Learning must be a constant for the modern employee. Both new and existing members of the workforce need to be trained to meet the constantly shifting demands of the workplace.
But new employees face different learning needs from existing employees. The distinction, new hires need onboarding training to make them functional workers at their job in the first place. Existing employees need ongoing upskilling and reskilling to continually improve their performance.
Onboarding and ongoing training create different sets of challenges and must be addressed with different techniques. But in both cases, the most impactful strategy is personalization.
Personalization is the way training and learning should work in the 21st century. Artificial (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies can keep track of what everybody knows, and create the perfect learning plan for each person. But organizations are slow to adopt personalized learning. Whether it’s fear of change, resistance to innovation investment, or lack of drive, organizations often operate in legacy learning models.
Realizeit’s goal is to bring personalized learning to businesses and organizations, so they can better train their personnel. We believe that a personalized approach benefits both onboarding training and ongoing training.
Training Challenges — Onboarding and Ongoing
Although they are distinct processes, with unique nuances to each, onboarding and ongoing training do share several challenges.
The Time required for training can be enormous and can cut into valuable workplace time that could be used for other purposes.
Knowledge verification is necessary for making sure that workers have learned properly. You can only work with what you can measure, so it is crucial to verify the knowledge of workers before and after training.
Speed to Competency
Speed to competency is a major limiting factor in hiring new workers. A slow speed to competency means that hiring a new worker is a major investment. A fast speed to competency means you can get a new employee working quickly beginning to generate a return on talent.
Knowledge retention is a constant problem for educators. Students forget much of what they learn over the summer. Good training will ensure that employees will maximize the amount of training that they actually remember over time.
Low engagement is a problem everywhere. The United States has about a 36% level of employee engagement, which sounds awful until you find out that it is much higher than the global average of 20%.
Complexity and Scale
Complexity and scale mean that more workers or more training create more problems. Optimally, training systems should be able to adapt to your organization whether you have 20 employees or 2,000.
Why Traditional Training Models Fail to Meet These Challenges
Legacy, non-personalized training simply can’t keep up. This approach to employee training programs tends to have poor learning outcomes and waste company resources.
They rely on too much content, but not enough time. Without personalization, everyone has to see every training video and read every training manual. This fails to engage students. Imagine the comparison of reading the old-school TV guide versus modern-day algorithmic streaming services. Spotify and Pandora personalize various playlists which not only connect directly to your preferences but also inspire the discovery of new music.
This makes training redundant and a waste of time. Workers tend to lose interest and may even become resentful of the process. They prefer to work at their own pace and in the areas that are relevant to them.
Non-personalized training lacks measurement and verification fidelity. This makes it hard to tell if the training is even working.
Another consequence, arguably the most detrimental is poor learner agency and poor visibility to outcomes. Learners feel lost and can’t tell which way to head with their own learning.
Ultimately, this creates choppy, siloed learning content and experience. Instead of a holistic web of knowledge, learners receive disconnected pieces of information with little relevance to their work.
Core Learning Goals and Improvement Objectives
Don't settle for poor outcomes and results. Reorient your learning strategy with proven goals, such as:
- Engaging learning, to keep employees on track.
- Effective learning, to generate positive outcomes.
- Efficient learning, to maximize our use of time.
- Relevant learning, to hit precisely what employees need to know.
- Measurable learning, to know exactly what outcomes occur.
- Scalable learning, that will work as organizations grow.
Conversely, we do not want learning processes that are boring, ineffective, time-wasting, irrelevant, or static. We should design learning experiences that fit what workers want and will benefit from. Workers want learning that:
- Is contiguous. Everything you learn should holistically connect together.
- Matters to them. Irrelevant information automatically triggers distraction.
- Fits into work-life. Now more than ever, workers question the balance between work and the rest of their lives. They want to work at their own pace.
- Connects and contributes to performance. Ideally, they should learn exactly those details that pertain to the necessities of their job.
- Moves at the speed of business. Learning should operate within the rhythms of the workplace.
- Works at scale and complexity. It should make no difference how big or small the company or its department is.
What is Personalized Learning?
General consensus for most businesses recognizes the importance of employee training. A Brandon Hall Group survey found that 82% of companies are working to improve personalized learning. That is a significant opportunity.
Personalized learning can be defined as being able to deliver what a learner needs to know, minus what they already know — right when they need to know it. This makes learning maximally relevant and time-efficient.
Every learner is unique in an uncountable number of factors, but there are four factors that are most relevant to personalization:
- Learner profile, including job role and location.
- Learner context.
- Learner proficiency.
- Learner engagement.
Personalized learning strategies focus on knowledge first, not content. Assessing a learner’s knowledge pre, during, and post-through their journey lets a system build a path of content around the learner’s knowledge, instead of vice-versa. Usually, systems designed for personalization run on online learning programs that create flexible learning environments.
The goal is to develop granular and reusable knowledge, not monolithic courses. Each component can be added, subtracted, or rearranged to meet each learner’s needs for customized, project-based learning.
Most importantly, knowledge acquisition and retention need to be measured every step of the way. This lets the system iteratively tailor itself to the user for deeper learning.
Connected Learning: How Personalization Extends Onboarding Seamlessly Into Ongoing Training
Personalization takes the information gathered about a learner during onboarding and retains it to help with ongoing training, which facilitates personal learning plans. This forms the connection between new worker training, and existing worker upskilling and reskilling.
In the process, personalized learning helps organizations meet all the challenges mentioned above. While reading this, you may even think personalizing learning sounds like common sense, as if it’s obvious. You would be correct in that assessment, but the systems are typically what is lacking. When an organization commits to implementing a technology that can deliver true personalization, it makes learning engaging, effective, efficient, relevant, manageable, and scalable. When learners experience learning that is contiguous, matters to them, fits into their work-life balance, connects and contributes to performance, and moves at the speed of business, they become truly performant.
Conclusion: Personalized Learning with Realizeit’s Adaptive Intelligence Platform
Adaptive learning makes personalization at scale possible. It unlocks the full value of organizations and employees by creating a personalized learning environment.
Realizeit’s mission is to transform workforce training and learning through personalization to drive performance. If you would like to start a conversation, learn more about us, or hear about how other organizations use Realizeit's adaptive learning program, feel free to reach out and connect with a team who is eager to solve your challenges.
We hope to help you make personalized learning a key component of your organization’s training strategy!