May 23, 2016
According to a new report from The Open University, the UK’s near universal immersion in online behaviour is having a profound effect on the way employees learn and develop. The Trends in Learning 2016 report claims that businesses can do more to leverage these high rates of internet access, using online training solutions to ensure that they have a fully tech-savvy and highly-skilled workforce. The authors suggest that as individuals in the UK have become more used to accessing information online, demand for this access at work has also increased. According to research conducted by Towards Maturity, 57 per cent of workplace learners like to be able to access learning on-the-go and 18 per cent are now learning at their work desks. Organisations who can take advantage of this demand for mobile-optimised information will be able to develop a culture of learning in their workforces that boosts productivity and engagement.
Steve Hill, Director of External Engagement at The Open University, comments: “Employees are using mobile devices for many aspects of their work, and this creates a fantastic opportunity for businesses to develop an agile and adaptive organisation. By encouraging mobile learning in the workplace, companies can create a flexible learning environment which accommodates their business needs and work schedule. Employees are able to study whenever and wherever suits them best, extending the reach and effectiveness of L&D initiatives. Providing online training platforms, which are optimised for mobile access, enables employees to find relevant content and resources at moments where they need to access information quickly.
“As these latest government figures show, the internet is becoming more and more accessible, and decision makers should recognise how this opens up new avenues for professional development. Mobile technology widens the availability of learning materials for continuous professional development, ushering in an exciting era in which employees can be given the tools to develop agile and adaptive mind-sets.”
Learning and development is moving towards a more tailored and personalised approach, which caters to the needs of the individual employee, far more effectively addressing particular gaps in skills.
Steve Hill continues: “Employees are now able to drive their own development by using their own devices on-the-go during their own time. We live in a digital era which provides a range of opportunities for employees to learn in a way which is more effective, efficient and responsive to the changing needs of their organisation, therefore giving businesses better ways to create a highly-skilled workforce.”
Illustration: Stevie Smith