Imagine you buy a new television, which you have to install when you get home. The store provides you three alternatives how they can help you with the installation. Which one would you choose?
- One: The shop assistant will demonstrate how it’s done in the store. After that, you go home and try to repeat the instructions you’ve just seen.
- Two: You get the written manual that has the instructions how to install the TV.
- Three: There is a built-in instructions inside your new TV which you can follow step-by-step when you turn the TV on for the first time to do the installation.
I’m pretty sure most of us would choose the latter. Actually it’s the way TVs have been installed for a while now. And no wonder why. With built-in instructions you don’t need to learn things by heart, you get the installation done faster and there is little room for mistakes. What is more, you feel more confident during the process as you you’re being guided step-by-step.
The last example is called contextual learning. Contextual learning is a current learning trend not just in our personal life but in in work life as well. As modern workplace is evolving employees are put in the situation where they need to learn new skills instantly. This has made companies to seek contextual learning solutions to guide their employees not just how to use the digital tools but why to use them.
Contextual Learning – What does it mean?
Based on commonly accepted studies people obtain 70% of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal educational events. Contextual learning is a result from this addressing that learners are more likely to learn when instructions are embedded in familiar, meaningful context so that they can learn at the moment they need guidance. So, when we talk about contextual learning here, we mean embedding the digital training solutions into modern digital workplace where the everyday work happens.
However, even though contextual learning platforms have become more popular, we still often choose more traditional ways such as classroom training, manuals and webinars to train our employees. This brings us to the same situation than getting the training session or the manual from the shop assistant in the store. The only major difference is that employees didn’t even want to buy that “TV” in the first place, which makes learning even less motivating for them.
Contextual learning changes how we learn in our work making it more meaningful. We listed 5 reasons why it will revolutionize the companies’ learning culture and lead to better performance.
5 reasons why contextual learning improves learning culture and employee performance
#1 Improved learning results
Contextual learning is 90% more effective because it creates a real-life learning experience. Traditionally most trainings involve learning something and applying it afterwards. This is not very effective because employees seldom remember what they’ve been taught. Many even hates participating in a software training due their resistance to change. With contextual learning employees have the ability to apply the instructions immediately resulting better learning outcomes and actually getting their challenges solved.
#2 Greater employee experience with increased productivity and less frustration
The corner stone of successful employee experience is how meaningful the work feels to the employee. If employee can’t focus on things that matters and instead is struggling with digital tools, it leads easily to frustration. Contextual learning gives employees the ability to perform at their best. After all, satisfied employees are 12% more productive and therefore focusing on creating a desired employee experience has become one of the most important development areas for companies.
#3 Less interruptions and smoother workflows
80% of workforce learning happens via on-the-job interactions with peers, teammates, and managers. This causes many interruptions at work while every interruption can take over 20 minutes just to get back to where the employee left off. Contextual learning means that the help is there when employee needs the support – a single click away. This makes work smoother and more focused.
#4 Improved ROI and bottom line
Investing in enterprise software is never cheap. Moreover, it is impossible to achieve a positive ROI if the employees don’t know how to use new applications properly. So training employees is important. Contextual learning helps employees to adopt new digital ways of working faster and in a more meaningful way.
#5 Only way to keep up with the digital transformation
As the modern workplace advances companies are searching more intelligent, digital tools to develop workflows. For employees it means constant need for keeping up with the development and adopting new work methods and processes. To meet today’s learning needs companies must adopt more modern ways of training. This is where contextual learning steps in again. Like your smart TV can now inform you about new Netflix updates, contextual learning provides scalable help in changing digital workplace, keeping employees’ knowhow up to date.
Today’s workplace is digital and it will keep on advancing. Make sure you don’t left your employees behind in the transformation.
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