The emergence of the millennial generation workforce sees a move toward collaborative and agile training to react to employee’s that are now accustomed to instant access, on demand information presented in bite-sized morsels rather than long drawn out messages. This coupled with the fact that mobile and social technology is being recognised as changing the way organisations engage and retain their workforce. Many organisations are taking advantage of the use of smart phones and tablets by developing policies to encourage employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work and in turn engaging with them anytime, anywhere. HR and learning management teams find themselves with a workforce craving innovative and collaborative learning solutions to address the changing training needs of their organisations.
There are several digitally agile solutions available in the market – some cost effective, a few extravagant but all impactful in their own way. There isn’t one best digital solution available for training. An organisation would need to define the end user experience and consider what they would like to achieve from a training (i.e., learning, behaviour, skills etc.) and how much would they be willing to invest in these trainings? Some of the options that can be considered are
Live meeting is perhaps one of the earlier developed digital tools still being used in the training environment. The ability to facilitate informal yet interactive virtual trainings has been well established. Participants can interact with trainers and amongst themselves, to be engaged and listened to, and to influence the content and methods of learning. This form of training is cost effective, convenient and flexible, adding vigour to the delivery. With the advancements and adoption of 3D holographic technology in the learning and development arena, many organisations see the increased benefits of the emotional connection that the 3D technology provides through the transmission of life size holographic images of trainers via the web to venues globally and helps in the retention of knowledge. This combined with other digitally available tools such as social media can keep the users engaged and enhance the learning experience.
The use of social media is becoming more popular within organisation as a means of sharing knowledge and encouraging participation. The collaborative use of different social media platforms such as blogs ( adopted to create, store and share various training resources – videos, links to other relating sites, presentations) along with social network sites like Yammer or twitter helps engage and encourage participation and increase access to information. The use of social media can be considered as a cost effective and interactive means of delivering training where the learning is designed to initiate a conversation during an event. The insights acquired through these conversations, can lead HR to understand the pulse of the training and develop the next level of learning. To help encourage the use of social media in a secure and efficient manner, HR would need to develop policies that would help promote greater usage of social media.
Gamification offers a chance of using real life scenarios in a controlled environment and allows participants to contribute, share knowledge and complete learning programmes while being rewarded and recognised for their accomplishments. Studies have shown that people trained through virtual games retain more facts, attain high skill levels and retain information longer. By optimising the concepts of gaming through the use of mobile apps while engaging with other participants through social media helps creates an environment for greater participation and collaboration for the learning. Capgemini has benefited from its recognitiion as leaders in digital strategy consulting by partnering with Badgeville to capitalise on the use of gamification techniques to help companies revitalise and digitise their business operations.
Learning and Development directors are no longer making the choice of using digital means to communicate and train, rather a strategic decision as to which of the (now numerous) different digital/innovative tools to utilise in order to reap the benefits of communicating with their employees in a way they are now familiar with outside of the workplace. The future definitely lies in exploring a collaborative training solution of both formal and informal means. However, when training budgets fall victim to resolving an organisations solution to cost cutting issues, could we see digital tools becoming a sustainable solution for engaging and training employees in an organisation?