E-learning is becoming a quick and easy solution for reaching front-line workers, managers, change agents and leaders. Project results are supported in a number of ways and can bring advantages to :
- drive a consistent message across the enterprise
- engage managers as leaders of change
- ease of scalability and extension to mobile work forces
I live and teach by the following principal – “When we know better, we do better.”
It is the idea of knowing that is necessary to improve skills and competencies at work and even more to develop innate talent and interest in developing one’s own work flows. Leadership is shown in one’s own work as much as it is in leading a team.
The workplace can be a space for a variety of different and extensive learning possibilities, but also a place for boredom and frustration and loss of interest in learning anything beyond daily routines. While leaders and executives have access to enriched learning environments, employees working on lower levels are confronted with more productivity strategies. Digitalization offers an opportunity for blended forms of learning. Digitization is also see as being a cause for a loss of jobs or creating changes with the risks of de-skilling.
The gig economy is changing employment models and they are weakening connections and identification processes with work. On the other hand these changes offer potentials and chances of personal responsibilities for own working and learning. Globalized production requires employees working and cooperating in teams across borders. There is a huge need to align workers across regions in terms of production and knowledge.
“When we know better, we do better.”
Why Blended Learning?
Blended learning is an appropriate mix of technology communication and interaction with in-person exchange. Technology is a cheap medium to dispense information, however it is the conversion to knowledge that is the challenge. Think of e-learning as doing an undergraduate degree. This is rote learning, bringing information to the worker, the need to assimilate information and perhaps include a display of acknowledging an understanding that information. In college, this is an examination or a paper revealing mastery of the information. Learning by information is far from practice. It may guide one’s work but improvements come from innovation.
Now think of in-person exchange as graduate school. In this forum, you are fully communicating in tone, look and body language, setting the context for exchange. This is where critical thought, debate and clarity occurs. In-person training allows for leading oneself through the education rather than being led as in the former method of e-learning. E-learning also has the tendency to reduce and homogenize talent or discriminate the workforce as some learners may have advantages of experience or may lack the interest or skills in navigating the technology.
Engage Your Employees
E-learning has its advantages. However, as a leader of an organization ask how it will eventually improve your culture. Are your employees engaged? Do you have a culture of pro-activity or silence? Have you examined your human resource statistics and surveys to know what the employees want and need? E-learning can often be driven under assumption that those in power know better. The front line workers often have the best insight on how to improve processes and satisfaction within their role. Managers who sit on their hands will find that their team is operating at a low potential. People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. Use education in the workplace to improve not just the bottom line but to develop a culture of learning leading to that improved bottom line.