Working and learning in the age of digital disruption

Global access to the internet and the resulting digital tools that’ve been developed have transformed society. We’ve seen powerful trends emerge that are reshaping business, with a shift in human behavior and a new set of expectations around talent.

Will these changes affect you? 

Chart Learning has been mapping the trends that impact private and public life for the last several decades. Together with industry experts across the globe, we review and compile valuable insights that are employed in the creation of our learning programs. Our goal is to ensure that our programs support students and learners in meeting the evolving market needs.

Technology has affected how work and life are viewed

We used to be restricted by a traditional concept of work and physical workplace objects. Desks, filing cabinets and desktop PCs forced us to be in the office to complete our work, and productivity was demonstrated first and foremost by one’s physical presence. Now, we can work from anywhere using our laptops, tablets and smartphones to connect with our colleagues and access and edit files. But this connectivity has removed the distinction between being at work and not being at work; we need never “switch off,” we’re accessible 24/7.

“The office environment of yesteryear is no longer allowing employees to interact with a global market, and even take work out on the road. The influx of new technologies that has been making the general convenience of our personal lives has grown exponentially and has taken over our professional lives as well.” writes Elizabeth Dukes, Author at iOffice in “5 Ways Technology in the Workplace Has Improved Our Lives.”

 There are two competing trends at play here, with work and personal time having become merged. Some folks attempt to draw a clear line between the two, whereas others embrace the merge and accept that their work is their life.

The latter trend has created a movement of self-employment, with people setting up businesses that support their passions and being able to work from anywhere. For those who remain employed, the office may become like a satellite. Tools for remote work and adapted organizational structures allow employees to take control of their schedules and to find a balance that suits them.

Reflecting on what this means for employers 

Employers may seek to engage employees in new ways, helping them to develop new skills and shifting how work is perceived and approached. Incorporating elearning into existing training and development programs is an effective way to do this. eLearning tools are delivered through “blended learning,” a mix of digital and in person education.

To make the introduction of elearning smooth, Chart Learning uses the best practice learning methodology available for blended learning, called the Performance Assurance System. This is particularly helpful to workplace trainers because it means the role of trainer is adapting and growing. Within the Performance Assurance System, trainers can become Certified Coaches to elevate their role and responsibilities.

Trainers and coaches are valuable resources 

Supportive elearning content is not created in a vacuum. Subject matter experts seek assistance in producing learning material, no matter the format.

So how does “pre-packed” content fit into a trainer’s suite of materials? Off-the-shelf content acts as a template for customization. Subject matter experts can lend their expertise to foundational courses by:

    • Providing additional context and materials to complement the content
    • Interpret and apply real-world scenarios to difficult pieces of information
    • Facilitating discussion around the material
    • Providing organization-specific examples and application

Many trainers who embrace elearning content will see their role evolve from that of presenter or facilitator to that of a guide or resource. Employees can learn the basics from a video, but they may not understand what those basics mean to the company, or how they should be applied.

Most importantly, in an age of dedicated content consumption, digital tools represent greater opportunities to put materials in learners’ hands.

The recipe for success

Blended learning gives employers the tools to remove the burden of traditional workplace training. While it’s not a replacement for corporate learning specialists, or anyone in a training capacity, it makes the job of trainer far more efficient and effective.

The use of blended learning also allows for better analysis of training and how successful it is. Digitized training data allows employers to analyze results and demonstrate program effectiveness. eLearning tools and content make it easy to keep control over the aspects of training that are helpful and remove those that are burdensome.

Peter Horwing is the CEO of Chart Learning Solutions, headquartered in Sweden. Chart Learning Solutions is a performance improvement company in professional development, focusing on leadership, sales, customer service and team performance. This is accomplished using Chart’s Performance Assurance System, which has produced industry proven, award-winning courses with coaching.