Training Trends

In a world where automation is becoming more prevalent, your people are your primary competitive advantage. The skills and knowledge of your employees are what sets your business or nonprofit apart. Providing ongoing training to sharpen the skills and expand the knowledge of your people help make your small business or nonprofit successful and take it to the next level. As the workforce becomes more mobile and flexibility becomes an expectation, how can you provide the necessary training?

Microlearning. Gamification. On Demand Learning. These are some of the training methodologies that tailor well in a mobile environment. Training trends and strategies are evolving as work schedules and locations become more flexible. Providing training where and when it is needed continues to be a challenge, but taking advantage of the following methodologies can provide your employees with the tools to make your business or nonprofit successful.

Training Methods and Definitions

Microlearning is defined by Learning Solutions Magazine as learning in short, digestible, bite-sized units. It is the next generation of training for a workforce ready to consume learning the way it does everything else: fast, small, and “our way.”

With the prevalence of web search engines like Google, we all expect instant access to multiple answers to our questions. This trend also drives the expectations of employees and their access to training and knowledge within the company. Microlearning can help address these expectations by providing employees with the ability to select the most relevant information to do their job better immediately. Microlearning doesn’t work with every training program but can be a valuable tool to provide the right information to your employees at the right time to improve job performance immediately.

Gamification is the application of game theory concepts and techniques to non-game activities according to TechTarget. Game theory is a branch of mathematics that seeks to understand why an individual makes a particular decision and how the decisions made by one individual affect others.

Adding game elements to learning engages employees, adds a sense of friendly competition, encourages progression through the content, and provides a sense of accomplishment as well as immediate feedback. A higher level of engagement with the content will result in greater retention of the information and lead to the desired change in behavior

On-Demand Learning is a training strategy for how a learner gains access to knowledge based content in real time, anywhere and at any time per Training Industry.

With on-demand learning, training is available when and where an employee has time to access it. It can be used to provide an answer to an immediate problem or it can deliver new information or be used to learn a new skill that will be applied at another time. 

eLearning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom according to  In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.

The use of eLearning continues to rise and is an expectation of today’s learners. Easily accessible documentation, bite-sized learning nuggets, and self-paced skills training are not only cost effective ways to provide training, but are methods that employees have come to expect. Not all training can be provided with eLearning, but it is one component of many programs.

MLearning is related to eLearning, but it specifically uses a mobile device to access the educational curriculum.

With flexible work locations and schedules, there is a need to deliver training in a variety of locations to small groups or even individuals. Getting all learners in the same location at the same time to provide the necessary training is difficult. Being able to provide training through mobile or other technologies provides the flexibility that is necessary for today’s diverse workforce.

Just in Time Learning is a training method by which the necessary knowledge or skills are imparted for immediate application to avoid loss of retention due to a time gap. It is similar to on-demand learning, but provides only the content or skill necessary at the time it is required.

Delivering the required information when it is needed provides the opportunity for direct application. This results in hands-on experience and allows immediate understanding of how the information is applied in a real-life situation.

Which training method you use depends on many things including the content and goals of the training, the profile of the employee for whom the training is being designed, the timeframe in which the training must be delivered, the budget, and possibly your technology infrastructure. If your infrastructure can’t support the training design, either the infrastructure must be upgraded or a different training method selected.

Ninestone understands the complexities and challenges involved in introducing new technology and/or processes to end-users. We can provide comprehensive training support to ensure that your employees will be confident and efficient users after your implementation.

Carmen Mincy

November, 2016