Training is a necessity for everyone
No matter where it sits on your list of priorities, training is still critical for anyone who wants to be successful in their job role. It’s a key part of:
- Professional growth and development
- Retaining essential skills
- Gaining new knowledge
- Career advancement
Yet time and time again, we push training off to the side. There are other priorities—things that require immediate attention. It’s one of the greatest barriers to training for staff: There is so much happening every day that it becomes almost impossible to think of the future and how to get there.
This is why as we position towards the future, current training practices are not sufficient.
Training needs to evolve.
That’s not to say we are training incorrectly. But we need to take steps to maximize our traditional practices. Provide the same (or better) quality of training, but make it more accessible, more engaging, and more conscientious of constrictive schedules.
Enter: Blended learning
Blended learning isn’t anything groundbreaking or game-changing. It’s simply the idea that in order to maximize the value of face-to-face, hands-on, training, there is a need to incorporate:
- Online courses
- Skills assessments
- Live-event management
- Online video streaming
These training essentials enhance the effectiveness of face-to-face time while more accurately gauging staff competency. The pieces of blended learning will never replace live training; instead, blended learning helps facilitate live training in a manner conducive to your work environment.
It saves time
Time is a precious thing. Not many have it—but everyone wants it. The reason training takes a back seat so often is because time is a luxury organizations just don’t have.
Implementing a blended learning environment in your organization helps make training more time efficient. This is done by relegating certain annual requirements not needing face to face interaction to an online learning platform. In turn, this frees up time for more hands-on training while still obtaining hours for regulatory training.
Fewer drawn-out lectures = better absorption of knowledge
Let’s face it: Very few people want to spend their workdays corralled into a room where a trainer stands lecturing for several hours. Not to mention that after the lecture is over, the only proof that knowledge was retained is a sign-in sheet. No post-tests. No follow-up. Few additional resources. Integrating an online course with your face-to-face training can provide the same content—but in a more interactive and digestible way.
Most online courses have interactive questioning of the material throughout the training; culminating with some type of post-test to confirm the right knowledge was obtained. Then you can follow up in person to discuss and review. This enforces more knowledge on the learner while livening up the learning process.
Less need to “train the trainers”
Sometimes the hardest part of training is actually finding a trainer to teach. Frequently, organizations are forced to send a staff member to learn the material and then return back to the department and teach to the rest of the staff.
The issue is staff end up receiving secondhand training rather than directly from the original source–making each training a little bit different than the other. Online courses (the good ones) are created by a subject matter expert, someone who has expertise in the material being taught. This helps connect staff directly to the original source and ensures everyone is receiving the same training.
How will blended learning fit in your organization?
Analyze your current training needs and ask yourself, “What needs to be done in person? And what can be done on an individual’s time at their own pace?” When you determine what training fits where, you’ll have a better idea of where online training can fill in the gaps.
Everyone needs training. Blended learning is simply a more efficient way to provide it.