Written by Kate Parish, Onilab
Systematic and up-to-date learning is essential for both newcomers and veteran staff. Firstly, this strategy improves the productivity of employees and the overall quality of work. Secondly, it allows people to develop their skills, stay up-to-date, competitive, and motivated.
Perhaps most importantly, up-to-date learning helps your business stay on top of new trends in the industry and be prepared to apply them. For instance, an emerging trend in eCommerce is headless commerce architecture. With a mindful approach to your developers’ learning process, you can adopt contemporary solutions faster than your competition.
There are plenty of learning methods appropriate for different departments and employees. Below we’ll review the five most contemporary yet versatile ones: classroom and eLearning, hands-on training and mentoring, as well as interactive tactics.
Being smartly blended, learning approaches can bring a return on investment to your business and your team’s upskilling commitment.
1. Classic training in a classroom
This type of learning involves a professional instructor who leads the process: conducting lectures, practical lessons, homework assignments, and assessing the progress.
This approach is indispensable for complex subjects that need guidance, a deep understanding, and specific knowledge.
Classroom-based training is quite effective since students can ask a teacher anything and gain a detailed explanation, advice, or example straight away. The learning process itself is transparent, and results are visible. However, we’d recommend keeping the focus on practical application to see faster progress in the group.
Drawbacks of classroom training
However, some issues may occur in organizing classes. For instance, what do you do if a company has more than one branch in a city or is even based in several states? Furthermore, how do you find a convenient venue and time for all participants? This question is even more relevant since most employees would like to save their remote work option in the post-pandemic world.
Will it still be efficient to hold classes online via Zoom or Teams? What about the quality of the internet connection? Also, an online version of the training is tough to organize when the course may be related to physical objects rather than technologies.
2. Modern Training: eLearning
Online learning is simultaneously the handiest and most cost-efficient training type on this list. Of course, we’ve gotten accustomed to a broad selection of courses. There can also be learning content continually updated in a Learning Management System (LMS).
In this case, your team can learn at their own pace, opting to consume new information that suits them.
Besides this, many professionally designed courses use interactivity and even gamification to make programs more fascinating.
Drawbacks of the online learning
The main problem here is monitoring: how successfully have students grasped the learning content? In some cases, students can get certification only if they pass exams.
Another issue is keeping your knowledge base up-to-date. Somebody should structure and revise it monthly (at least). For example, you want to create a guide on customer support. If it’s relevant, conveniently designed, and provides real cases with analysis and recommendations, agents will use it.
Finally, eLearning may not always be applicable in very practical spheres that require interaction with people or mechanisms. But when it comes to online jobs, this type of learning may be the most suitable.
3. Interactive Training: Simulations, Quizzes, Role-playing, and more
Learning can appear in the form of group discussions to games. During such “events,” we highly recommend practicing response scenarios in controversial cases. For instance, what should an airline salesperson do if a passenger mixed up flights and wants a refund?
The interactive nature of such activities makes them more attractive for workers. People can communicate informally while gaining actionable knowledge and training.
This approach has much in common with team building. Interactive learning touches upon professional aspects of work and cultivates the ability to cooperate effectively.
Drawbacks of interactive learning
Of course, professionals who can create interactive learning platforms and accurately evaluate the outcomes are needed. This is quite a time-consuming, potentially expensive, and complicated undertaking. Nevertheless, turning to these tactics should be justified so that the efforts of coaches are not wasted.
4. Intensive: Hands-on training
This type focuses mainly on training practical skills. Sometimes it’s called “on-the-job” since a trainee delves into real workflows to the maximum from the very start.
This aids in understanding how everything is organized and honing skills as soon as possible. This way, a new employee will quickly adapt to the workplace and tasks (e.g., working with a cash machine, switching on an alarm system in a store, and so on).
Drawbacks of the intensive method
On the other hand, mistakes are likely, so a seasoned specialist has to check the work or be near a new staff member to help and fix issues. You should also consider that hands-on training might be overwhelming for a newcomer and scare them away. So, use this method smartly and for your team.
5. Advanced training: Mentoring
A mentor, supervisor, or coach works with each employee individually. The aims are to help a team member grow: share some precious knowledge, answer questions, demonstrate complicated tasks, and give feedback. For example, a senior frontend developer can be a mentor for a junior one to “grow” a strong specialist in a short time.
Drawbacks of the advanced training method
The tactic is highly actionable. But the main problem usually is the time of your top employees. It’s costly, and it’s hard to allocate a sufficient amount of hours for coaching.
What Will You Choose?
Nowadays, if you don’t develop all the time, you can’t offer something valuable to the ever-evolving market. That’s why organizing the learning process is so vital for any business.
I’ve covered only five core learning types you can implement in proportions appropriate for your company. So feel free to mix and match different strategies, try something fresh, and abandon non-working models.
Kate Parish is the chief marketing officer at Onilab with over eight years of experience in Digital Marketing in the sphere of eCommerce web development.
Kate always aspires to broaden her competency in line with cutting-edge global trends. Her primary areas of professional interest include SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, Magento PWA development, and online retail.