Successful organizations already recognize the value of professional and management development training. That doesn’t mean, however, that they are necessarily getting the best value out of their development dollar. To do that, businesses need to be aware of some cutting-edge trends. Below is a brief summary of a few of the leading ideas in this field.
Content Isn’t King
It doesn’t matter how wonderful the training content is, if employees don’t find the time to use it or they aren’t inspired to even try. For professional and management development training efforts to be successful, they need to be able to fit into already tight calendars. Training needs to draw the learner in, with manageable chunks of information that seem doable in small fragments of time. Usually this means a heavier reliance on remote learning. Using today’s cutting-edge technologies to make training available on mobile devices will help employees find the time for learning. Also, using a fixed-calendar of training delivery is giving way to on-demand applications that can be accessed anytime, from anywhere.
Just because training is offered online, doesn’t mean that the social aspects of learning need to go away. There are creative new ways of allowing learners to share their experiences with colleagues. For example, Workplace by Facebook is a tool that allows employees to connect and communicate, with all of the familiar features of Facebook. Companies can join Workplace for free, or pay a fee for an enhanced version. Either way, allowing employees to collaborate via a social platform will take current professional and management development efforts and kick them up a notch by enhancing engagement.
The popularity of online gaming has been growing steadily for the last several years, and there are no signs of it slowing. Taking this high level of interest, and using it to incentivize online learning is a smart business move. Gamification of training will not turn the content into the next Fortnite Battle Royale, but it will help motivate learners. Through a simple system of points, badges, and leaderboards, training can grab the attention of the most cynical employee.
Balance Technology Training with Soft Skills
Millennials are known for their tech savvy, but there continues to be a soft skills gap with these employees. There needs to be increased emphasis on such soft skills as communication, interpersonal relationships, negotiation, problem-solving, and decision-making. This type of training can be still be delivered online to appeal to the younger members of the workforce.