It wasn’t all that long ago that employee education meant attending the odd training course or, if you were on that track, doing an MBA.
Things have changed however. The rapid pace of technological advancement means that most workers today have to be ready to learn constantly or risk falling behind. So how are employers and employee education companies adapting to this situation and what trends are driving their approaches?
When Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) first came to prominence in the late 2000s, many expected that they’d eventually come to replace the university as we know it. While they have opened up the academic content of some of the world’s leading universities, they haven’t completely replaced physical teaching and training, especially in the workplace.
Instead, we can expect to see an increasing number of companies using the blended learning model when it comes to training their staff. Blended learning combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods.
In the workplace, it can be especially beneficial as it combines the lower costs and 24/7 access to learning materials of digital, with the personalised feedback of face-to-face training.
Social media savvy
One employee sending out an errant tweet can do major damage to a company’s reputation in a matter of minutes. While the company might survive, there’s a good chance the tweeter’s career won’t.
The best way to avoid that happening is to ensure that all everyone fully understands how to behave professionally on social media. Even young people who’ve grown up with social media and are now entering the workforce need to be taught how to properly use the tools available to them. And as new social tools continue to emerge, that’s unlikely to change.
While there’s undoubtedly a case for employees taking long courses, or even degree modules, to improve their skills, that’s only a part of employee education. Another major part entails imparting a single skill or concept.
And that’s where bite-sized content comes in.
Another benefit of bite-sized learning content is that it doesn’t make heavy demands on workers who are looking for something quick, but valuable while they’re on the go.
Mobile is where it’s at
Schools have been incorporating smartphones and tablets into their curricula for years now. It should hardly be surprising therefore that employee educators are starting to do the same.
According to industry blog eLearningIndustry, mobile learning has a number of benefits, including allowing people to engage with material on their own terms. It also accommodates different learning styles and allows people to utilise downtime for learning.
Learning everywhere, from teachers everywhere
In the not-so-distant past, if a company wanted to help its employees out with education and training it would only have been able to give them the choice of a few select providers. These days, the choices are much more varied. We’ve already mentioned MOOCs, which allow people to access content from some of the world’s most highly-rated universities.
But there are also countless webinars, online tools, and books that employees would never have been able to access available at the touch of a button.
Small wonder then that so many companies give their employees a large amount of freedom when it comes to choosing what they want to study, reimbursing them afterwards.
Change is constant
What all of this makes clear is that if you’re going to make it in a world where career sectors bloom and die in matter of years (rather than decades) you constantly need to develop yourself and your job skills. The great thing is it’s easier than ever to do so.