Gone are the days of hefty instruction manuals and multi-day training seminars. Now training happens via the cloud, with multimedia modules, informative video, and interactive components. But even this is set to change according to a new poll conducted on employee learning preferences. Today’s training needs to be visually engaging and much shorter, according to respondents.
Voice of the E-Learner — the survey about online learning preferences, conducted by BlueVolt and Cascade Insights — shows staunch positioning from workers on their preferences for on-the-job training. The insights from this survey, in juxtaposition with a similar study conducted in 2016, show clear trends toward shorter, more interactive content preferences:
- Satisfaction with online learning options dropped starkly from 59% of respondents being “very satisfied” in 2016, to just 33% in 2018.
- Despite the drop in satisfaction, 50% of workers in their early 20s to mid-40s still want access to online training content.
- Moreover, 69% of respondents prefer to learn about their company’s products and services at work, via an interactive resource.
- Further polling shows that 90% of respondents ranging in age from their 20s to late 60s demand shorter online learning options (under five minutes).
The poll also shows digital learning on the rise in manufacturing industries across the board. According to baseline findings from polled individuals:
- 40% report taking 21 or more online training courses in the past year
- 47% credit online training (in part) for increasing their company’s sales
- 26% stated they were likely to take a course without inducement
These observations yield critical insights for manufacturers that can help improve in-house training effectiveness and employee participation. For starters, manufacturers need to make digital, interactive learning modules available for their staff, compartmentalized into five-minute or less increments, with some degree of enticement to prompt self-directed learning.
Invest in better training
Better training needs to be a clear focus for manufacturers in 2019 and beyond. The rise of Industry 4.0 and the introduction of new-tech solutions into traditional factory operations will require maintenance and repair technicians to stay abreast of rapid changes. A well-designed, properly constructed in-house training program puts manufacturers on the cutting edge.
To be successful, training curricula need to meet the demands of a new, modern workforce — one with specific expectations about digital learning. Short, concise, focused, interactive modules give employees everything they want from an on-the-job learning experience. For example:
- Information that’s compartmentalized, making it easy to digest and review
- Short video spans that encapsulate topics
- Fewer distractions during the learning process
- Less of an overwhelming feeling that comes from a complete presentation
- Allows for specific re-training and focus over time
- Autonomy to learn wherever, in convenient increments of time
Companies adopting better training methodologies will find themselves more equipped to introduce innovative technologies to their factory floor quicker and with fewer barriers. Similarly, agile learning opportunities prime workers on essential topics quickly and in targeted fashion, ensuring better retention and comprehension across topic networks.
Manufacturing requires continuous adaptation of skills. Thankfully, digital learning opportunities are cost-effective and widely accessible. As your company strives to invest in education this year, don’t just pay attention to the type of content — pay attention to how it’s delivered. Keep it short, interactive, engaging, and concise for the best results.