better alignment to your business mandate and this will help you sustain your business and strategic advantage.

As I have shown in this article, you can use eLearning to create a successful and effective leadership training.

I hope I have provided adequate pointers that you can use.

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How Can You Use Personalized eLearning To Drive Employee Performance & Achieve Higher ROI

What do learners need in order to achieve higher performance? The answer is that each individual has different learning needs, so Personalized eLearning is more relevant than ever. If you want to stay updated, this free webinar is for you! Asha Pandey of EI Design is one of the most recognizable eLearning thought leaders, and she will share her views on personalized learning experiences! The event is sponsored by eLearning Industry.

Personalization of training is one of the measures that can be used to provide a customized and a highly relevant employee learning experience.

Personalized learning for employee development enables L&D teams to align the learners to business goals and upskill or reskill them far more effectively as compared to generic training.

The strength of Personalized learning for employee development lies in its ability to offer learners highly relevant content.

• It offers customized learning experiences that encourage learners to “pull” the learning rather than being “pushed” into completing the mandated courses.
• It aligns better with learners’ interests and proficiencies thereby making it more relevant.
• It offers ownership and control of the learning journey to the learners. This leads to higher interest, better engagement, and urge to proactively pull learning resources.
• It can play a very significant role in creating a culture of continuous learning.

During this session, you will learn:

• What is Personalized eLearning?
• What are its benefits to the learners and how does it help the L&D teams?
• How can you leverage Personalized learning to drive employee performance?
• What techniques can help you deliver effective Personalized eLearning?
• Can Personalized eLearning help you achieve a better ROI on your training spend?

REQUIREMENTS

  • Hardware: Windows (1.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster/equivalent) or Mac (1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster) and 512 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • Operating system: Windows 10, 8.1 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit) or Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, and 10.12
  • Web browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 or later, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Google Chrome
  • Internet connection: Broadband (1 Mbps+) recommended
  • Software: Web browser plugin (will be prompted to install)

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Microlearning In Action – Tips, Techniques, And Examples On How To Use It To Drive Employee Performance

This free eBook, Microlearning In Action: Tips, Techniques, And Examples On How To Use It To Drive Employee Performance, provides insights on how you can leverage microlearning to enhance the impact of your corporate training.

Key Chapters

  1. Microlearning Fundamentals

    – What is Microlearning?
    – How “micro” can you go with Microlearning?
    – What is not Microlearning?
    – Microlearning sounds a lot like the just-in-time learning of the past; what are the differences?
    – What is the magic of Microlearning?
    – What are the benefits of Microlearning?
    – Does the wider adoption of Microlearning mean the demise of Macrolearning or traditional eLearning?

  2. Using Microlearning To Drive Employee Performance

    – How can Microlearning offset modern L&D challenges?
    – How can you put Microlearning into action and drive employee performance?
    – How can you determine if Microlearning will work?
    – How can you use Microlearning to train your multi-generational workforce?
    – When should you not use Microlearning?
    – Which corporate trainings can be addressed through Microlearning?

  3. Microlearning In Action

    – What are the Microlearning trends you should watch out for and adopt?
    – Examples on how you can use Microlearning to drive employee performance.

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Infographic – 10 eLearning Strategies to Create Employee Development Training

To retain and nurture talent and to remain competitive, organizations constantly invest in training. Today’s rapidly changing business dynamics demand quick skilling or upskilling.
While many organizations predominantly use the facilitated, face-to-face ILT sessions, a significant percentage of organizations use eLearning to offer employee development training. From a “good to have” mode, eLearning is fast becoming the preferred mode of employee development training and performance enhancement.
The last five years have seen dramatic shifts in the way eLearning strategies are transforming learning and impacting employee performance. eLearning is fast becoming a “must have” for training delivery.
Take a look at this Infographic to discover 10 eLearning strategies that will help you create high-impact employee development training.
Employee Development Training

Adopting the eLearning based approach makes the investment for employee development training an effective and scalable method.

 While the initial investment in the eLearning based approach is high, it provides a better ROI for employee development training on account of its ability to offer:
  • Flexibility (can be taken on the go).
  • Scalability.
  • Custom trainings for different levels and roles.
  • Personalized trainings.
  • Avenues that address the needs and expectations of today’s multi-generational workforce.
 We hope this Infographic gives you good insights on how you can leverage the featured 10 eLearning strategies to create employee development training.

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Key Employee Needs That You Must Incorporate in Your Learning Design

Modern learners are moving away from traditional and prescriptive learning. Specifically,

  1. They want the learning to be in sync with their lifestyles.
  2. The learning should be integrated seamlessly into their workday.
  3. They understand the value of “continuous learning” and expect the L&D teams to provide this environment in the workplace.
  4. The content should be searchable and must be packaged to address specific needs and trigger the desired action.
  5. They are not satisfied by the access to “learning pathways” but they need these to be highly personalized “career pathways.”
  6. The learners want learning designs and experiences to echo the way they access Google or Amazon or Netflix.
    • Essentially, they want the flexibility to get the right learning resources fast, easily and on-demand.
    • They want access to the learning content and resources on the go, on their devices, and they do not want to log on to an LMS every time they have a need.
    • Additionally, they want meaningful recommendations that keep them connected and encourage them to come back for more.

As a Learning Consultant, I see L&D teams feel challenged by this shift. As I see it, this is the new normal, and L&D teams must re-strategize to meet this mandate.

The crucial change is from a “push” based training that is mandated on an LMS to a flexible “pull” based training that aligns to learners’ lifestyle and workday.

The next gen platforms like the LXPs are leading the way in offering this learning experience wherein the learners can define their own learning path. There are many other measures that you can adopt that will help you successfully meet this mandate. Let us begin this exercise by looking at the different perspectives from key stakeholders (L&D, Business, as well as employees). From this analysis, we will identify the critical employee needs that you need to incorporate in your learning design, and then, I list the possible approaches that will enable you to create effective and high-impact training.

The L&D Team’s Perspective

From the L&D perspective, their mandate is driven by Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and typically includes:

  • Trainings for Upskilling.
  • Trainings for Reskilling.
  • Cross-functional Training.
  • Training to fix an identified gap.
  • Practice sessions to hone skills or for proficiency gain.

To support the primary training, they also need to provide for:

  • Just-in-time learning aids that are available in the learners’ workflow (so that they do not need to go to the LMS) and can be easily accessed at the time of their need.
  • Reinforcements to avoid the “Forgetting Curve” setting in.
  • Challenges that push learners and act as nudges to review, refresh, or practice.
  • Other supporting measures like Coaching and Mentoring.

Increasingly, they are adding measures that can foster a culture of continuous learning and these include:

  • Leveraging on platforms for Social or Collaborative learning.
  • Offering curated content to ensure learners explore and keep coming back for more.
  • Encouraging learners to upload content (User Generated Content).

The Business Unit’s Perspective

The Business Unit looks at the training investment as a key measure to ensure that their teams are well-equipped to meet the business goals.

They want to see the investment of time and money spent on training results in a demonstrable gain notably on:

  • Acquisition of new skills.
  • Enhanced skills (performance improvement).
  • Application of the acquired learning on the job.
  • Behavioral change.
  • Self-Directed Learning.

However, their crucial need is to see:

  • The alignment of employee skills to meet the business KPIs.
  • The ability to measure the impact of training on employee performance as well as on the business.

The Employees’ Perspective and Their Critical Needs

The employees want organizations to invest on:

  • Training on the go.
  • Training on demand.
  • Varied design formats to address the diverse expectations of today’s multi-generational workforce.
  • Providing flexibility to consume training on the device of their choice and be able to move seamlessly across devices to complete it.
  • Offering content that is sharp and focused and can be consumed in short bites.
  • Give options to “pull” content based on their needs, aspirations, or interests rather than mandated courses on an LMS.
  • Provide controls to decide the quantum of time that learners choose to invest on the training and what works best with the learners.

They want learning designs that are:

  • Accessible.
  • Available on demand.
  • Available within their workflow.
  • Motivating.
  • Engaging and immersive.
  • Relevant, relatable, and personalized.
  • Intrigue them and encourage them to explore and come back for more.
  • Challenging.
  • Rewarding.

 To meet the employee needs, you should adopt learning designs that:

  1. Boost the learner engagement.
  2. Ensure knowledge acquisition happens.
  3. Facilitate the application of the acquired learning on the job.
  4. Guarantee the desired performance gain and ROI occurs.
  5. Certify a positive ROI on training spend is established.

How Can You Accomplish This?

Here are my recommendations that will address the needs of all three stakeholders and also ensure that the critical employee needs are fully met. I have layered them into 3 steps, and you can build on from one to the next.

Step 1: Opt for training delivery approaches that help learners learn. More specifically, add approaches that enable them to apply this learning to show better performance or the desired behavioral change. These should include:

  1. Mobile Learning.
  2. Digitalization of ILT (to Blended or Fully Online).
  3. Performance Support Tools.
  4. Informal Learning.
  5. Social Learning.
  6. Self-Directed Learning.

Step 2: Leverage on Learning strategies that have a proven track record of delivering a high engagement quotient and can create a sticky learning experience. Do integrate some of the new or emerging ones too to meet your employee needs and create highly immersive learning designs.

Some of my recommendations are:

  1. Microlearning.
  2. Gamification.
  3. Video Based Learning (Videos and Interactive Videos).
  4. Mobile Apps for Learning.
  5. Personalization.
  6. Curation and User Generated Content.
  7. AR/VR and MR for Immersive Learning.

Step 3: Invest on tools and platforms to measure, enhance, and maximize the impact of their training. These could include:

  1. Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP.
  2. Learner Analytics.
  3. Big Data-Reporting and Analytics.
  4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Learning.

I hope this article provides useful insights on your employee’s needs and how you can incorporate them in your learning designs. My inputs will certainly help you create and deliver training that addresses the employee needs and will also help you show demonstrable gain that business units seek. The overall impact will be reflected in creating a more engaged team and you will see your ROI on training spend improve.

 

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Why Should You Adopt Blended Learning, And How Can You Design It To Ensure Success?

Blended learning provides several benefits to both organizations and learners. In this article, I show you how you can manage the transition from a facilitated mode (or ILT) to a blended learning mode in order to design and deliver successful blended learning solutions.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.