When Training and Work Become One

With businesses facing increasing skills shortages in a tight labor market, the need for effective training and development programs for workers has never been more critical. Traditional approaches such as paper-based training binders or computerized Learning Management Systems (LMS) have been the backbone of corporate training initiatives to date. However, as skills gaps widen and job requirements become more demanding, there is a growing recognition of the limitations of traditional classroom and online learning approaches.

Learning in the flow of work

Microlearning, an approach to delivering bite-sized learning content in short, focused bursts, has caught the attention of most training teams. Its brevity makes it highly accessible and convenient, fitting the modern worker’s shorter attention span. Secondly, microlearning enhances retention and comprehension by presenting information in digestible chunks, allowing learners to absorb and apply knowledge more effectively. A study from Training Magazine found that organizations using microlearning saw a 20% increase in employee productivity and a 23% increase in employee satisfaction.

With today’s mobile digital technologies, microlearning platforms or microlearning apps can deliver content on demand and personalized based on the process, worker activity or experience level. Josh Bersin, a Deloitte Partner and head of their corporate learning practice, wrote an interesting article where he coined the phrase “Learning in the flow of work.”  He sees the future of training as fusing microlearning apps into the digital platforms that workers use to get their jobs done. And he points to studies showing that 49% of workers want to consume training at the point of need.

When training and work become one

Reimaging training as a component of the work process not only represents a game-changer in the realm of workforce training and development, but also becomes a driver to bridge the growing skills gaps and boost worker productivity and quality. By weaving training  into daily work processes and procedures, organizations can see their training efforts improve in several key areas:

1. Contextual and Situational Relevance

Integrating training into work instruction ensures that learning experiences are directly relevant to worker’s day-to-day responsibilities and tasks. By embedding training content within the context of actual job functions, the workforce can immediately address knowledge and skills gaps at the point of need.

2. Efficient Use of Time and Resources

Digital access to training optimizes the use of time and resources by minimizing disruptions to workflow and productivity. Instant access to training and information when needed maximizes efficiency and minimizes downtime. Instead of allocating separate time slots for training sessions, employees can seamlessly transition between learning and work tasks.

3. Interactive and Engaging Learning Experiences

Digitalized access and embedded microlearning enable more interactive and engaging learning experiences in an on-demand style. Training can engage workers with multimedia and interactivity to deliver a hands-on experience that enhances retention and comprehension, and makes learning more enjoyable and memorable.

It starts by digitalizing the frontline

With increasing skilled labor scarcity and growing job complexity, it is clear that the tools of the frontline workforce need to be modernized. The good news is that today workers are more comfortable with digital apps on mobile devices, and the next generation of frontline workers expect these types of resources to be available to them on the job. Particularly in manufacturing and field services, where replacing paper with mobile devices to enable more efficient inspections, work instruction and maintenance, the opportunity to blend training into work processes with microlearning platforms is compelling. Empowering frontline workers to access training on demand drives productivity and quality. Training in the flow of work saves on time away from the job and makes critical information available at the point of need. Making training more accessible, engaging and relevant builds a work culture of continuous learning that benefits both the workforce and the business.