Though still hugely popular at most schools, traditional classrooms in the workplace have undergone major changes are all but dead. It may sound radical, but if you try to remember the last time you saw perfectly lined rows of desks and an instructor delivering their speech in front of a group of people, you’ll most likely need some time.
What do we have instead?
Finally, the education model has decided to follow in the footsteps of industries it supports and adapts to reflect the new needs. The alternative learning space is a result of combined effort of modern technology, methodology and management. Much more focus is placed on exploration, fun and subsequent learning than ever before. This is achieved by using a range of teaching methods and tools, skilfully applied by experts who refuse to be limited by traditional concepts. Nowadays, a learning space for professional purposes is where you’ll find gamification, info-bites and self-paced direct learning, rather than boring presentations or even lectures.
How do we achieve our goals?
This is probably the most important question. Honestly, the answer is complex and it involves the right combination of different elements applied in the correct and timely manner. Let’s take a look at the crucial aspects.
Make sure the training is relatable
One of the worst things you can do is organise a training that has little relevance to what your employees need. That’s why you should both help the staff acquire new skills and gain a deeper understanding of how their performance influences the business. Business literacy is a highly valued element that should be tackled through creative problem solving, empathy and collaboration. For example, try to use analogies to help the trainees understand the connection between a particular learning activity and their job performance.
Unless your idea is that training is merely an activity on a list that needs to be ticked off, you’d be very interested in how much of what is learned is actually retained. Numerous studies have shown that the best way to boost retention is to use a combination of reading, watching, doing and collaborating. Naturally, this is easier said than done, but you have to understand that traditional lectures are simply not effective enough.
Create an environment that fosters learning
It’s been widely recognised that the environment in which we learn affects the quality of learning. So, pay attention to how you design and equip the learning space. Look for contemporary office furniture solutions for businesses and make sure all the equipment and cool affordable office supplies are available at all times to both trainers and trainees.
Fun can do miracles
Someone once said that we don’t stop playing because we get older, but that we get older because we stop playing. The jury is still out there on this one, but most people prefer to feel more relaxed when learning and what better way than sprinkling a training session with a dash of fun? If fun is made relevant, employees are happier at work, which translates into stronger dedication to company goals. That’s why you’ll find arcade games in the breakroom, but they can also be used as a teaching tool when business and financial concepts are dealt with.
Keep the staff motivated
One of the most challenging tasks of every manager is to keep the employees’ motivation levels high at all times. If training is seen simply as a chore, the staff will not be motivated. On the other hand, if you use the method applied to video games, where players can advance to higher levels by progressing and completing previous levels, you can change the wrong attitude of people towards training and professional development. A personal scorecard and leader-board are two simple ideas that have proven quite useful over the years.
Basically, if you really want to boost the effect of learning in your company, you probably need to rethink the approach you’ve been using so far. Next, you should set your goals and decide on the strategy, incorporating the tips you’ve just read about. Some ideas won’t be an instant success, but given time and patience, they are bound to pay off.
Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into the lifestyle, parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.