Why Traditional Workplace Training Falls Short

Written by Bloomfire Admin

How can you get the best results from your corporate learning initiatives? Start by asking how human beings learn best. How you choose to deliver knowledge to an employee makes a difference. Most enterprises simply provide a variety of traditional offerings and give employees credit for completing courses. What we think of as traditional workplace learning comes primarily from formal training via eLearning or in-person training courses, with the scale tipping steadily more each year to eLearning for its convenience, cost effectiveness, and measurability.

However, it doesn’t take a research study to recognize that formal, instructor-led courses sometimes fall short in keeping employees’ attention. Formal training often fails to deliver the relevant knowledge that employees need to get work done. In fact, Gallup reports that 51 percent of employees are not actively engaged, and almost 18 percent are actively disengaged. Disengaged employees are a drag on an organization’s bottom line.

Parents and educators know that children learn best when they are interested and when they can apply their learning immediately in relevant and meaningful ways. Young children are given many opportunities each day to engage in stimulating, hands-on learning; to work in groups, ask questions, and discuss their lessons creatively and energetically; to share what they know with classmates, family, and friends. Regrettably, year by year, as a child moves through the education system and approaches adulthood, learning tends to become more and more formalized, abstract, and reading- or lecture-driven. This is unfortunate because adults still need to be engaged and interested in their learning, just like when they were younger.

Though there are differences between teaching children and adults, several core principles remain constant for learners of all ages:

  • Learning is fundamentally social
  • Knowledge is integrated within communities
  • Learning is active
  • The depth of our learning depends on the depth of our engagement

But how do we move workplace learning from predominantly passive training methods to more active and engaging learning models? As Benjamin Franklin said:

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

To learn more, check out our white paper, “Social Learning and the Future of Work.” It explores how social learning can empower and engage your employees while allowing them to learn in a way they prefer.

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Companies that grasp what the digital workplace is really all about are willing to change the ways people and applications connect across their organizations. By fostering a digitally driven culture of collaboration, they break down silos, share knowledge more effectively, and compete more successfully.

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