2020 Best Practices in Professional Learning & Development

We’ve said it before – and it really should go without saying – but it bears repeating: We know a thing or million about learning and development. 

As you may well know, we cover these topics extensively because we’re passionate about our mission to change the world through revolutionary technology solutions that serve everyday heroes – the ‘lifelong learners’ – who continually strive for excellence in all they do. 

Our online learning and performance solutions are like pieces of a puzzle, each fitting into the bigger picture of our end goal — safer, more compliant and more effective organizations.

But how do you know where to start when your New Year’s resolution is to provide a robust learning and development program for your organization? We have, after all, a seemingly bottomless archive of blogs, white papers and news articles on virtually everything learning and development.

Answer: This piece.

Here, we’ve rounded up a quick-and-dirty handful of our articles from this year that walk you through best practices for your L&D program, from up-and-coming delivery methods you should definitely consider implementing, to content modernization for existing programs, to evaluation tools that help you inspect what you expect, and ways to keep your content inclusive and accessible for all learners.

Ready? Set? Let’s go!

5 Key Components Of A Comprehensive L&D Program

“The global workforce has evolved over the last decade in response to an increasingly competitive professional landscape and the digital revolution of the workplace. 

“But somewhat surprisingly, this move to a more digitized workplace has served to only highlight the importance of the human element of the workforce. In fact, research suggests that a very significant percentage of market capitalization is based on intangible assets – skilled employees, exceptional leadership, and knowledge.

“While most organizations have leadership development programs, according to Harvard Business Publishing research, only 7 percent describe their programs as ‘best in class.’ And despite spending approximately $164.2 billion on learning and development programs, many companies still struggle with how to improve and enhance their effectiveness.”

Learn more about the five strategic roles of L&D and the five key components for a comprehensive L&D program here.

So we’ve got the framework for a comprehensive L&D program covered. Now, let’s flesh it out with modern content delivery methods. Out with the old, in with the new (year and L&D program)!

Modern Training Delivery Methods for Maximum Content Retention

“More organizations are actively seeking more modern training delivery methods for maximum content and training retention by incorporation online courses into their training regimen to make eLearning more dynamic, engaging and comprehensive.

“But moving their training online is only the first step to content modernization.

“So while almost 60 percent of U.S. and Canadian businesses use web-based instructional resources, adjusting to these shifts in demands and aligning with learner expectations requires more than an internet connection.

“Learners now demand – and expect –  quick, bite-sized information which means one-dimensional sessions delivered using dated learning management systems or – arguably worse – classrooms fail to deliver the contextualized, modernized support solutions that enhance employee performance with unlimited accessibility, anywhere at any time.

“So here are five modern content delivery methods that boast exciting, new and virtually unlimited possibilities that meet learners exactly where they want it – at their fingertips.”

Learn more about modern training delivery methods here, with more on video here and social media here.

Now, we have modern delivery. And what goes best with modern delivery? Modern content, of course!

Changing Instructional Tides: Content Modernization

“As more organizations have moved to incorporate online courses into their training regimen, eLearning is becoming more dynamic, engaging and comprehensive.

“In fact, almost 60 percent of U.S. and Canadian businesses use web-based instructional resources to cater to modern learners who have become accustomed to consuming content on digital devices, adjusting to these shifts in demands and aligning with learner expectations.

“This shift to quick-hit, bite-sized information ushered in with the digital age means employees will retain less information from one-dimensional sessions delivered using dated learning management systems. However, through contextualized, modernized support solutions, employees can enhance performance with unlimited accessibility, anywhere at any time.

“So how, exactly, can businesses evolve their training to account for this shift?

“Content modernization delivers content how learners want to consume it; mobility delivers the content where learners want to consume it. Intelligence provides organizations the collection and analysis of instructional data, and performance support provides real-time, point-of-need instructional access and help.”

Learn more about how content modernization is changing instructional tides to bolster effective training programs here.

You’ve got the framework for a comprehensive L&D program. You’ve adopted modern content delivery methods and modernized content. Now, you’ve got to be able to inspect what you expect. 

No worries. We got you.

Professional & Performance Evaluation Tool Benefits

“Evaluations. Reviews. Appraisals.

“However your organization puts it, those words can – and often – immediately evoke terror and fear.

“Why? Because it sounds like we’re being judged. And when your job could potentially be on the line, the fear factor increases exponentially.

“But surprisingly, both employers and employees are unhappy with the current state of professional and performance evaluation tools.

Deloitte found that 49% of companies think performance reviews aren’t a productive use of their time, and only 10% think that it drives employee engagement and improves performance. 

“It seems that these evaluations are nothing more than a box to be checked. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“In fact, we’d argue that with the right professional and performance evaluation tools, your employees could actually feel empowered by the process.”

Learn more about how the right performance management tools that drive individual performance and team productivity here.

Last – but certainly not least – we need to be sure that L&D programs are for everyone. And we achieve that inclusivity by making sure our content and training are accessible. 

Quality Assurance and Accessibility Checklist

“Buildings have it. Signs have it. Schools, jobs, restrooms and transportation have it, too.

“But what about your eLearning?

“We’re talking about accessibility and in recent years, the protections afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act are expanding into digital territory as web and mobile applications evolve from ‘nice to haves’ to ‘must haves’ in our everyday lives.

“For buildings, signs, and transportation, the ADA ensures access to the built environment for people with disabilities and establishes design requirements for the construction and alteration of facilities subject to the law.  

“For web accessibility, however, it means making websites, content, applications, LMSs, and eLearning accessible to all people – and thankfully, it’s often not difficult.

“So that then begs the question: How, exactly, can eLearning meet the needs of – and be accessible to – all learners?”

Learn five tips to improve your eLearning experience for all your users for a better, safer and more educated workplace here.

See? That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Now, you’re armed with everything you need to know to hit the ground running and finally be able to say, ‘I not only accomplished my New Year’s resolution of creating an amazing, comprehensive professional learning and development program in 2020, but I crushed it!’