Does Your L&D Approach Meet the Needs of Today’s Learner?

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If you want your learning and development to shine, you need to keep up with the ways modern learners are consuming content. Read on to find out more!

A New Generation of Connected Learners

Learning is being recognized as an essential investment for organizations of all types, whether as a means of improving employee retention or giving a boost to wellbeing. However, this recognition needs to be accompanied by an up-to-date understanding of how your learners consume knowledge. If your learning content isn’t delivered in a familiar and engaging way, your learners won’t get the most out of your efforts.

Once upon a time—even ten years ago—your people would come to the office and enjoy a better computer, better internet access, and better technology than they had at home. Today, it’s a different story. If your employees need to learn something new or solve a problem in their personal lives, they have instantaneous access to Google, YouTube, TikTok, and a host of similar platforms capable of providing the knowledge they need with snap-of-the-finger convenience.

In fact, back in 2020, TikTok announced a $50 million Creative Learning Fund designed to help creators to produce learning content and offer resources to support learners. 

For your people, coming to the office or logging onto a company-provided laptop is no longer an automatic upgrade, and a standard training course is no longer the only (or best!) option. If your L&D strategies don’t evolve to meet the needs of a workforce whose personal lives are filled by rapidly consuming knowledge across multiple platforms, you just won’t see the same kind of engagement—or retention.

If you’re wondering how to embrace the modern learner’s multi-channel needs, you’re in luck! We’ll talk you through it.

More Than Corporate Compliance Training

When most people think about L&D, they picture some written slides on a topic like compliance that culminates in a multiple-choice quiz. And there’s nothing wrong with that! A well-authored course, mapped out with a course chunking tool like Bridge Journeys, should still be the backbone of your L&D strategy.

However, to get the best results from today’s learner, you should always be looking to expand your knowledge-sharing horizons by offering your people a healthy mix of learning options.

A 2019 study on attention spans highlighted the value of this kind of variety by pointing out that our collective attention span is actually narrowing. To improve retention, learners now need bite-sized microlearning content delivered through different channels. As such, while traditional ‘corporate’ courses have their place, they’re just the start of an exciting new story for L&D.

READ MORE ABOUT BRIDGE JOURNEYS: ‘Go Places With Bridge Journeys: Course Chunking for Learners

How Learners Prefer to Learn

So, how do your people actually want to consume information?

A survey from the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies discovered a very clear set of preferences. According to the survey:

  • 28% of learners prefer classroom training
  • 72% of respondents prefer web resources, like video
  • 91% of learners expressed a preference for peer-based knowledge sharing

 So, how can you supplement your content offering and cater to these evolving tastes?

It’s Time to Embrace Multi-Channel Learning

The answer lies in learning across different channels. Your learners are already using web resources like YouTube for help and instructions when their dryers break down or their cars won’t start. Clearly, it’s time for L&D strategies to incorporate similar options for the specialist training your learners won’t find online.

Fresh learning formats like informal video inject your content with a new and stimulating feel. Their advantages include:

  • A more human connection between subject matter experts (SMEs) and learners
  • Cheaper and speedier content production
  • New degrees of relevance and personalization
  • Searchable content that keeps pertinent information at learners’ fingertips

Plus, tools like Bridge Advanced Video allow you to chapter videos, ensuring that your learners are consuming the right information in a quick, digestible format.

DISCOVER TIPS ON USING VIDEO TO CAPTURE SME KNOWLEDGE | ‘Subject Matter Experts: The Key to Knowledge Transfer

Cultures of Content Creation

Of course, new channels like informal video aren’t just about passive consumption—they’re a way for learners to participate in, and contribute to, a culture of learning. Knowledge sharing is a two-way street, and modern learners are just as accustomed to making content as they are to watching it. If they’re posting to Instagram or creating TikToks in their personal lives, it’s vital to incorporate the same principles into their professional development.

In practice, this means you need to do more than just allow your people to create content—you also need to reward them for creating good content.

This can be achieved by imbuing their content with the same kind of visibility and social recognition that make Instagram “likes” feel so good. By leveraging social proof through likes, sharing functions, and comment chains, you can instill a sense of satisfaction for posting good learning content that spreads among your learners and their peers.

These efforts can help to foster a community-minded spirit of learning among your employees—provided they’re delivered in a way that your people are familiar with.

Discover How to Upskill and Reskill Modern Learners in Our Webinar

For more advice designed to help you connect your learners with the right knowledge in the right way. 

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT: Our Webinar with Jeff Fissel (VP of Learning Solutions) and Mark Probert (VP of Revenue):  

Bridge’s wealth of learning products and features offer the perfect way to provide your learners with the depth and variety they need to grow, develop, and thrive in ways that suit their needs. 

First-class course authoring, video content tooling, and gamified career driver frameworks offer a familiar and engaging array of ways to achieve meaningful development for the new generation of learners.

Mark Probert

Mark Probert

Mark has been a strategic leader in various learning technology organisations for over a decade. Mark brings his expertise from leading and developing teams at Instructure and Lumesse/Saba and LTG. Mark works with 100’s of organisations to help them implement their people-first L&D strategies by introducing talent and learning strategies that support connection, alignment, and growth plans in the face of hybrid and agile work.

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