In the past, employee training was usually one-size-fits-all. Everyone went through the same material in the same format. And while consistency is good, it doesn’t address the needs of all learners.
Content that may work for some, may not work for others. For some, reading pages on a topic may be enough. For others, it may be extremely difficult to comprehend and retain the information. Those in the latter group aren’t necessarily poor learners or workers. They are still capable of learning, but they need the information delivered in a format that works for them.
That’s where personalized learning comes in. This method is growing in popularity among employee training programs.
Personalized learning presents different types of material in each course. It also gives learners more of a say in what they learn. Employees who want a promotion or a different job role can work towards them using this approach. Instead of giving them the same rigid set of classes that everyone else gets, each learner can work through a customized curriculum that meets their needs and helps them reach career goals.
Today’s job candidates want to apply to companies that allow them to build their skill set and work on career development. Training is a big part of that. Not only can you help your workforce become more adept at what they do, but you can also increase your hiring pool and improve employee retention with personalized learning.
Increase Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is essential no matter what kind of training you use. The more engaged your team is, the more they will get out of training. Start by explaining why training is important. Show employees how it can help them and the company.
Also, make sure that the training offered is relevant to the employee’s role and aspirations. Making everyone complete a course that’s only relevant to a quarter of your team isn’t helpful. For any required training, make sure it is relevant and necessary.
Add a social element to training. Social media is so popular because of the way it lets people engage with each other and the greater community. Many LMS platforms offer built-in social features, like class chat, forums, and virtual whiteboards. These are places trainees can gather online to share ideas, ask questions, or work on projects. It keeps them interested and interacting.
Nurture a Culture of Continuous Learning
Along with personalized learning, you should also nurture a culture of continuous learning. Businesses that prioritize this type of training tend to be more successful.
A 2018 Workplace Learning Report by LinkedIn Learning found that 94% of employees would remain at a company longer if it invested in career development. Approximately 40% of workers with poor training will leave the company during their first year.
Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce within the next three years. They have different expectations than older generations did. They place a higher value on learning and career development. A 2018-19 Pulse of Talent Ceridian report found that 86% of employees believe that it is important for their employers to supply learning opportunities.
Getting on the continuous learning bandwagon is a clear way to give an organization a leg up in the years to come. Personalized training is a big part of that process. Workers are more likely to keep enrolling in courses when they feel the content is valuable based on their job role and professional future.
Use Microlearning for Versatility
Microlearning works well with personalized employee training. It’s extremely versatile and less expensive to produce compared to other types of learning content.
A microlearning module can be created for just about any topic. Building a collection of them makes it possible to craft custom courses for different employees. Workers can even pick and choose topics that are relevant.
Trainers can also craft learning paths that are based on specific job roles or responsibilities. This creates a clear roadmap for workers who want to move into those positions. It customizes the experience without having to hand-craft content for each learner. Every microlearning module can be used again and again or combined with others to address different goals and needs.
Ask for Employee Feedback
Employee feedback is valuable for trainers. This gives you insight into how each part of your training program is performing. If a specific module or section consistently receives poor comments, then it may be time to remove or rework it.
On the other hand, if employees often point to other parts of the program as a positive, then this can help you learn more about how to approach future material.
Find out if employees really felt that the course or learning path was personalized for them and why they felt that way.
Include Content for All Learning Styles
Learning can’t be very personalized if it doesn’t meet the trainees’ learning needs. One of the first things you should do is make sure you have multiple formats available to address this issue.
Several common learning styles exist, including:
- Aural Learning – Includes learners who do better with audio content
- Visual Learning – Includes learners who do better with images and video
- Kinesthetic Learning – Includes learners who do better using other senses like taste, touch, and smell
- Reading Learning – Includes learners who do better with text
Working in content for each learning type may not be as difficult as it seems. For example, you can include voiceovers in your video content to address the needs of both aural and visual learners. You could also include captions or text highlights overlayed on those videos for reading learners.
Kinesthetic learners do better with hands-on training. If you are using a remote or digital format, consider adding virtual reality or augmented reality to your courses. They may also do better in a blended learning environment where they can touch tools, equipment, or materials during in-person classes.
Create Learning Paths for Career Goals
Each learning path you offer should have a purpose. Most people expect some basic level of training to get them onboarded. However, you should offer more than just that entry-level list of courses and requirements.
Build personalized learning paths for different jobs within your company. Perhaps someone wants to move into IT security, management, or something else. Give them a way to do it and they will be more likely to stay with you longer.
You should also request feedback and input from your subject matter experts, managers, and skilled workers. See if any career paths are missing from your curriculum.
Try an LMS That Offers Recommendations
Many LMS platforms offer build-in recommendations engines. These will suggest new classes to employees when they log into their learning portal. Some may also be set up to send update emails so employees can see what’s available.
Check your LMS specs to see if this is offered and how it works. Some are more advanced than others. For example, a more advanced system may look at each worker’s training history, job role, and profile details to determine which classes would be the most enticing and relevant to them. It gets them revisiting your course catalog and enrolling in new classes.
Give Employees Options in Training
Personalized training is all about having a choice. Workers should have a say in the direction they go with their training. Having options is a great way to drive that.
Having a generous course catalog is a good way to start. Some employees may want to specialize in a certain area within their role or work towards a different role. Give them the tools to do that by providing options once they complete anything that’s required.
If you don’t have access to a large eLearning content library, consider using a third-party marketplace. Some LMS platforms already support certain marketplaces, so make sure you check with the service you use.
If you are looking for ways to personalize employee training, start with a good LMS. Visit LMS.org to see which platforms support recommendations engines and other personalized training-friendly features.