Thinking of ways to move your organisation forward in the last half of 2023? Or are you an individual, looking to progress within your career? When considering L&D programs, whether for your team or yourself, a flexible learning approach can be beneficial.
What is flexible learning?
Flexible learning focuses on learners as individuals with unique learning styles. No two people will learn in the same way, so having multiple pathways can prove beneficial.
For example, consider the two learners below. Both are members of the same team, doing the same course, but both will need assistance to complete their best work. Learner 1 may benefit from self-paced learning from videos (e.g. LinkedIn Learning), while learner 2 may need more in-person support.
|Learner 1||Learner 2|
|Intrinsically motivated||Extrinsically motivated|
|Needs to go at their own pace||Needs structured sessions to attend|
|Prefers visual learning||Prefers practical application|
|English is their second language||Socially anxious|
The Impact of Employee Training
According to the LinkedIn 2023 Workplace Learning Report, “Skills sets for jobs have changed by around 25% since 2015. By 2027, this number is expected to double”. In less than a decade, skills sets have changed by a quarter, and this rate isn’t slowing down!
In today’s job market, every organisation could benefit from investing in training. Hands-on training results in increased productivity and better employee retention rates. According to Gallup, businesses that invest in employee training report an increase in profit by as much as 29%.
For employers and employees
Flexible courses work around the schedules of its learners, rather than the other way around (see more about tailor-made learning solutions). For an employee with a packed schedule, being able to move their learning sessions can make a huge difference. Additionally, when managers are not having to adjust to employees being absent for week-long courses, productivity can only increase!
Remove potential barriers
Being flexible with time can ease the barrier of being ‘too busy’ to complete training.
Some learners may also struggle with social, emotional or other barriers and challenges. With flexible education, these challenges can be identified and mitigated.
As opposed to attending an in-person course, a flexible course can be better tailored to each individual. Therefore, it can suit an individual’s unique needs and abilities, expand their study skills, encourage them and boost their morale. This leads to deeper engagement and better understanding of their learning material. Many candidates could consider this one of the top reasons to invest in flexible and online learning.
Companies and learners choose flexible learning as time and place are at companies’ and learners’ convenience
This empowers companies and students by giving them choices in the pace, place and mode of delivery.
According to data from Growth Engineering, the two most popular reasons for choosing flexible/online learning are that learners are able to learn at their own pace (95%) and organisations and students save time and costs on travelling (84%).
Companies and learners are not limited by disturbances in their schedule and workload, as they are able to choose the time when they commence training, and where they wish to do it, whether it’s in-person, online or a blend.
This ultimately puts control in the hands of the company and/or learner, while the training provider will give them the support and advice they need in the process.
Learners will also benefit by being able to grasp and understand the learning material without feeling pressure to complete tasks at a set time. Nor feeling this pressure allows learners to complete their workload at their best ability. This leads to achieving better grades, and getting the most out of the course.
Flexible learning allows the employees within organisations to gain new knowledge and skills
As found in a LinkedIn study, 94% of employees stay in a company for longer where there are training opportunities available. If an employee feels supported by their employer, it leads to high motivation and enthusiasm for their job. Job satisfaction leads to lower retention, which is significantly economically viable for the company. There are also intrinsic benefits to developing a skilled workforce, which is best suited to meet the goals and challenges of the organisation they work for. Both companies and employees will therefore benefit from employees’ motivation to succeed in their career.
Online techniques are especially beneficial for developing the knowledge and skills of learners (see more about online learning below). As an IBM study has found, employees learn 5x more material through online learning.
Flexible learning brings out the best potential out of companies’ available staff
Investing in the development of employees is a key to success for organisations. The most successful companies in the UK in fact have invested the most in training.
86% of employees believe it’s important for employers to provide learning opportunities.
Furthermore, the flexible learning programmes encourage self-discipline, independence and other skills which individuals can implement in their workplace. Using students’ own initiative instead of attending classes is a great contribution to their personal and professional growth.
In the case of online courses, they also allow students to grow a larger social network – see more about online learning below.
Flexible learning solution tailored to the needs of your business
Did you know that all of our diplomas are available to study online? We offer courses in the health & social care, professional services and education and training sectors. We furthermore offer first aid related training, pre-hospital care courses and a number of e-learning courses.
At Basegreen Academy, we aim to understand the needs, requirements and challenges of organisations, in order to implement an effective training solution.
HOW CAN A COURSE BECOME FLEXIBLE TO OUR NEEDS?
We have discussed how effective flexible learning is in depth. But what are some of the leading ways to progress in training your workforce in a flexible manner, or pursuing flexible education as an individual?
Invest in online learning – see reasons why:
During the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual learning has expanded rapidly. However, it’s not only in the past year that organisation have recognised and taken advantage of the benefits of distance education. A study conducted by LinkedIn in 2019 has found that 59% of talent developers invested more in online learning than in classroom-based training. According to Markinstyle, 72% of organisations have reported that e-learning gave them a significant competitive advantage in 2017. Great benefits have been found in the flexibility of online education, and it is a prime example of how technology has changed and affected education.
What is distance learning? How does online learning work?
What is distance learning and how is it done? In some ways, it’s exactly like attending in-person classes, however it is done virtually through the internet and technology. Technology is becoming an important part of modern day education. Typically, online classes are run in a format similar to those in-person, and include virtual discussions, close mentoring, support, and homework. In this day and age, almost any course and qualification can be studied online. This includes diplomas, apart from those where is is vital that students see or learn the material in-person.
Online courses show a demonstrable return on investment
Flexible online learning shows to be beneficial to organisations, and has greatly contributed to their turnover – companies which use technology to provide training (which includes e-learning) have generated higher revenue per employee by as much as 26% (study conducted by The Business Impact of Next-Generation eLearning, 2011).
Flexible training generates an outreach
A benefit to online learning is also that they can globally expand students’ social network. Be it nationally or globally, as the learners’ peers could be based anywhere in the world. Location plays a very small role in choosing an online course. This is different to classical education, where learners would meet their peers locally. While the assumption could be made that online learning won’t allow for peers to connect as much as they could in person, there are many ways for online students to network and collaborate. For example, learners can connect via online small group sessions, live discussions, webinars and feedback sessions. Most online courses put in extra effort and care to make their course engaging amongst its learners, and ensure they get sufficient interaction with other students.
Flexible learning means flexible time
Furthermore, distance learning provides flexibility for students, which makes learning times at students’ and companies’ convenience. It also offers employers training which will accommodate the work patterns and demands of their company. Flexible learning allows for a good balance of work and studies, which is neither at the expense of the employee’s workload nor their training and development.
Where to go to to start learning online
Basegreen Academy is a distance learning provider – many of our courses available up to level 5 diplomas are offered through TQUK. Our online learning options provide students flexibility and learning at their own pace, with support from our dedicated tutors.
Online or remote learning is therefore a great solution to those who wish to need their learning programme tailored to their needs. It can be done from anywhere, at any time, at the organisations’ convenience. It also tends to be less costly than in-person classes – not to mention how much money organisations save on travel, class materials, and their employee time.
There are also available short online courses that will top up employees’ knowledge and skills across a variety of sectors – see our e-learning courses.
CONVINCED ABOUT THE TOP REASONS TO INVEST IN FLEXIBLE AND ONLINE LEARNING?
Organisations have various learning and development needs. However, they also have varying work patterns, demands, number of employees and level of training these employees need to be trained up to. Some companies may most benefit from online learning, some a blend, and some have reasons to stick to in-person classes. These organisations will therefore benefit from being in a partnership with a learning provider which will work to accommodate their requirements.
Here at Basegreen Academy, we understand that first and foremost we need to listen. We recognise the importance of working in partnership to ensure organisations receive the best training solution, supporting them to develop an effective workforce and a demonstrable return on investment. Only through understanding companies’ unique needs can we implement an effective training solution, tailored to each organisation. Organisations who have experienced the benefits of effective training solutions would likely describe this as the top reason to invest in flexible and online learning.
Organisational Needs Analysis: Finding the perfect solution for your organisation
An organisational needs analysis is a complimentary consultation with our business development team, either directly on our website or by contacting us. During this consultation, we will discuss the specific requirements of your organisation, and implement an effective learning solution.
Depending on your preference, this analysis can be a quick solution, but can also go further in-depth at no extra cost, finding the specific skill gaps within your organisation, supporting and helping you in moving forward .
Discussing your training needs in detail will aid in finding the best solution for your organisation as we will work in partnership with you to accommodate your demands and challenges.
Our complimentary Organisational Needs Analysis can be requested by enquiring on our website – click here. Alternatively, please contact us directly – we are always happy to help.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Tel: 0114 212 5910