Working and Learning in the Age of Digital Disruption

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Global access to the internet and the resulting digital tools that’ve been developed have transformed society. We’ve seen powerful trends emerge that are reshaping business, with a shift in human behavior and a new set of expectations around talent. 

Will these changes affect you? 

Chart Learning has been mapping the trends that impact private and public life for the last several decades. Together with industry experts across the globe, we review and compile valuable insights that are employed in the creation of our learning programs. Our goal is to ensure that our programs support students in meeting the evolving needs of the labor market.

Chart Learning Solutions’ Industry Newsletter gives you access to these insights. Every industry is being impacted by technological and social change, so it’s critical to understand the impact of these changes on work. 

Technology has affected how work and life are viewed

Internet-connected devices have put global communication, and as a result the workplace, in our hands. Email and other communication applications have expanded the workplace to any place there is connection, making it much harder to define where we are “at work” and when we’re not. Digital flexibility in the workplace, remote collaboration, and cloud storage have in some cases rendered the concept of the office unnecessary. 

We used to be restricted by a traditional concept of work and physical workplace objects. Desks, filing cabinets and desktop PCs forced us to be in the office to complete our work, and productivity was demonstrated first and foremost by one’s physical presence. Now, we can work from anywhere using our laptops, tablets and smartphones to connect with our colleagues and access and edit files. But this connectivity has removed the distinction between being at work and not being at work; we need never “switch off,” we’re accessible 24/7.

“The office environment of yesteryear is no longer, and has been taken over by rapid technological advancement, allowing employees to interact with a global market, and even take work out on the road. The influx of new technologies that has been making the general convenience of our personal lives has grown exponentially, and has taken over our professional lives as well.” Elizabeth Dukes, Author at iOffice, 5 Ways Technology in the Workplace Has Improved Our Lives

There are two competing trends at play here, with work and personal time having become merged. Some folks attempt to draw a clear line between the two, whereas others embrace the merge and accept that their work is their life.

The latter trend has created a movement of self-employment, with people setting up businesses that support their passions and being able to work from anywhere. For those who remain employed, the office may become like a satellite. Tools for remote work and adapted organizational structures allow employees to take control of their schedules and to find a balance that suits them.

Reflecting on what this means for employers 

Employers may seek to engage employees in new ways, helping them to develop new skills and shifting how work is perceived and approached. Incorporating eLearning into existing training and development programs is an effective way to do this. eLearning tools are delivered through “blended learning,” a mix of digital and in person education. 

“Our jobs are changing, and fast. Many roles are disappearing altogether, while new ones are springing up. The discrepancy between the skills people have and those needed for jobs in the digital world is one of the most critical problems of our time.” PWC, New World, New Skills 

Establishing new methods of training like this serve to address the changes employees are experiencing remotely and in the workplace. The training can be partially completed away from the office and introduces new ideas about work and how to approach one’s position. It also provides an opportunity to easily upskill within a job. This ability to leverage digital connection and personal betterment with the stability of employment empowers workers to advance within their existing career. It’s an important aspect of the digital economy that addresses traditional employment and societal shifts we’re experiencing.

In 2018 “employers ... recognized the fact that the lack of meaningful learning and progression opportunities leads to high attrition rates. In 2019, this line of thinking also extend[ed] towards remote teams. Micro-learning and self-paced learning programs are bound to get more traction as more employers realize the incremental benefits of nurturing and re-engaging existing teams.” Abdullahi Muhammed, CEO of Oxygenmat and former Forbes contributor, 15 Latest Remote Work Trends to Think About in 2019

To make the introduction of eLearning smooth, Chart Learning uses the best practice learning methodology available for blended learning, called the Performance Assurance System. This is particularly helpful to workplace trainers because it means the role of trainer is adapting and growing. Within the Performance Assurance System, trainers can become Certified Coaches to elevate their role and responsibilities.

Trainers and coaches are valuable resources 

Supportive eLearning content is not created in a vacuum. Subject matter experts seek assistance in producing learning material, no matter the format. 

So how does “pre-packed” content fit into a trainer’s suite of materials? Off-the-shelf content acts as a template for customization. Subject matter experts can lend their expertise to foundational courses by: 

  • Providing additional context and materials to complement the content
  • Interpret and apply real-world scenarios to difficult pieces of information
  • Facilitating discussion around the material
  • Providing organization-specific examples and application

Many trainers who embrace eLearning content will see their role evolve from that of presenter or facilitator to that of a guide or resource. Employees can learn the basics from a video, but they may not understand what those basics mean to the company, or how they should be applied.

Most importantly, in an age of dedicated content consumption, digital tools represent greater opportunities to put materials in learners’ hands.

Creativity meets consistency

Many trainers and coaches have a creative streak in them, but don’t have the opportunity to make use of that creativity and develop courses themselves. Chart Learning’s library of eLearning courses helps with this, providing easy access to courses that require 100% consistency of content like workplace compliance and safety. Utilizing these courses can free up trainers to create their own curriculum specific to the focus of the company. This combination of customized and off-the-shelf training is beneficial for onboarding, product training, sales, customer service and leadership and team development.

“Just as eLearning saves [company] money, making the switch can also lead to huge savings for your employee’s time. And it’s not an insignificant amount. Did you know that eLearning reduces your employee’s learning time by as much as 60% when compared to traditional learning?” Corey Bleich, Contributor to EdgePoint Learning, 12 of the Biggest Benefits of eLearning for Employees

An added benefit of eLearning is that it scales training process. Digital tools replace the need for physical classes where trainers are required to be physically present. When a subject matter expert is not tied up in presentations, they’re freed up to create and curate content and evolve their role. 

The recipe for success

Blended learning gives employers the tools to remove the burden of traditional workplace training. While it’s not a replacement for corporate learning specialists, or anyone in a training capacity, it makes the job of trainer far more efficient and effective.

The use of blended learning also allows for better analysis of training and how successful it is. Digitized training data allows employers to analyze results and demonstrate program effectiveness. eLearning tools and content make it easy to keep control over the aspects of training that are helpful, and remove those that are burdensome. 

How productive are you and your organization? Discover the Chart Learning library

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