Benjamin Franklin penned The Way to Wealth in 1758. In the essay, he wrote that “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” That rings true even now, over 260 years after the words were originally put on paper.
There weren’t computers or learning management systems back in Ben Franklin’s time, but the principle still applies. Knowledge can lead to significant financial benefits in the business world. Employees who understand their product or service and know their customer base will be better equipped to increase profits than those who do not.
The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) reviewed key measures related to the financial performance of 575 U.S.-based, publicly traded companies from 1996 through 1998. Researchers found that firms that provided a comprehensive training program brought in 218% higher income per employee compared to those who offered no formal training.
Training, in general, is essential. However, it’s also important to make sure you supply the right type of training. Personalized learning is a powerful tool that can further increase profitability and employee satisfaction.
What Is Personalized Learning?
In the past, training was often packaged as a one-size-fits-all experience. After years of study, we know that people often require different methods to understand what’s presented in a training environment.
Personalized learning is designed to customize the approach to meet the needs of the individual learner. It plays to their strengths and presents ways to overcome their weaknesses. Each student is provided with a unique path to follow based on their abilities and needs. Some may learn faster, while others may need more time. Personalized learning ensures that each learner works at a pace that is ideal for them.
The Benefits of Personalized Learning
Think about a subject that you had trouble with when you were a child in elementary school. Do you think that you could have performed better if you had been given more time to understand the material? Would you have improved if the teacher used a different demonstration or method to explain the subject?
Personalized training helps overcome these educational obstacles by giving the learner what they need to be successful. This customized approach can provide many benefits in a business setting. Personalized training can:
- Increase Learner Engagement – Personalized learning is far more active and engaging. Rather than passively sitting in a class listening to a lecture, learners can participate in discussions, activities, and simulations. Trainers set goals that help trainees stay focused while encouraging them to explore the material.
- Improve How Trainers Spend Time – Trainer time is valuable, especially when working with a large group. Instead of being the focus of the class, the trainer can encourage learners to work independently. This frees up the trainer’s time so that they can serve as a guide that helps individual learners on their educational journey. This gives the trainer more flexibility and allows them to focus on the trainees who need their attention the most.
- Build Motivation and Confidence – Success is a powerful motivator. Even a small achievement can make a learner feel more confident and ready for the next challenge. Personalized learning creates more opportunities for individual successes. This will have an overall positive impact on an employee’s training experience.
- Encourage Ongoing Learning – Many companies nurture a desire for continuous learning in the workplace. Personalized training is one way to do that. Creating customized educational paths will give employees more ways to grow in their roles or obtain the jobs they really want.
- Increase Employee Job Satisfaction – Employee job satisfaction will heavily influence retention. It is expensive to find and onboard new hires. Training is one way to help keep workers from looking for opportunities elsewhere. Approximately 76% of employees want to be able to grow in their careers. And 87% of millennials stated that professional development is important to them when looking for a job.
- Flexible Training Schedules – Personalized learning often incorporates a blended experience. That includes online and mobile tools, like those offered by most modern LMSs. This creates more flexibility by allowing employees to train anywhere, even when they are away from the office.
How Can I Use Personalized Learning in My Training Program?
Personalized learning approaches the educational process in a different way than older methods typically use. Changes may need to be made depending on what your current training program uses. The following list will help you begin the transition to a personalized learning experience.
- Train Learner Assessment Skills – This one is for the trainers. They must be capable of assessing learner ability and skill levels. This is necessary to determine the best course of action for each trainee. Trainers must be on board and prepared if this process is going to work, so this is a vital first step. You may need to seek out a third-party training course that teaches these skills if you do not have the resources available in-house.
- Implement a Solid LMS Platform – Your LMS will serve as the central hub for all training activity. Choose a solid platform that will get the job done and provide the tools you need. The LMS you use should allow you to create, distribute, and edit content as well as monitor progress and compile actionable data.
- Diversify Your Training Material – Textbooks and worksheets are great, but they aren’t the only learning tool available. Diversify your material to give learners more ways to understand the information. Digital solutions include virtual reality, simulations, webinars, videos, forums, and audio files.
- Set Clear Milestones to Reach Goals – Make sure you have created clear milestones that allow learners to work toward a larger goal. This could be a certification, a new job role, or simply becoming the best in their current role. This should be easily accessible and clearly defined. Options should be included to allow the learner to take control of their training.
- Continue to Assess Your Training Program – Even if you believe that you have the best personalized learning program possible, you should continue to assess your training methods. This will enable you to react quickly and find ways to bridge knowledge gaps or fortify weak areas in the material.
Start Building a Brighter Future for Your Company and Employees
Knowledge is good for you, and it’s good for your employees. A quality training program increases job satisfaction, empowers workers, and allows your organization to produce a better service or product. Search for an LMS that offers personalized learning now and start building a brighter future for everyone in your company.