Whilst online learning is already ‘business as usual’ for many organizations, the coronavirus outbreak is now making it a necessity for all. L&D departments are tasked with deploying digital solutions that support the performance of an ever-growing virtual workforce. But, how do you make sure your approach is effective?
You might be thinking that online courses are the only answer. However, not every performance need must be met through training. A different, and complementary, approach is offering employees useful resources, support and guidance to help them at the point of need (‘just in time learning’). Courses plus resources are a powerful combination!
What do we mean by resources?
A resource is any guide or support that helps employees with their work. These can include:
- How-to guides
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Job aids
- Help files
- Checklists (and more!)
They can take many formats, including documents (PDF or Word), videos, audio files and podcasts, infographics, blogs, and web articles.
Think about how your trusty Sat-Nav guides you to your destination. It saves you the hassle of having to memorize the route and instead, leaves you free to concentrate on the driving. In the same way, a good resource can help employees complete a task efficiently, freeing up their time to do something else (and sometimes avoiding the need to learn entirely).
What are the business benefits?
A blend of resources and courses is frequently quicker and more cost-effective to produce than elearning courses alone. Additionally, you don’t always have to create original content. You can curate existing content to ensure learners receive the most relevant and up-to-date information to meet their needs.
Getting support from resources is efficient for employees and the business. Rather than having to take time out to train, learners simply get help at the point of need. Think about how frequently we all turn to YouTube or ‘Google’ to get instant help. Providing employees with the critical knowledge they need to perform a task in the exact moment that they are carrying it out, helps drive effective employee performance and productivity.
Resources can also be a valuable way to support and reinforce training (increasing its effectiveness) offering helpful reminders, guidance and checklists to help individuals apply what they’ve learned.
Finally, learners often feel overwhelmed by the amount of training expected of them – offering a blend of resources and courses is one way to reduce this burden.
Getting the blend right
So, when do you need training and when are resources the right answer? A good rule of thumb is that online courses are great when you need to help employees build knowledge and skills to carry out core work tasks to a required standard (or to meet compliance requirements). When learners need ‘knowledge in their head’, training is the right answer.
Resources, on the other hand, are useful for supporting staff to perform simple, non-routine tasks that don’t require a deep level of background knowledge and skill, and that, if they get wrong, won’t end in disaster.
Enter the Learning Experience Platform
So, you’ve developed a library of useful content (training and resources) but how do you ensure that it is accessible to your learners?
Modern Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) platforms are a great tool for helping learners not only complete their online training but also for allowing them to quickly search for and use resources in their workflow. Some LXPs, like Stream, feature deep-searching of content and even integrate this with other business tools such as Microsoft Teams. They can also personalize the learning experience for each user, using advanced analytics to recommend the best content based on their role, needs, and previous searches.
These platforms also allow you to analyze learner activity and feedback to check that courses and resources are hitting the mark.
Flex for success
Online learning will continue to play a large role in meeting the learning and development needs of an increasingly remote workforce. So, it is vital to get the blend right. Providing the right mix of resources and courses can offer an online experience that not only meets the needs of your learners but also helps to ensure that your business has enough flex for the future.
Get in touch with us at Learning Pool and let our Learning Design experts guide you in creating the perfect digital blend for your organization.
Since joining Learning Pool in 2018, Lisa has worked with a variety of clients including Pizza Hut, Merck, The FA and Swiss Re. Having spent her career developing and delivering training to a wide range of audiences, Lisa believes that ‘putting yourself in their shoes’ is the most effective way to engage learners in a memorable e-learning experience. She is passionate about delivering the solution that’s right for your organisation.
As a busy mum of two, Lisa spends her spare time ferrying kids from one activity to the next. When she does get a minute to herself, she enjoys nothing more than a good book. She does her best to keep fit and is very proud of running the half marathon last year. Oh, and she bakes a mean cake!