For those of you old enough to remember, think about the time when we had perfectly good working land lines and phones available on every street corner. They served their purpose well and there wasn’t a need to have more phones available, so where did the idea of a phone that was mobile come from? When it was first introduced, it seemed absurd because we could not ever imagine the need for one, however look at how the small device you hold in your hand has drastically changed the way we communicate.
In the training and certification space, we regularly engage with experienced Continuous Improvement Practioners that have been in the business for 15-20 years. Back then they acquired their skills in the classroom which led their success in the workplace. Often these people resist any other form of learning except for classroom training because their experience has dictated how it should be done. The challenge comes when trying to introduce a different model of training because that is not the way they learned it, therefore it wouldn’t be good for anyone else.
The data however tells us a different story. We get greater student satisfaction scores when we create more flexibility for them to learn at their own pace, incorporating their training into an already busy schedule at the times that works best for them. It is the practice of listening to the Voice of the Customer, and in training, the customer is the participant. Learners have clearly voiced that they are busy, and while they want to learn new skills, they cannot afford to step away from their daily duties for long periods of time, and pressure to do so creates frustration.
This is why the Blended Learning Model works so well. Participants have the flexibility to fit the online training portion into their schedule when it suits them best, eliminating the need for them to spend days and days sitting in a classroom learning the concepts. This now allows the time spent in a classroom to become the avenue to have more meaningful conversations around the applicability of what they learned online and how to apply it in their workplace environment. This model provides flexibility and still includes time to interact with their peers.
Remember, 20 years ago we weren’t as attached to our devices and technology wasn’t pressuring us to always be on, so taking 15 days to attend training was more manageable and not as painful. Just because the way our leaders learned is different than the way current participants are learning doesn’t make it any less effective. In fact, you may find that accepting a new model of training may just lead you down the path to look back one day and wonder how you ever lived without it.