Both new and experienced employees will need training in the workplace in order to perform successfully. As digital transformation accelerates globally, it is not only the employees who must adapt and take on new skills, but the organisations who train them as well.
Training in the workplace is increasingly digital in nature, but digital transformation of learning and development goes beyond simply converting learning materials into digital format. Combining the latest learning methods with the right technology can provide organisations with an exceptional opportunity to improve their strategic capabilities.
Georgie Midgley, CEO of gig technology company, M4Jam, says using the right tools can help prepare organisations for the future way of working in order to meet the challenges of continuous learning and development.
“This means embracing tools and technologies that are not just scalable but sustainable. Currently, companies looking to engage in digital training can only reach employees who have access to laptops and wi-fi. The ugly truth is that 80% of South African employees do not have these tools. By introducing a micro-learning approach enabled by mobile training platforms, businesses can reach far more employees,” she says.
Digital training is now accredited by South African SETAs and is therefore compliant with NQF4 standards. “Micro-learning, which can be conducted via mobile phone handsets, conveys information in short, targeted packages that deliver key points. Mobile learning technology is incredibly convenient and accessible from almost everywhere,” says Midgley.
Most businesses face hurdles in rolling out necessary hardware to employees to learn in the digital format, as well as in digitalising hard-copy information and incentivising learning suitably. “Most digitalised learning systems don’t activate learner participation and reinforce training. Current business systems lack kinaesthetic learning and are unable to measure the competence of the learners in physical practice,” Midgley adds.
Micro-learning can make use of video, voice scripts, PowerPoint presentations and even memes in combination to create effective learning platforms. “Training and skills development must be accessible to all and going digital is the answer. However, before taking this step, organisations need to understand the new digital world sufficiently: which platforms to use, the target audience and training modalities employed to achieve specific outcomes,” she adds.
Midgley says there is still a need for classroom-led training, and this can never be substituted. “Complex learning is still best conducted in person. But the world of business has changed irreversibly, and the world is only going to become even more digital and faster paced.
Businesses need training platforms that are able to answer multiple requirements with single, one-stop solutions. These solutions will allow the organisation to collect data, providing them with better information on how learning and development positively impacts business performance, the capability of their workforce and their confidence to deliver.”
The real question is whether organisations can afford not to invest in a mobile learning platform. “The benefits are manifold and plain to see – content can be leveraged and reused, mobile training is convenient for all parties and provides a broad reach, training materials are easily accessible around the clock, content interactions are designed with the platform in mind and can facilitate motivation, learning information can be provided in small chunks to prevent cognitive overload and employees can communicate through online communities to enhance the learning experience.”
Larry Page, Google’s co-founder, said we are no longer living in a mobile-first world but in a mobile-only world. “There’s no denying the workforce is increasingly mobile and versatile. Learning and development need to keep pace with changing workplace arrangements or they risk becoming irrelevant,” says Midgley.
M4Jam is a Gig technology company that connects organisations to communities through its mobile platform. The platform enables businesses to quickly and cost-effectively evaluate, activate and optimise new or existing markets, even in the hardest to reach informal communities.