Training and development in the business world are more important than ever. Employees value the idea that their employer is willing to invest in them and their career. With in-depth development, employers get the benefit of being able to build their talent pipeline internally, reducing recruiting budgets and turnover costs.
Luckily for employers and employees as well, online and digital learning makes it easier and more efficient to give and participate in learning and development.
There are different ways to approach e-learning and online learning, and one specific approach is called blended learning.
Blended learning combines online instruction with in-person learning. It brings together traditional and innovative techniques and often yields excellent results. Essentially, blended learning in a corporate environment pulls together the benefits of conventional education without the pitfalls and does the same for online learning.
Specific elements usually included in blended learning are:
- A blended learning program might consist of face-to-face training but in some cases, it might not include this at all and might instead use a virtual classroom with instructor-led training in that format
- Blended learning needs to be easily applicable to the real world, and for that reason, it might include hands-on training and projects to show how skills are applied
- Interaction and collaboration between employees in real-time or otherwise might be part of blended learning
- Nearly all blended learning programs use a learning management system which is how training is delivered and tracked
For corporate training, in particular, the following are some of the advantages of a blended learning approach.
Blended Corporate Learning is Flexible and Versatile
No two employees within your company are going to be the same so that they won’t respond to training in the same ways.
With blended learning, everyone’s different learning styles can be addressed in a cost-efficient way for the best possible outcomes.
Employees can pick and choose the ways they want to learn. For example, maybe they like to participate in traditional learning initially and then have written materials in a digital format that they can go back and refer to when they’re on the job.
The more options you can offer to employees, the better off you’re going to be in terms of your learning and development program.
Blended Learning Is Cost-Effective
Blended learning has been briefly touched on, but it is worth mentioning on its own—blended learning is cost-effective.
We’re in a time where businesses know the value of training, and they know the significant return on investment that can come with a good training program, but they still want to keep costs as low as possible. Blended learning helps achieve that objective.
You’re spending less on some of the highest costs of training. You are spending less on travel and accommodations, but you’re still getting the maximum effectiveness out of your program.
Blending Learning Gives Employees Control
One thing we’re seeing about the modern employee is the fact that they want control over their career and their work environment. An excellent way to improve employee engagement and satisfaction is to provide a great sense of control and autonomy.
That’s offered through blended learning.
Employees can go at their own pace, access content in the way that works for them, and feel like they’re the ones in the driver’s seat of their training experience.
There’s also an inherent sense of personalization that can come with a blended learning approach.
Blended Learning Provides Opportunities for Feedback
One of the big problems with only relying on traditional forms of corporate training is there’s not a lot of room for accountability or feedback—not the case with blended learning, however.
With blended learning, there is accountability in that you can see which employees complete training, and you can test their grasp of the concepts through online quizzes and tasks. A learning management system also makes it simple to track these metrics and view progress.
If there are issues with training, for example, it’s not resonating with employees, it’s easier to see that with the use of blended learning and make the necessary adjustments.
With blended learning, it allows identifying specific areas of improvement for individual employees and work with them on their learning paths as well.
As employers continue to realize the value of thorough training and development of employees, they’re increasingly likely to also look at a blended learning approach for the many benefits it can deliver.