The New Look of Learning
Employee education should be motivational, mobile and tailor-made for short attention spans
Employee training used to mean hours of mind-numbing reading from a binder full of documents written in jargon. Even well into the PC revolution, those training tomes have simply moved onto a computer screen, which is arguably even more sleep inducing. However, at forward-thinking companies, executives have recognized the benefits of exploiting interactive technology to increase the value of their chief asset: employees. Contemporary learning platforms, such as RealPage’s EasyLMS learning management system, are engineered to reflect the way today’s employees live, work and access technology.
The old, binder-based training enabled employees to work anywhere, which proved an advantage over computer-based training. Computers tied employees to their desks. A prominent issue for property management companies was the need to train on a shared computer with limited access.
Thankfully, improvements and updates allow employees to access training materials on their laptops, tablets and even cell phones, with the expectation that it will appear and perform correctly. This move filled a strategic gap, as today’s employees often choose to accomplish non-core duties, such as training, while away from their desks.
With modern changes to technology, information – and its accessibility – continues to grow exponentially. The urge to jump from one site or video to the next comes with the territory.
A recent study by Microsoft Corporation gives some evidence that attention spans have decreased in time from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since the year 2000. These findings do not necessarily indicate that our attention spans function differently. The results may simply indicate that we allocate our attention differently. Multitasking, a necessity in modern workplaces, dictates that we stay on our toes.
For these reasons and more, platforms, such as EasyLMS, break training down into bite-sized pieces of approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Employees can stop and start as needed, and restart right where they left off. This learning management system strategy makes refreshing one’s knowledge on a topic simple and allows employees to set a superior training schedule that is interspersed with hands-on, practical training.
Modularity is yet another advantage to these snippets of training. You can select exactly which modules pertain to your company and combine them with your own internal training to create a complete program.
The YouTube factor
Hundreds of cable channels, millions of YouTube videos and music on demand have made boring training seem more painful than ever. Binders of information with multiple choice questions and video trainers reading off a script just don’t cut it anymore.
Modern training techniques seek to be interactive and entertaining. The EasyLMS learning management system, for example, is lighthearted and enjoyable, replete with funny and memorable characters, trivia and anecdotes. This approach is both more effective at holding employees’ attention and increases retention of the information.
Making your learning mobile, modular and entertaining goes a long way towards making it relevant to today’s employees and increases its effectiveness. As we discussed in earlier articles in this series, motivational techniques and management oversight keep employees committed to increasing their skill sets over time. In combination, these developments in learning are paying huge dividends in the form of increasingly competent, knowledgeable employees.