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Joseph Smith


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Digital Learning for an Evolving Workplace


The health and success of a modern company depends on people thriving in their given roles. And, just as importantly, employees need to feel that they are doing meaningful work, and doing it well.

This means that in today's hyper-competitive business environment, it's imperative not only to identify and hire talented people, but also to help them refine their skills as they progress through their careers. Organizations placing a premium on the cultivation of a skilled and talented work staff will earn a significant competitive edge as a result of their efforts.

This raises an important question: What is the most effective way to help employees grow in today's workplace? 

One critically important tool in this regard is digital learning. This approach offers a variety of profound benefits, and is especially well-suited for today's evolving work spaces and changing workforces. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, millennial-aged staff now represent the largest share of the US workers, with more than one-in-three workers now belonging to that generation. As millennials have grown up around technology, they are natural candidates for digital learning initiatives.

Generation Z, another large and even younger cohort, will soon be joining millennials in offices across the globe. Yet while these groups may find digital learning technology almost second nature, older workers can also reap critical benefits through digital learning programs. However, ease of using technology plays a crucial role here. 

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at benefits of digital learning, and how the technology is ideally suited to serve the needs of today's evolving workplaces.

What does digital learning bring to the table?

Online learning can simply be defined as any approach to education or training that incorporates technology. It can be deployed in a variety of contexts in the workplace, and offers a wide array of benefits to organizations and learners. Typically, organizations deploy custom-branded online training software to distribute learning to a dispersed workforce. Some of the most relevant benefits include:

  • Greater accessibility: Digital training allows materials to be accessed on a 24/7 basis, freeing trainers and workforce from the need to meet at a centralized location. If a company needs to train employees, doing this digitally allows employees the flexibility to consume the material at their own pace. In fact, the same portal can be used to distribute product knowledge and partner training to associates and extended enterprises.
  • Higher productivity: Anyone who has sat through a live corporate training seminar is likely familiar with the long waits that occur during the process. Because some people learn faster than others, training that's done in person must necessarily move at a fairly deliberate pace. Digital learning allows workers to move at their own pace, then frees them up to pursue other tasks in time that would have otherwise been spent waiting.
  • A spirit of collaboration: Businesses know that great ideas often come from the intellectual friction that occurs during close collaboration. Digital learning fosters a spirit of collaboration through the use of tools such as high-definition video conferencing (which can be used to bring together workers from across the globe) and real time chat functions.
  • Deepened engagement: The success of modern workplace training often boils down to how skillfully training materials are presented. Conventional workplace seminars are often quite dry and static affairs. Today's digital learning platforms make the process more dynamic by incorporating gamification, personalization and other elements that make the user experience livelier and more relevant for trained workers. This kind of deepened engagement is critically important in terms of knowledge retention and comprehension- which is the underlying goal of almost all training. If employees don't fully understand it or won't remember it, training is a waste of time.
  • Increased ROI: The expenses associated with live training are considerable. Space must be reserved, transportation costs are incurred as workers move to one central location, books and other materials must be designed and published. By using a digital training tool such as a modern online training software, many of these costs can be radically lowered or eliminated entirely, impacting the ROI positively. Additionally, moving to a digital format is far friendlier to the environment, as electronic materials do not necessitate the use of paper.
  • The flexibility to grow with your changing needs: When using digital learning tools, organizations can build instructional archives and update digital materials as workplace needs evolve. If organizational training needs shift, digital learning is highly flexible, especially in comparison to live training. It helps keep employees happy and fulfilled. Today's workers understand that keeping their skill sets sharp and up to date is essential for success. Digital learning provides them with an accessible, easy to use method for accomplishing just that.
  • It's measurable: Digital learning tools offer the ability to gather key data and track and analyze the progress made by learners. This feedback is crucial in terms of discovering what works and what doesn't. It also allows organizations to intervene early if learners are slow to grasp the material being presented. Overall, the ability to measure progress and draw informed conclusions is essential to staging successful training programs.

Organizations that make digital learning a priority will reap these core benefits, ultimately allowing workers to do their jobs more effectively, while also refining their skills to match the changing needs and priorities of the business.

The digital learning generation

We'd be remiss in any discussion of digital learning if we failed to take note of the way employees, too, are changing. As noted above, today's younger workers have grown up using digital tools. They have an easy familiarity with digital learning, as most of them used online learning tools as students. They may find instruction or training without a digital component to be dull, impersonal and thoroughly un-engaging.

Younger employees also have a preference for continual learning. Digital learning platforms allow workers to pursue their training or skills development goals whenever it's most convenient. Live training, on the other hand, is often limited to a handful of pre-scheduled events each year. By allowing younger workers access to these programs, employers encourage them to grow their skills, help workers feel better about their efforts and build enduring loyalty.

The takeaway

Digital learning plays an instrumental role in meeting the evolving needs of the modern workplace. By incorporating digital tools into their approach, companies benefit, workers benefit, and the entire organization is better positioned to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Author Profile Picture
Joseph Smith

Content Manager

Read more from Joseph Smith

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