When COVID-19 restrictions sent many employees to work from home, there was at least one silver lining: The immediate shift to remote work and learning opened up the acceptance and demand for on-demand learning. According to Deloitte, a serious paradigm shift has taken place, and learning and development (L&D) teams have adapted quickly to focus on creating detailed learning materials, and leveraging existing virtual assistant technologies. Virtual learning has spurred on the desire to adapt to on-demand learning strategies, allowing L&D professionals to reach learners in new and engaging ways.

Employees have responded quickly to the digital transformation. In some cases, the increase in remote working and/or collaboration was 43 times faster than expected. All this leads to the conclusion that employees are primed and ready to engage with learning across diverse modalities. So what does your organization need to do to attract, retain and support the workforce of the future? As you evolve your learning strategy to accommodate a hybrid workplace, it may be time to explore the benefits of on-demand learning.

Let’s take a closer look at why your organization needs to make on-demand learning a priority to satisfy the demand from your learners — and the needs of your business.

The Rise of Technology for On-demand Learning

Traditionally, the learning management system (LMS) has been considered the center of learning programs — a one-stop-shop. However, many organizations are discovering that the technologies that their employees use in their everyday lives are becoming resources and tools for delivering on-demand learning in novel ways. Learners crave video tutorials, or are eager to consume podcasts. In the learning strategy of the future, L&D needs to ensure that all modalities are considered when delivering learning programs.

The future may not even include eLearning primarily. In some cases, creating social learning communities can have as much of an impact on learning engagement as eLearning developed through learning experience design. It may be time to consider evolving your LMS. While it may be best suited for compliance-based training, you may want to explore some of the additional features that an LMS can support. Namely: mobile learning, video, microlearning and social portals. At the same time, it may be time to refresh content and rebuild it to suit a more dynamic and social audience. On-demand learning reaches learners at the point of need. This could include just-in-time resources — job aids. However, this could also include career development opportunities or career coaching and mentoring. The technology (i.e., the LMS) may be in the palm of your learners’ hand, but it doesn’t mean that relevant content is easy to find.

On-demand Learning Caters to On-demand Learners

There are many intelligent tools such as learning experience platforms (LXPs) available that can help your learners search and locate relevant content — and even recommend content based upon their individual needs. LXPs focus on informal learning and allow employees to learn about topics that may not be in your organization’s course catalog, such as answering a technical question. On-demand learning provides your learners with the tools they need quickly identify training and then access it immediately. Much like popular video-sharing platforms, your LXP can support social sharing and collaboration, while also providing content suggestions to keep learners engaged over time.

When you provide learners with the exact knowledge they need, in a timely manner, they are more likely to want to learn, reflect and continue learning over time. The end result is an employee who feels supported in their personal and professional development, leading to higher employee satisfaction and retention. With 60% of millennials saying that training opportunities are extremely important considerations for choosing their employer, on-demand learning is a must. Promoting an on-demand learning strategy can assist in attracting new hires and demonstrates your organization’s commitment to supporting employees.

How to Cut Through the Clutter

Where training is concerned, finding time is one of the biggest challenges. Many people’s work days begin by sifting through a mountain of content. The need to support knowledge workers who are faced with an overwhelming amount of distractions during a typical work week is critical. Consider the number of emails, surveys, webinars, meetings, group chats and more that are now a normal part of most of our jobs. Then, when you add in the personal side of connectivity, the level of distraction only increases. For most of us, having a manageable work-life balance requires us to be constantly bouncing our focus between numerous electronic devices, apps and websites. Now consider how difficult it is to add learning into the mix.

Most employees only manage to complete the compliance-driven learning requirements for their work, but while they may want to dig deeper into a learning opportunity, they simply don’t have the time. Consider the benefits of providing on-demand instructional videos or short microlearning eLearning modules to target specific learning objectives in small increments. Your learners may not have two hours to devote to an entire course curriculum, but they can easily tackle five of learning minutes a day. Especially if they understand the impact and importance to their job performance or career progression.

L&D is tasked with a complex business need: to provide job critical training and learning that is unique to the learning objectives and culture of the organization. There are many tools and strategies that can help you futurize your learning experiences and reach the modern learner. On-demand learning provides more control for your audience and leverages the technologies that they already love and use to put your learning front and center. Talk to us today to learn more about how to implement on-demand learning and transform your training to develop a culture of learning in your organization.