Why in-person training is on its way out

What if trainings don’t actually train? Long used to train company employees, live, in-person training sessions are losing ground in favor of new training methods that are simpler, shorter, digital, and more fun.

And it makes sense! Employees’ needs have evolved. In an increasingly-digital workplace, digital tools are multiple and varied. Employee skills are becoming obsolete. But is learning without doing even possible, in those traditional training sessions? What if effective training is possible… outside the classroom?

Lemon Learning – Why in-person training is on its way out

Organizational training has long been done exclusively by a training specialist for a group of employees, live and in-person. Behind this somewhat formal and school-like exercise is one goal: ensure employees are competent and operational in their roles.

Corporate training has gradually evolved with the times; first in management, with the arrival of training managers, also sometimes called Chief Learning Officers. Format was next.

Webinars, gaming, or virtual reality, these concepts have revolutionized and diversified face-to-face training in recent years. What do they have in common? They each offer a new user experience, one which is more interactive, less formal and that puts the learner at the heart of the experience.

Will in-person training disappear? 

There’s no reason to abandon face-to-face training if it continues to evolve. Employee expectations have certainly changed. The advancements in digital technologies have created a new expectation: ATAWAD, or, access at “Any Time, Anywhere, Any Device. In other words, users want to be able to connect from everywhere and all the time, a demand that applies to training as much as it does to other digital technologies.

In the age of digital tools available from anywhere at any time, learning is no longer relegated to dedicated training sessions. Being able to learn independently at whenever it’s convenient to learners is the new level to which organizational trainers need to rise to support their teams. Training is going digital, too.

Only 12% of employees actually use the training they receive at work

It’s difficult to imagine meeting all these requirements with only face-to-face training. In many organizations, in-person training sometimes occurs weeks or even months after the onboarding of newcomers. With limitations on time and requiring a training room, it doesn’t offer the flexibility called for by digital tools.

Another disadvantage: the density. The problem with heavy training sessions is that as soon as the course is finished, the information is quickly forgotten. When we know that the human brain forgets between 50% and 80% of what it has absorbed without repetition or put into practice after one day (Ebbinghaus Curve, or “forgetting curve”), separating theory from practice quickly becomes an issue.


From passive to active learners: Engaging team members in their own training

Employees are increasingly enthusiastic about content that’s short and fun, and in real-time training. Webinars, MOOCs, gamification, rapid learning, and e-learning meet these requirements and facilitate autonomous learning.

Nevertheless, if the trend is towards autonomy and the individual, not all modes of training are equal. With resources to coordinate for webinars, no customization of MOOCs, and limited learning opportunities with rapid learning, each format has its limits. So which to choose?

Less is more

Faced with the triple threat of “shorter, more efficient, more fun”, Lemon Learning offers more than just a training tool. Featuring what is essentially GPS navigation for learning, Lemon Learning is always available, when and where it’s needed. The key to success: the Learning by Doing methodology.

Rules of the road without some driving hours under your belt won’t get you very far. The Learning by Doing philosophy says just that: theory without practice does little good! To truly learn by doing, the solution is available right where users need it: directly within their tools. Lemon Learning tags along on users’ everyday tasks offering micro-content on-demand, without being invasive or interrupting productivity.

From training to learning: In-person training is still going strong

Among the many ways to offer training, face-to-face formats will not disappear anytime soon. First, because it still constitutes a major need for both HR and employees: face-to-face training remains the most effective way of developing skills (61% for employees and 60% for HR Directors). Secondly, it’s not the actual in-person nature of the training that is being called into question so much as it’s methods: more flexibility, more interactivity, more personalization. That is what employees want.

In-person training is dead. 

Long live in-person training!

So let’s go back to where we started: face-to-face training is not living its last years. Only, to meet employee expectations and support their professional development, it now includes other forms of learning. The temptation is great to place face-to-face training and digital adoption platforms like Lemon Learning in conflict with one another, but increasingly, the two have begun to coexist. 

Useful in the context of change management (introducing and explaining the installation of a new software for example), in-person training combined with practical application offers a comprehensive strategy of employee skills development. Blended Learning, or mixed training, is becoming more and more popular for its combined practicality of traditional training programs and the personalization of content and methods.

A great example of Blended Learning is “flipped learning”. While traditionally theoretical concepts are taught in class and homework is applied after-hours, in this approach, training sessions are dedicated to practical application instead with the trainer illustrating scenarios related to what learners would have seen independently. Applied to digital adoption platforms, Lemon Learning’s guides become an integral part of in-person training.

The dynamics have changed. It’s no longer a question of training, but rather of learning, and employees become active collaborators in the process.

Sources : 

  • 24×7 Learning, “Workplace Learning – 2015”, http://www.24x7learning.com/
  • “Transformation, compétences & learning”, Baromètre International Cegos 2018.