Surveys reveal that 93% of organizations want to integrate learning and work. 95% want to respond faster to the speed of business. Still a vast majority of organizations invest in formal trainings when the need of the hour is learning in the workflow.
In recent years, there is a noticed change in the way adult learners desire to learn. Today adult learners are looking for quick-fix solutions. Google and YouTube is the primary go-to-resource for just about anything. Employees no longer want to sit through a half to a full-day classroom training nor have the time to subscribe to a 1-2 hours e-learning course to upskill themselves.
On the business front, as well, organizations are skeptical to pull employees out of their jobs for training unless they see a direct ROI, which is easier said than done.
There are two issues to consider here:
- Instant learning solutions that address immediate needs to improve job performance.
- Reducing the need for longer costlier training and increasing speed to performance
The solution is developing performance-oriented solutions to deliver tacit knowledge. Here are some key points to consider when developing performance-oriented solutions:
Short task-oriented learning: Think about why people visit ‘YouTube’ so frequently to answer their “How to’s”. It’s because it provides just the information needed. It’s short, focussed and solves one problem. That’s just how performance-oriented solutions should be designed. Focused, meaningful micro units of learning not more than 10 minutes in duration that address one performance objective is more appealing than a 1-hour online course. Learners will keep coming back for more when they know your solution can solve a job-specific problem or answer a specific query. Following this approach also reduces the need for developing as many performance support tools because learners can always revisit the same content. Thus, learning serves as performance support as well.
Accessibility: This probably is the most critical feature of any solution. Unless your learning is easily accessible, it will not be consumed. There are two factors to consider here:
- Accessibility across devices: Responsive learning solves this problem by making it possible to access content anywhere, anytime across devices. Multiple learning modalities can be used to develop micro-learning units including:
- Info-graphics (Static/Interactive)
- Instructor-graphics (Static/Interactive)
- Flip books
- Short e-learning
- Pocket book
Accessibility within the platform: Only if accessing learning is as easy as searching for something on Google, there would be more takers for it. Ideally, learning should be accessible in no more than 2-3 clicks.
Learning incentives: While learning can be great, incentivising learners through games can serve as an extrinsic motivational factor. Axonify does this beautifully in their microlearning platform where knowledge is tested while playing games. But the best part is that, questions can adapt to the performance of the learners. Leader boards and redeemable points to bid for goodies makes learning fun. Another great idea is earning bonus points using scratch cards on completing a micro-learning unit.
Repetition of content: You may know about the positive effect of content repetition, but this does not mean that the same content needs to be presented again in another format. Instead alternative modalities for application can be used such as:
Performance support for critical information: Job aids can be designed for critical content only. A step further must be taken to provide learners opportunities to practice using the job aids. This will habituate learners to the idea of using the job aid while working as well.
Post-learning activities/assignments: Application-oriented learning requires adequate opportunities for practice to enable job transfer. This is where post-learning activities/assignments can help. Pushing out regular activities and incentivising learners to submit the responses or solution online can eliminate the need for moderation. Use some form of discussions to keep the conversation active.
Responsive performance-oriented solutions is the answer to organization’s unrelenting drive for better performance and increased productivity with in the shortest duration. These solutions are effective when the basics are in place which implies that one may still need to design some formal learning interventions to establish the foundation. However, such foundational interventions should be offered as an option to the audience.