Usually September’s arrival means school is back in session.
If you’re a student, you’re trying to wrap your head around new concepts, like how much of your life will be spent in school (15-29% for Americans, depending on the degree).
If you’re the parent of a student, you’re either laughing or crying (depending on the degree) and if you’re driving around 3pm, you’re probably wishing that everyone was homeschooled in this country.
School is one of the first places where we learn in a focused way, and, no matter how you feel about your last math teacher, it is important to remember the value of learning after we’ve left the classroom.
Technology is constantly changing the way that we work and new innovations will continue to disrupt “business as usual” for companies across all industry lines. Your employees need to be comfortable learning new tools, and the best way to do this is by making learning tools available to your employees. When using the latest programs and practices is the norm at your company, then adopting and using these programs effectively will be second nature to your employees.
No matter how your employees get the job done, the need to use new technologies, programs and practices will become more frequent in the future. Using these innovations to your company’s advantage is possible, but only if your employees are used to learning new programs, skills and technological tools.
Base Your Learning on the Work your Company Does
Apps for employee development can provide consistency and automation to the education of your employees and the improvement of their skill sets. However, this education needs to be applicable to the work that your company does and the skills used to do this work. Additionally, the tech tools you use for development have to be engaging, or else your employees will dread your new learning initiative instead of getting value from it.
Choosing the right learning technologies will depend on the needs of your company, but, once chosen, these programs will engage your employees in learning new tools and prepare them for the demands and innovations of the future.
- Learning Programs
- Online Courses / Academies
Learning Programs at Work
We’ve all sat through some terrible training videos, but don’t let that time be for nothing. The biggest lesson you can learn from cruddy educational materials, is what an unengaging, waste-of-time resource looks like.
Now that you know what a terrible training resource looks like, let’s look at some of the best learning programs out on the market.
Smarter U is an online learning management system that is branded to your company, cloud based and completely scalable to the learning/training needs of your employees. The program’s dashboards allow both learners and instructors to drill down on performance data and the program’s training plan automation simplifies complex training requirements in a systematic way. This program provides blended training and is great for supporting instructor led courses in a business, classroom or presentation setting.
Absorb LMS is a learning program that offers a balance of effective learning management with sleek design and ease of use. This program offers administration of courses and users, progress tracking and reporting and content hosting and delivery. Additionally, Absorb LMS is supported for any screen size and device, making it easy to learn on the go. This program offers blended training through online courses, live instructor led courses and online curricula.
Absorb LMS also allows you to easily create tasks, quizzes and other evaluative materials to test the progress of your employees. You can even automate the delivery of certifications to employees who complete their online training. Along with feedback collection tools, Absorb LMS also offers the option to create contests to motivate your employees in their learning. Simply create the contest and the course requirements for qualifying, and watch your employees engage in learning as they never have before.
There are many other online learning programs out there and it’s important to choose a program that is suited to the needs of your employees. Once you find the right learning program for your staff, emphasize learning the skills that are in-demand at your company or the skills that will be in-demand in the future.
Online Courses and Academies for Training at Work
Online classes, courses and lessons are great resources for anyone who wants to learn a new skill or improve upon an old one. Whether you need a crash course in Photoshop, coding or correct punctuation, online courses are great (often free) tools for self-directed learners.
An important point: you always get out what you put into this kind of learning. While it may be fun to explore the lessons offered by these online academies, your employees should be spending their study time on skills that benefit your company, not studying up on ancient Egypt. Let them know that you want them to learn, but that you also want to see them use this knowledge to their advantage while on the job. As long as you can focus the learning of your employees in these online courses, they will be able to learn new skills at their own pace and prepare themselves for more demanding work at your company.
Lynda is an online academy that, for a monthly subscription, offers users a huge variety of courses for skills like Software Development, Web Development, Design, Business and Marketing. This resource offers group subscription deals for businesses and is a favorite of entrepreneurs and self-learners.
This resource offers multiple paths toward the mastery of any skill that they teach, so your employees can direct their own learning while staying on a focused course path. Many of the classes and courses on Lynda are taught by industry experts and the program can be accessed on tablet, smart phone or computer.
Code Academy is an online academy for, you guessed it, coding. This resource allows users access to free, interactive coding lessons in languages such as HTML, CSS, and PHP. Users can save their progress by creating a free account and can use this resource to learn or strengthen their knowledge in a variety of coding languages.
Hubspot Academy is a great learning resource for anyone who wants to learn about what’s current in the world of inbound marketing. With courses on essential skills like SEO, list building, landing page creation and lead nurturing, this online marketing resource is perfect for budding marketers or industry vets who want to stay on the cutting edge.
Are you learning at work?
When everyone at your company is used to learning with new technologies, then “making the leap” will go more smoothly than if you do not support the learning of your employees.
When your employees suddenly need to know a new program or operate in a new market, they will be much more successful if they are used to using new interfaces, learning new tools and applying this knowledge to their actual job performance.
You won’t be able to teach for every skill that running your business requires, but emphasizing learning at your company will keep everyone’s minds on performance, while engaging their desire to learn and reach new heights in their careers.