Emily Marsh December 3 2019

Why blended learning is ace - and what's in it for you

Learning in the workplace has evolved, with a shift towards blended learning solutions. We explore why using innovative blended learning techniques will help you to get your people adopting the behaviours that will make your business successful.

People are at the heart of every business, so it’s no surprise that it’s talent-related problems that keep business leaders up at night. In a global survey by The Predictive Index (PI), nearly 70% of CEOs said they need help with talent-related strategies like leadership development and employee performance.

Often, an organisation will have an idea as to what they need to do to develop their leaders and improve employee performance, but knowing how to do it effectively and in a way that results in tangible behaviour change can be difficult.

You can define a new behavioural framework that you hope will drive your people and your business forward, but how do you get people to actually adopt and exhibit those behaviours, not least in the short-term, but in the long-term?

We can’t just get away with ‘training’ people anymore. Just like technology, skills demands, working practices, and business models are evolving, and so too is learning. This Deloitte report shows that leading organisations are taking actions to deliver learning in a more personal way, integrating work and learning more closely, and shifting towards continuous learning models where accountability extends beyond HR and rests ultimately with each individual.

Bubbling on the surface of this conversation about how learning is changing, whether directly referred to or not, is the idea of blended learning. With the use of innovative blended learning techniques, organisations can stop training, and start transforming their people.

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is the concept of combining more than one learning channel to meet established learning goals. Typically, it couples online educational materials with traditional face-to-face training.

Blended learning is nothing new, but just like everything else, it too is constantly evolving. The key for organisations is to combine different channels of delivery to produce a learning experience that results in a noticeable shift in behaviours and performance.

At t-three, we’ve found through working with our clients, that a blended learning approach combining pre-module microlearning with traditional face-to-face modules, goal setting, real-world practice and ongoing feedback and accountability, is key to achieving tangible changes in behaviour.

Why blended learning works

Creates a culture of continuous improvement

With blended learning, the development journey doesn’t start and end in a one or two-day workshop. It can span from 6 weeks to 6 months - and beyond. In this way, learning reflects how we learn in real life - we never stop learning. Through a blended learning approach, you help create and maintain a culture of continuous improvement.

Aids learning retention

The forgetting curve shows that adults typically retain only 20% of what they learn in a workshop 6 days after the event. It might make logistical sense to cram all of the content into a workshop, but this won't help long term learning retention.

With a blended learning approach, microlearning modules deliver much of the critical knowledge building phase, so that face-to-face modules can focus on supporting people to practice new behaviours. Learners can access microlearning modules at any time, from anywhere, making it easily and readily accessible. This allows them to access the content at their own pace and because learning is more focused, retention is easier.

Builds habits

The tipping point of behaviour change is when a new way of doing something becomes a habit. Habit formation takes time and a lot of practice. For this reason, practice, practice - and more practice - is core to the blended learning experience we deliver at t-three. The more people practice a new behaviour, the easier it is for it to become second nature.

Face-to-face modules provide an opportunity for people to practice new behaviours and apply it in their working context, in a safe and supportive environment. Goal setting and real world practice challenges support people to practice the new behaviours back in the workplace - which is where growth really occurs.

Keeps people on track

Blended learning makes it easy for people to track how they’re doing wherever they are, at whatever time they think about it, on whatever device is in front of them. This is especially important in working environments where staff aren't usually based at a desk all day.

Makes learning personal

To get anyone to do anything differently, you need to give them a compelling reason to want to change. Incorporating self-awareness tools like Facet5 and Truth Teller into the blended learning process can provide insights into how you measure up against the skill.

Works for scale

Delivering training to global organisations or even workplaces with high rates of remote or flexible workers can be challenging. Blended learning makes it easier to deliver learning on a large, global scale, where not everyone is sat in the same room. People can access microlearning modules, goals and feedback from mentors, any time, any where.

Is blended learning right for your business?

People strategies are high up on the agenda of all businesses, big and small. What you need is to get people adopting the behaviours that will make your business successful, and blended learning provides a robust solution for this.

If you’re wondering whether a blended learning approach will work for you, get in touch for a no obligations chat to discuss your needs. Perhaps you have an example where you don’t think it would work, or maybe you’ve tried something similar before; we can talk that through with you and see if we can help. We can also share with you some real case studies to help you build a better picture of how blended learning might be able to help you achieve sustainable behaviour change within your organisation.

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