The traditional training model that includes a one-size-fits-all approach is slowly becoming obsolete as it proves to be ineffective. Standardized training assumes that all trainees learn the same way and that there is a format that the average learner can follow. However, we know today that the notion of the “average” learner was pushed so that training programs could be standardized and fast-tracked.
For today’s workforce to really learn, organizations need to acknowledge that true learning happens organically when people are inspired to consume new information. But how does leadership become practical when it comes to training and embrace a more personalized approach? Here’s how:
Create an environment for personalized learning
Building a culture that promotes autonomy also drives continuous learning. While personalized training programs take time to build and implement, communicating plans for it to employees already sets a foundation for learning that empowers individualized learning experiences.
Understand the learner’s individual goals and expectations
Leadership needs to be proactive about understanding the learner’s personal strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Expectations should not be one-sided; not only should the trainer explain what they expect the trainee to accomplish, but they should be just as interested in what the trainee expects to gain from training. By recognizing and respecting learner’s personal and professional motivators, trainers gain insight into what drives their learning.
Support employees with the resources they need to learn
An organization that embraces personalized learning needs to provide employees with learning resources that promote self-direction. These resources may include online knowledge centers that are accessible at any time or training videos. Making training manuals available to employees allows them to learn at their own pace and revisit the information when necessary.
A culture of personalized learning is fostered the more leadership talks about it, promotes it, and implements it. When employees are reminded that management supports their goals, the intent to develop their careers strengthens. Communicating with employees regularly also helps identify knowledge gaps or opportunities to advance training.
Touching base with employees regularly also allows people to express whether their career expectations are being met. Taking time to listen to trainee feedback also gives management valuable insight into developing more effective personalized training programs.
Emphasize the importance of learning
To become motivated to learn, employees need to align their personal goals with the company’s mission. They need to identify how their learning and application of skills play a role in their personal success and the organization. Remember, just as there is no such thing as an average learner, different motivations also drive people. The challenge is relating those individual goals with the company to gain the entire perspective for their career path.
Not only do outdated, standardized training practices lack flexibility, but they also don’t inspire engagement. In the age of digital transformation and automation, employees no longer need to be pushed into long hours of training programs that result in learner fatigue and fail to consider their unique training needs.