When I was a kid, 20 years ago, I had a tricycle and I was cool. Ten years ago, all the cool kids had sneakers with rollers in the heels. Today, tricycles are kind of vintage, while roler-sneakers are so last century... Cool kids now have hoverboards. How cool is that?
If ten years' times can do this to the rolling-devices-for-feet industry, I wonder what another decade has in store for it. Maybe, in 2026, hoverboards will stop touching the ground and actually be floating over it.
If that will be the case, imagine what ten years' time can do to your industry! How can you cope with everything? How could your company still manage to make more with less? How could your team deal with all the unavoidable changes?
Preparing for the future
You can't avoid the future, and a lot of things will be out of your control. But you can prepare for it, by being on top of all the things you can control.
And you can have plenty of control, especially if you trust your team and equip it with the best gear to overcome all challenges and perform better than the competition.
From recruiting and on-board training, to performance support and master-level outcomes, all your team members must rely on learning and development programs in order to succeed. They must rely on modern and future-oriented training programs, I might add.
More often than not, training programs only mean instructor-led, face-to-face, in-a-physical-setting courses. While I don't try to underestimate the power of such courses, workplace learning means so much more than that. E-learning courses, YouTube tutorials and other online and offline resources, as well as social interaction and collaboration with peers and managers — are all part of a holistic workplace learning experience.
Rise above the competition, which still relies heavily on course-only training, and listen to what your employees really need.
Modern employees are better than ever at identifying their professional weaknesses, and they are hungry for all the relevant information that will help them solve problems and move forward in their careers. They don't expect someone to push knowledge into their brains in a place and at a time only convenient for the teacher. They need someone — or something — to point them in the right direction when they most need it, and no matter where they are.
In other words, the modern employee demands a personalized learning experience at work.
Why personalized learning should be part of future training strategies
Personalized learning in the workplace means that a training program must connect the right employees, with the right learning resources, at the right time:
That sweet spot of personalized learning can be big or small, but the bigger it is, the better.
A personalized learning approach promises two things: engagement and productivity. Actually, it promises just the first one; once you have high engagement rates, it'll inevitable lead to high performance.
And now, the burning question:
How to equip your team for the future with personalized learning?
Well, there are plenty of ways that can contribute to a successful implementation of a personalized learning approach. You don't have to adopt them all, but you will need to test which ones — because I guarantee there will be more than one — work best for you and your organization. After all, personalization means that one size does not fit all.
Remember, personalizing the learning experience means trusting your employees and giving them more control.
One solution for this is to give use a modern LMS. A learning management system can host all training courses in the cloud, along with a centralized repository with all learning resources. Its responsive design will ensure everything renders well on all screen resolutions, while the reporting tools will provide powerful insights into each learner's progress, thus helping you offer the most constructive feedback.
An LMS usually comes with some collaboration tools as well — which have their role in geographical-spread teams — but the real face-to-face interaction in the workplace is the glue that holds the team together. People, with all their diverse knowledge and quirkiness are the secret sauce in your perfect personalized learning recipe.
A cloud-based LMS can help you implement a successful customized training program, but you mustn't rely just on technology for this. Only your team has the power to give a human touch to workplace learning.
Equipping your team with technology and collaboration tools will help your organization not only reach, but create a big sweet spot of engagement and high performance through personalized learning. And if that means attaching a toy rocket on a guy on a tricycle because that's his way of growing into his future self, so be it.
Over to you: what do you think about personalized learning and the workplace and how it can affect the future? Share your thoughts in the comments section.