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Personalized Learning is the New Organizational Currency

Personalized Learning is the New Organizational Currency

It’s no secret the workforce landscape is more volatile now than most of us have seen in our lifetimes. The need for reskilling and upskilling in the workplace has exploded. Now more than ever, customized learning opportunities are critical.

In fact, 64% of L&D professionals feel that learning and development has become key for businesses in 2021. Below, we’ll explore what personalized learning is, why it matters, and its benefits.

What is Personalized Learning?

Personalized learning caters to an employee’s strengths, role, goals, and more. With personalized learning, employees get instruction at their exact point of need

The idea is for employees to steer their own learning and create their own goals with a manager’s help. This also helps workers master the skills needed to excel in their role.

Why Personalized Learning Matters

A full 51% of L&D professionals feel internal mobility is more critical now than ever. Not only that, but employees at companies with internal mobility stay almost twice as long. 

There’s also the fact that today’s workers are used to personalization in every area of their lives. So it’s no surprise they expect a customized work experience. This is especially true when it comes to learning and development (L&D). 

“Expectations for training programs have shifted from simple content recommendations to new advanced and adaptive learning experiences, tailored to each individual employee,” writes Sharon George of Gartner. “This requires personalization, and it will become a critical component in every enterprise’s ongoing L&D strategy.

What’s more, with a workforce made up of five different generations, one set of training materials simply won’t cut it. 

“Running the same standard training sessions for every employee irrespective of role (HR, sales or IT) and learning style (visual, auditory or gamified) will only go so far,” points out George.

Indeed, companies that focus on personalized learning and development opportunities can reap major benefits. 

3 Benefits of Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning is the New Organizational Currency

1. It boosts engagement

Sera Bernard of Edutopia points out that “Students need a personal connection to the material, whether that’s through engaging them emotionally or connecting the new information with previously acquired knowledge (often one and the same).”

Without this connection, she says, workers may disengage or forget what they learned. But when learning is relevant, it helps boost retention and engagement. In fact:

  • 94% of employees say they’d stick around longer if their employer invested in their learning 
  • Employees are 54% more likely to want to learn when managers give them course recommendations

Not only that, but it’s no secret that many workers are struggling with decision fatigue. Creating a way for workers to find material they’re interested in makes engaging easier.

2. It closes knowledge gaps

Personalized learning isn’t just good for engagement. It closes critical knowledge gaps, too. 

Let’s think about how personalized learning could help a new manager. 

Research shows that 60% of all new managers fail within the first 24 months. We also know that managers have a major impact on employee experience. So it’s critical to set them up for success. 

Now imagine that a new manager takes a beginner management course specific to the organization – and even the department – they work in. This type of class can help them learn organization-specific knowledge. It can also help them understand how to support their direct reports. They can then take courses to build on the original course. Think: safety training, giving feedback, presentation skills, or whatever their role demands. 

This type of learning plan boosts the chances that workers will remember what they learn. It also addresses and helps close specific skills gaps. 

3. It prepares workers for the future and builds pride

Technology is moving fast, so it’s key for employees to have up-to-date knowledge. Personalized learning can pinpoint new skills relevant to employees’ roles. And the more current employees’ knowledge, the more value they can add to the company. 

Not only that, but research shows that mastering goals and higher pride are inextricably linked. Personalized learning makes it easier for employees to achieve goals that matter. And the pride this builds pays off via higher engagement, lower turnover, loyalty, and more. 

Personalized Learning & Development is the Currency of the Future

Personalized Learning is the New Organizational Currency

Personalized learning isn’t just a nice-to-have. In the workplace of the future, it’s a need-to-have to survive. Today’s employees simply won’t stick around if they feel like they’re being left to fend for themselves. Not only that, but personalized learning can help attract and keep top talent. It can help close knowledge gaps. And critically, it can boost an employee’s pride in their role and their company.

Indeed, when organizations take the time to personalize learning, it makes a big difference.

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