Managing your company’s training programs is a challenging role as it involves juggling many considerations that sometimes oppose each other. The result is not everything – you have to think about expenses, the potential return on training, keeping up with the changes in technology, and many other factors. Well, it is time to make your job a bit simpler – in this article, we have gathered the most important trends to keep an eye on in 2019 so that you can keep things manageable.
1. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality or VR is a technology that uses computer-generated 3D imagery to put the user into a simulated environment, ideally creating an illusion that he/she is fully there. While for many people it still remains something out of a sci-fi movie, VR has already found practical applications.
Gaming and entertainment industries are among the earliest and broadest adopters, but many companies already use VR as a supplementary training tool. It is not hard to understand why – it allows for a much higher degree of engagement and immersion than is possible in a traditional classroom, and increases retention (according to some studies, buy up to 75-90 percent).
In addition to that, VR technology is getting more affordable every year, with the price of headsets steadily decreasing – in other words, it may already be time to start considering applying it in your business.
The use of mobile apps in corporate training provides flexibility and customization that are hardly possible with any other method. With its help, training sessions can be organized anywhere and at any time – something that can hardly be overestimated in training for corporates. It is especially useful in conjunction with microlearning – that is, dividing the material into small, bite-sized chunks that one can process in a short amount of time. All this defines the main advantages of mobile learning:
- It goes especially well with Millennials, who are used to applying their mobile devices in all spheres of their lives;
- It is perfect for providing education on the move (a right solution for employees who have to travel a lot);
- It provides for higher completion rates (small assignments are more likely to be completed than more extensive programs).
Gamification is getting more and more traction in education across the board, and corporate training is not an exception. After all, the most important thing about a successful corporate training program is effective onboarding process – and the best way to motivate the employees to be actively engaged in the learning process is to make it exciting.
Gamification is the practice of making mundane activities (like learning) more impressive and attractive by introducing the elements of play into them. This approach has multiple advantages:
- It encourages employees to excel at what they do through rewards;
- It improves information retention by making information more memorable;
- It increases collaboration and social interactions between employees.
It doesn’t matter what you intend to use as the basis of your corporate training program, but one thing is certain – you should make constant feedback one of its integral elements. This not just increases the employee engagement level but also contributes to the creation of a corporate culture that makes its employees feel and know that they are valued, that their opinions matter, that they are not just employees but also partners in what they do.
Feedback is the basis of continued learning that exceeds the boundaries of a single course and goes on throughout one’s stay with a company.
5. Blended Learning
The term “blended learning” usually defines the combination of MOOCs (massive open online courses), gamification approaches, instructor-led classroom instruction, and in-person training to create a program that concentrates on teaching practical and practicable skills employees can immediately start using in their workaday routines. All this not only makes learning more engaging and interesting but significantly increases retention as well – especially when you take into account that statistics indicate that in traditional corporate training the employees quickly lose about 90 percent of skills they’ve learned once they return to work.
Of course, incorporating all these trends in your training program isn’t going to be an easy task. However, the potential return on investment is huge – after all, employee professionalism is one of the most important success factors in business.