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6 Reasons Why You Should Implement Blended Learning in the Workplace

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Flexible and effective training methods are essential in a fast-paced environment, such as retail, hospitality, or on-demand delivery, where information changes quickly and workers are expected to retain knowledge and keep up to date with any new information.

Some companies focus on traditional training methods, such as worksheets and printouts, to train their workforce. But these can become unsustainable to manage long-term. 

Instead, modern frontlines are using blended learning in the workplace, which combines traditional in-person training with digital learning to create a personalized, highly relevant, and flexible program.

If you’re considering introducing blended learning, here’s everything you need to know, including blended learning definitions, benefits, and real-world examples.

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What is blended learning?

Blended learning is a combination of in-person learning and online, digital learning. It combines traditional, instructor-led training while also empowering workers with independent development.

This merge helps leverage the benefits and strengths of each strategy to give deskless workers a more flexible, engaging, and efficient training experience while reinforcing learning.

The best part? Introducing blending learning in the workplace means in-person training and digital learning don’t have to be an either/or situation.

You can combine the best of both worlds to still access the benefits of face-to-face training, such as relationship building, quick access to feedback, and improved collaboration.

Hybrid learning vs blended learning: what's the difference?

Hybrid and blended learning sound like the same two methods, but they have a few differences:

Hybrid learning

A combination of online and in-person learning where the topics are different. For example, a delivery worker attends a course on road safety and then undertakes digital learning modules on customer service. 

Blended learning

A combination of online and in-person learning where the topics are similar. For example, a retail worker attends a workshop on return handling and supplements this with digital learning on return policies.

3 blended learning examples in action

1. Theoretical knowledge

You’re a training manager at a hotel chain that spans multiple regions and want to improve consistency across your locations.

Online: You create digital modules on food safety and hygiene best practices using a microlearning platform for workers to complete.

In-person: You supplement this with in-person role-playing scenarios focusing on safe food handling and customer service to improve consistency across the board.

2. Product knowledge

You’re a director of training at a local big-box retailer and want to improve worker knowledge with a goal to increase customer satisfaction and retention.

Online: You create training modules about new products, features, and benefits through interactive, tappable vertical video with text overlay and instructional content. 

In-person: You combine this with hands-on in-store training sessions to reinforce learning and information retention, which leads to an increase in sales, repeat customers, and higher NPS.

3. Operational procedures

You’re an operations leader at an on-demand delivery company and want to support drivers with route planning to improve delivery speed.

Online: You use online training modules to educate new drivers on GPS, route planning, and understanding traffic patterns. 

In-person: You link this with in-person scenario-based learning to practice route adjustments and problem-solving, helping make deliveries safer and faster.

The benefits of blended learning over traditional learning

Close skill gaps and upskill more effectively

Use blended learning to quickly close skill gaps, which occur when a worker lacks the skills or knowledge required for a position. These gaps hinder career progression and impact business performance.

For example, you notice a worker scores low on a digital customer de-escalation training. Rather than reaching a point of crisis, blended learning allows you to take steps to close the skill gap by organizing an in-person training session to address any concerns.

The alternative is the individual doesn’t meet expectations, and you have to find a new hire, which is time-consuming and costly.

Improve retention rates

Retention is a serious issue across multiple frontline industries, and lack of career progression is often cited as a reason for leaving a company.

But, with one in four frontline workers viewing professional development opportunities as a top workplace incentive, introducing new strategies that promote career growth, such as blended learning, can impact retention rates.

Temco, a home goods delivery and installation solutions provider, used this approach when it introduced blended learning in the workplace. 

The result? A 50% reduction in driver and technician turnover.

Temco found that information and knowledge from face-to-face training were limited to the session they were delivered in and not easy to re-access afterward. 

Rather than viewing training as in-person or online, they created a combination of the two by using eduMe to build a library of resources for its drivers and technicians to use in pre-training and post-training.

It’s a library of resources, content that’s in their hand, on their phone. If they’ve forgotten how to do a particular task  - or they’ve never learned how - they can get straight to it and see exactly how to do it in 3 minutes or less. A repository that’s always available so they can self-serve.

The company supplemented this with drop-in training sessions that workers can drop into on the fly to help reinforce learning.

Blended learning is meant to be a supplement, it’s meant to reinforce things. It’s also meant to make the trainer’s life a bit easier.

Enhance training impact with greater information retention

Blended learning concepts are taught online and then reinforced face-to-face, or vice versa.

This means complex ideas, instructions, or theories are more easily understood, improving training and development effectiveness.

By diversifying how you share information, you also appeal to different learning styles, such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. 

For example, let’s say half of your team learns best through on-the-job training (kinesthetic), and the other half are visual learners. A blend of the two would be more effective and impactful than one style vs. the other.

Diversifying training and career progression also supports different learning styles and individual needs. 

Some people with neurodiversity struggle to pay attention for long periods in classroom-based settings, so reinforcement via digital training would be beneficial for this group.

Drive engagement with dynamic formats

Improve engagement in learning materials by introducing new and different ways to learn. 

Engaging training formats, such as dynamic visuals, level badges, or leaderboards, help break information down into digestible microlearning and transform the training experience from a passive experience into an active one, which helps drive participation and engagement.

And because most digital training platforms come with built-in analytics, it’s easy to see who’s really been paying attention to and benefiting from training. This is in contrast to a lecture or workshop-only approach, where it’s hard to understand how well information is actually being retained by the participants.

Digital training also reflects how individuals consume information. People are used to scrolling through social media and engaging with short-form videos and bite-sized educational information, which helps drive greater engagement.

For example, Pet Supermarket introduced tappable vertical videos to train frontline workers and saw a 79% average completion rate, a 2-minute average completion time, and a 98% workforce satisfaction rate.

Guides are applicable to what I need answers for. They’re created by people like me. They’re entertaining, quick, and easy to digest.”

- Pet Supermarket

 Book a call to learn about Guides and how the dynamic training format can help your business.

Meet workers where they’re at

A digital approach increases training flexibility by giving workers seamless access to training materials to complete when and where it’s most convenient.

For example, eduMe has multiple integrations with devices, software, and even different hardware to help integrate digital learning into the flow of work. And because there’s no need for a new login, a password to remember, or an app to download, access to training is fast and seamless.

Making training accessible across hardware and software workers also helps with familiarity and confidence while accessing training, impacting completion rates and engagement.

Access data, reporting, and insights

Introducing a digital training platform into your blended learning workflows means access to data and reporting, which helps you gain helpful insights into team performance and training progress while quickly identifying and closing skill gaps.

For example, set up smart groups where the training a learner sees is personalized based on their location, role, or other attributes, and the delivery of training is automated based around events, like completion of a course. This is achieved through the integration of training with HRIS/HRM software such as Workday, Dayforce and ADP

For learners, this means they only see content relevant to them and their training needs, helping boost engagement and information retention. For training owners, this means training delivery is automated, so they don’t need to spend time on manual assignment. It additionally empowers businesses to compare training performance at a regional level. 

Workplace training methods have evolved. More businesses, such as Uber, The Home Depot, and Marriott, are adopting new training practices to help them retain workers, close skill gaps, and improve knowledge retention. Join eduMe today to see how.

 

 

 

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