Not every course created has the quality of being a stand-alone one, especially when it comes to employee training and development. Some courses, in essence, are meant to be grouped with others to enhance the overall learning experience. That’s where learner paths or learning paths become relevant.
If you are confused about what a learning path is, they are a collection of thoughtfully grouped courses, primed to enable the learners to master a specific program or topic. They are especially useful and crucial for upskilling individuals belonging to the same team or sharing similar responsibilities.
Related Read: 6 Pro Tips to Create Great Custom eLearning Paths
With learner paths, tutors can pass the control of choice to the learners – making it easier for both the parties. To be more precise, there are numerous benefits associated with implementing a learning path in employee training and development. Here are some of the benefits for your consideration.
Benefits of Learning Path in Employee Training & Development
1. Brings More Structure
With learner paths, training programs become more structured and sequenced. Although learners can choose the pace and pathways of progression, administrators can control the order in which the courses are assigned and the duration for which a course becomes available.
A learning path can also be implemented to address the needs of multiple learners or teams. Administrators can identify the specific needs of an individual and assign respective courses to only that learner.
2. Enables Self-Paced Learning
Employees differ in their abilities to learn, grasp and implement the information they perceive. Without a learning path, they will be forced to stick to a specific pace, making it harder to catch up with the rest.
One of the most striking benefits of learner paths is that they make learning self-paced. Learners can choose when, where, and what they want to learn. More precisely, the control of choice shifts from the administrator to the learners.
3. Makes it Easier to Define And Pursue Goals
One reason why training programs fail is that they are formulated without a goal in sight. Fortunately, learner paths eliminate such inconsistencies and bring more meaning to the learning process with well-defined goals.
As these pieces of training become purpose-driven, employees will get a sense of accomplishment and reasons for starting the program in the first place. With instant and visible roadmaps, learners will be motivated to complete the course and will have insights on how far they are from reaching their goals.
4. Helps in Accelerating L&D Goals
The purpose of employee training is to upskill individuals and align those acquired skills with the organization’s growth and requirements. This can be collectively called the learning and development process, which has the utmost significance for a company’s long-term success.
With learner paths, companies can align the courses in such a way that they address the immediate needs of the organization. As several modules collectively contribute to the final goal, employees can quickly implement their skills acquired from each lesson.
5. Saves Admin Time
Whether it is an IT employee or an administrator, their time is an invaluable resource. For admin users, utilizing learning paths will help in enrolling a considerable number of learners at the same time and leaving the rest to their comfort and pace of learning.
As there will be a well designed roadmap for reaching the intended goals, learners will be self-sufficient – reducing the burden placed on the administrators. Additionally, when a learner completes a course, they are automatically enrolled in the next, without admin intervention.
6. Promotes Continuous Feedback
Training alone won’t help the employees acquire new skills and knowledge. Instead, they must receive continuous and constructive feedback to reassure that they are following the right track.
A learner path, coupled with multiple assessments and methods to apply the acquired knowledge, will help both the employee and the organization to assess whether the programs are useful from a business perspective.
As a learning path covers multiple modules, admins can monitor how each employee engages with each module and tweak the entire program if needed. As feedback is almost immediate, employees will also have the opportunity to correct themselves.
7. Makes Learning a Continuous Process
Unlike a few decades ago, employees are now more aware of the importance of upskilling and are keen on learning new things. Of course, the “keenness” to learn depends on how interactive and relevant the lessons are to an individual.
Additionally, employees tend to prefer organizations that are more enthusiastic about professional development. With learning paths, organizations can continually update their training programs and will have the flexibility to add more modules in between.
8. Small Bites Are Better for Retention
Learner paths make it easier to deliver relevant information in an organized manner, throughout a stipulated time period. This is especially critical to engage and retain employees as training cannot be performed once and left there.
To make the acquired information useful and profitable for the organization, it must be repeatedly delivered via multiple channels in an engaging fashion.
As learning paths follow bite-sized learning (also known as microlearning), there will be less clutter and lesser cognitive load on the employees. Smaller chunks can also improve retention as learning is more understandable, with a few takeaways and more time to absorb.
9. Nurtures a Learning Environment
As previously mentioned, employees are inclined to stick with organizations that invest in their skill development. With learning paths, companies can nurture a learning environment that views upskilling as a continuous and essential process.
As organizations invest more in training, they can understand the overlooked gaps in employee development, which can boost productivity when resolved. Starting with onboarding, learning paths will make it easier for employees to attain excellence when a clearly defined path is set to follow.
When learning becomes a habit, companies can also reduce costs associated with expensive workshops or frequent talent hunts. As employees are enhancing their skillsets, meeting the skills demands across multiple departments will be seamless.
Also, learning will not be overwhelming anymore, as employees can estimate the time and effort required to master a specific topic.
There is no doubt that implementing learning paths in employee training and development will transform an organization’s outlook and portray it as a destination employer. The key is to formulate learner paths and strategies that align with the organization’s interests and requirements, as well as that of the employees.
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