Bringing a virtual learning consultant onboard will help your company prepare for the peak of the digital age. Only businesses that are prepared for the ever-changing business world can stay afloat. Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of employees working from home as the digital age digs its roots into the economy. New technologies are disrupting markets at an all-time high. Whether it’s a pandemic, skill gaps, or lack of office space, businesses need to prepare for the next wave of disruptions.
Top companies have adopted a new appreciation for learning and development. It’s the most powerful tool on the planet for strengthening a company to prepare it for the future. In today’s business economy, it’s essential that businesses engineer a learning system that is capable of taking on these workplace disruptions. A stagnant approach will not keep up.
So business owners have a choice to make. They can run the risk of being disrupted or they can adapt and become the disruptors. Here are four essential skills that will ensure that your business is in the right position and ready for the future.
#1: Adapt Data-Driven Analytics to Make Decisions
We have access to a lot of information today so businesses have learned to tap into it to make important decisions. This has become a staple of business success. Data has a number of uses such as evaluating business functions and forecasting return on investments. Of course, most businesses limit data analytics to sales, marketing, and development but why not take it a step further?
L&D must evolve to meet the demands of current learners and the only way we can know what those demands are is by analyzing data. So businesses must place an emphasis and invest in data analysis. Data analytics teams should work closely with L&D to master this data in order to establish performance enhancing practices.
The Kirkpatrick model is the most popular tool used for analyzing a business’s training practices. Its time-tested approach uses four levels to evaluate training, including employee initial reaction, learning impact, behavioral change, and organizational performance. We can adapt this approach to meet the demands of modern learning.
#2: Focus on Learner-Centric Approaches
A learning consultant should focus on creating an engaging learner experience. We use data analysis to determine the best ways to create that experience. It’s important that L&D leaders have a firm understanding of neuroscience and social sciences with regard to the way humans behave during the learning process. This knowledge assists in the development of training models that truly engage the learner.
With that said, L&D leaders also need to have a strong grasp of models used to create engaging content. This includes visual learning strategies, microlearning, contextual learning, and blended learning.
Use data analytics to create learner personas so you have a grasp of what your target audience will find engaging. Every learner audience is different so by understanding this, you can create an engaging experience. The key is to find their pain point and discover what motivates them to learn. Use that as the foundation for building a training regimen.
An expert learning consultant has spent their life immersed in the learning process so they understand it better than anyone. They know how to create programs that fit everyone while ensuring that the core experience remains unchanged. In the end, an expert learning consultant creates virtual learning programs that encourage engagement without getting in the way of the workflow.
#3: Mastery of Technology
The digital age has given birth to many new technologies. It seems as though the world is revealing something new every day! Naturally, this technology has made its way into the L&D world. That’s why companies must ensure their learning and development practices are designed with flexibility in mind. Being flexible lets you master new technology as it comes out and ensures that you don’t suffer when disruptive technologies emerge.
We’ve seen a breakthrough in automation, interactivity, virtual reality, and augmented reality. This technology can be used to master learning by creating programs that engage learners on every level.
Of course, the exact layout of the learning program depends on the organization’s needs. One must factor the budget, culture, and a company’s mission into a learning program. Modern eLearning takes all of these into consideration and innovative minds find ways to use current technology to weave a learning program into fruition.
#4: Understanding Consultation
Of course, a learning consultant must understand the ins and outs of consultation. This requires a unique skillset involving excellent communication, influencing, engagement, and the ability to make hard decisions. It’s important that learning consultants have the skills necessary to communicate L&D policy benefits with shareholders in a way that aligns with the overall goals of the business.
But having those skills isn’t enough. A consultant must be able combine them with a firm understanding of the intricacies that encompass the workplace. While communication and influence are required when it’s time to break down these policies for shareholders, L&D consultants must be able to develop the systems.
Consulting with colleagues and employees within the company is just as important as it is with shareholders. Learning consultants must determine the impact a new training method will have and how to create a learning experience that engages employees.
The constant changes to the business landscape are forcing companies to adapt more quickly than ever. Employee development is essential to long-term success and this development is in the hands of a company’s L&D department. Modern learning requires constant evolution to keep up with the demands of a constantly-changing landscape.
The biggest obstacle is the unpredictable nature of disruption. Finding the right learning consultant will help protect your business by creating contingency plans and evolving learning practices. The right program is easily adaptable and highly flexible so it can meet any obstacle. Future-proof your business by investing in L&D.