- The best approach to learning in the workplace may be a mix of online and instructor-led coursework, according to recent information provided by Gallup. The focus on professional development, either as an enticement to recruit, a necessity to upskill or a benefit to retain employees has never been higher. For L&D professionals, the challenge may be getting the right mix of digital and face-to-face offerings to serve employee and business needs.
- With over $1,000 per employee per year average spent on training, according to Gallup, business is investing heavily on upskilling their staff. With the rapid growth of online learning platforms, the question of which method is the most effective captures the mind for most L&D professionals.
- According to Gallup, a mixture of both can net the best results. Instructor-led learning can offer more opportunities to answer questions, make connections and encourage further growth. Digital learning allows for on-demand information, scale delivery and natural opportunities to apply and reinforce data.
The industry has watched as classroom learning continues to be replaced by its digital counterparts in many areas, but data suggests there may be a need, and room, for both in the L&D toolkit. The availability of an expert who can respond to inquiries and guide learning gives the classroom experience a more hands-on feel. While many employees shy away from asking questions in a group experience, a great trainer will encourage participation to assure everyone is receiving the best possible learning experience.
Contextual learning may be more suited to the digital experience, as it focuses more on the 'why' of the job rather than the 'how,' which can go a long way for retention, experts previously told HR Dive. It provides information as needed, often just-in-time and generally on-demand. The ability for staffers to use the knowledge they learned on the job, apply it to answer questions they may have, utilize equipment at their disposal and move on to the next step can be an invaluable tool.
The strengths of each of these learning modalities lends easily to the belief that a mix of both can make training accessible and affordable for every business, no matter its size or L&D budget.