The new challenge for L&D departments: “Consumerisation of learning”

Benjamin Joseph, CEO at Training Express, gave an interesting talk about a new trend in L&D: The “Consumerisation of Learning”.

According to Benjamin, this is one of the biggest challenges Learning and Development departments currently face. Thanks to the Internet, everyone now has access  to more and more sources of information—wherever and whenever they want. And this has also changed  the way we consume knowledge.

According to Bersin by Deloitte, 66% of human resources directors say they struggle to get employees to engage with the training they are offered. As a result, training plans fail and employees are dissatisfied. Yet for Millennials, learning and development opportunities are the most coveted job benefit. So why aren’t they interested in the programs their companies offer them?

For Benjamin, the answer is that L&D departments are not familiar with the “Modern Learner.” As described in the Bersin study, the Modern Learner is overwhelmed, distracted and impatient; someone who can spend just 1% of their time on training—which is why they expect a whole lot more from training programs. They want solutions that are mobile, on demand and empower the learner to choose.

In recent years there’s been a boom in alternative learning methods accessible anywhere, anytime, and L&D departments are trying to adjust to this reality. In fact, 43% of professionals seek learning opportunities outside of the workplace. If companies want employees to engage with training they must adapt to these new models, start looking at L&D as a sales process where employees are customers and apply the three golden rules of sales:

  1. Know your customer inside and out, in order to identify their needs and tastes.
  2. Communicate your message clearly and educate your customer. Employees must be aware of their options, the benefits of what they are being offered and the impact it will have on them.
  3. Offer solutions aligned with the customer’s needs. Finally, it is important to design programs that meet the needs of various groups of employees.

When it comes to this last step, training consultancies can contribute a great deal. Some of them, like Training Express, a leader in language and skills training, have been developing a more and more flexible range of products, services and purchase models tailored to the needs of the modern learner . In other words, they’re moving towards a B2B2C (business to business to consumer) model that’s aligned with this new reality of consumerised learning.

Here you can watch the complete conference.