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June 2018
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Beat the Clock
TD Magazine

Beat the Clock

Use these learning strategies to reach employees during their busy days.

In a world where employees can barely dedicate 1 percent of the workweek to learning, as reported by Bersin by Deloitte, we are left with minutes—not hours or days—to create results. These constraints mean training is changing, and whether we like it or not, that affects modern learners' expectations. These three learning strategies will help you reach employees during their busy days:

Think of moments. When employees have time to learn, it's usually in a flash. They also often have a need during performance moments. That's where microlearning comes in. When designing your microlearning assets, ask yourself how they serve that moment of need. For example, rather than having a five-minute module on "Helping Customers Understand the Benefits of Our Products," does it make more sense to have a 60-second video called "Five Key Benefits of Our New Products"?

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Next, consider making your content mobile-optimized, not just mobile-ready. And finally, don't limit yourselves to bite-size videos. Short quizzes for reinforcement can drive powerful learning retention, too.

Foster a learning brand. Employees have many duties and concerns that compete for attention with learning. So, they won't find content that doesn't seem meaningful and credible worthwhile.

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Within your organization, think about creating a learning brand that people would subscribe to. Be interesting. Be consistent. Focus on quality. Let them know what to expect and where to find it.

Use actionable data. Employees don't want to feel that their time is wasted. Therefore, use data to enhance and customize their learning journeys. Start by understanding your learners, then improve your strategy accordingly. Find out what they care about and what matters to them most, whether during a product launch or at the end of a customer interaction. Start small with the analytics, and you'll quickly get hooked. They will too.

About the Author
Shahin Sobhani is the founder and president of SwissVBS, a firm dedicated to moving communities from learning to doing. Since its inception in 2001, he has provided leadership, vision, and empowerment to its team of experts who create learning solutions for some of the world’s most prestigious organizations. With 20 years of online training experience, Sobhani has overseen SwissVBS's innovation in the field, guiding its emergence as a leader in the industry. More than 1 million learners have engaged with SwissVBS-produced programs, and it serves its global clients with offices in Toronto, Munich, and St. Gallen.  Sobhani is a frequent speaker and consultant on how companies can incorporate virtual learning communities in the workplace. Most recently, he was invited by Apple to present in its sponsored seminars on the topic of “Training a Mobile Workforce.” He is currently on the Certification for E-learning (CEL) Supervisory Board established by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) in Belgium.
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