Ramesh Ramani on how watch party learning, extensible apps, and AI-driven training are reshaping training in the hybrid environment
We’ve been talking about remote and hybrid work for months now, and it’s safe to say that our world has adapted to this new type of work. Many employers have shifted their focus from providing well-designed offices to providing well-designed digital tools that help support employee goals and needs no matter their working location. So many existing systems weren’t designed with remote work in mind, especially LMS training software.
Just as systems that facilitate work are innovating to accommodate employees in varying locations, it’s time that companies prioritise innovative training strategies that do the same. Traditional training and onboarding processes relied heavily on an employee’s presence in the office and their ability to meet with their supervisors. Now, employees need tools that help them upskill and train from a variety of locations, with a range of accessible tools, and with courses designed to meet their specific needs.
Three innovative training strategies are addressing these training concerns and reshaping how we support our employees in a world of remote and hybrid work.
Collaborative learning and watch-party style training
While working from home enabled some unique benefits during the pandemic, many employees missed the in-person collaboration among team members. According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2021 report, 37% of employees feel less connected to their teammates compared to their lives before the pandemic. Employees still crave connection and interaction. Innovative training tools make that possible, and 17% of employees are more satisfied with their workplace culture when provided with suitable digital tools.
With a watch party feature, employees can work together and learn together in real-time
Collaborative learning promotes interaction. New technology makes it possible for participants to learn simultaneously in a watch-party style, taking in the content at the same time and communicating with each other along the way. With a watch party feature, employees can work together and learn together in real-time.
Digital tools that offer interaction, like a watch party feature, foster connection among employees and can increase productivity and engagement – ultimately adding to overall retention.
Extensible app integrations
This likely comes as no surprise: employees are overloaded with digital tools. Yes, we need digital tools to thrive – and employees appreciate when their companies provide the right assets – but too many tools are distracting. This concept has been termed ‘context switching’ and it happens when employees switch from task to task or try to multitask. It reduces productivity significantly, and a disproportionate number of digital tools can make the problem worse.
That’s why companies must optimise training tools that work with the apps they already use in their everyday workflow.
The next age of training strategy and initiatives will require that companies prioritise flexible platforms that offer extensible app integrations. For example, digital training platforms that can serve content within Slack, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, and other commonly used business systems. This will only further promote collaboration in training because employees can easily communicate about training tools across the platforms that they already use to conduct their work.
Such Apps make it possible for employees and companies to embrace the ‘desk-less’ workforce we have adjusted to post-pandemic. Training and learning won’t be limited to in-office sessions or hours seated at desks. Unless employees are operating in specific roles that rely on human interface (perhaps like operating machinery), they’ll be able to conduct training online.
AI makes training personal
AI is the third and final element of training strategy that we will watch transform the world of digital learning. Using artificial intelligence, training tools can be customised to each employee, leader, or customer’s needs and learning preferences. The initiative operates just like any other personalised recommendation – think recommended products on Amazon, or suggested films on Netflix – users will be served content based upon their preferences.
This will expand the impact of employee training because it can work to encompass the entire employee experience, not just training related to their unique role. Companies can offer health and wellness training, continued education, or specific training around certifications that an employee in a specific role may need. Artificial intelligence adds a layer of engagement to what may often be perceived as a time-consuming, impersonal part of a job. Suggestions will be influenced by the employee’s preferences, but also by their unique job requirements, their industry, and whatever courses their peers are taking.
The pandemic afforded us a new opportunity in training, pushing us to innovate better tools that have room for engagement and connection between employees and leaders. These three strategies meet the needs of the modern trainee by creating a flexible, engaging, and collaborative environment to support positive employee experiences. Companies that implement these training strategies will facilitate employee trust and create opportunities for growth among their team members and in the company as a whole. As employee retention and attracting new hires continues to pose a challenge for employers across the United States and beyond, supporting employees, educating them, and helping them be successful will be pivotal in running a successful business.
Ramesh Ramani, CEO and president, ExpertusONE