Make your people fit for the leadership and growth challenge
In today’s fast-flowing world, where we are bombarded with innovations at all levels, our training systems and methods need to keep up the pace. Fast Growth needs exceptional leaders with new skills. That doesn’t happen over night and not with traditional training programmes, which are often relatively expensive, with little practical relevance, not integrated into the daily work environment and far from being sustainable. The good news is that there is a solution that tackles the major problems.
Blended Training combines face-to-face with online methods, such as the use of web-based courses, virtual classrooms, webinars, social learning and mobile learning – many of these come in bite-sized nuggets that can be digested during the work day. When these methods are combined, the result is a long-term sustainable competency development system, that ensures maximum relevance, supports your strategy implementation and ensures that everyone stays on track for growth. In addition the socialised aspect of learning fosters the knowledge transfer within your organisation.
The importance of blended learning scenarios is recognized by experts and business: 59% of corporates and 54% of SMEs are already using blended learning formats. Within the next three years, it is expected to rise to 85% of corporates and 83% of SMEs.
What are the major benefits of blended training for growth businesses?
The primary benefit is the reinforced learning that is immediately applicable to your business. The power equilibrium in the learning process is more balanced, by allowing learners to have more influence over their training path and access to knowledge on demand. This allows them and you to focus on the competencies your leadership team really have to improve.
Other major benefits include:
- blended training improves productivity and overall efficiency by allowing people to use the same terminology to interact and share solutions, even when spread across various locations;
- flexible schedules are a real bonus to managers and key staff with a demanding schedule, who cannot be distracted by rigid training modules;
- on going dialogue with peers and facilitators to embed the learning into real business life
- in countrywide companies, training seminars take a while to reach the last group of employees in need of the key knowledge. With new technology and more user-friendly software, critical business concepts are available to key personnel with little or no delay;
- terminology, theory and techniques are covered online whilst higher order thinking skills, such as problem solving and critical thinking, are addressed during experiential learning sessions;
- employees are motivated because learning adapts to their preferred learning styles. This creates a welcoming learning environment for all participants.
Speed up your learning so you can speed up your growth journey Blended learning is particularly effective when it comes to continuous training programs, allowing faster access to useful knowledge and know-how. Imagine the impact of being able to launch new products in weeks rather than months, or having the top sales people in the organization share their best practices with the entire, global sales force simultaneously.
With even the slightest notion of understanding the times in which we live and the growth rate you want to achieve, one can only conclude that blended training is an essential step on your growth journey.
About the author: Kerstin van Eckert is a co-founder of London-based OnO-Line www.OnO-line.com, an international management and organisational development company with experience in ‘agile and blended development’ techniques and programs.