‘Learning’ conjures images of classrooms and teachers, of schools and long summer holidays. When you’re an adult, the reality is somewhat different. There’s usually a job taking up most of your time.

Most people continue learning in some form throughout their lives, whether in a formal setting or career development training. For many, the goal is to improve employment prospects, whether in their current company or with a new organisation, and it’s not just ‘hard skills’ like mastering the use of Excel that people want, but also ‘soft skills’ like being able to handle difficult conversations or negotiate a pay rise.

But not all career development training is effective, or what the learners want.

Workers today are often distracted – meetings, emails, interruptions – and want to access courses as and when they have time – during breaks at work, during commuting, in the evenings, often via a mobile app. They are also more discerning with courses, wanting content that is quality, timely and tailored to their needs. They have to be, with so little time available for career development, however keen they might be to learn.
Of course, the ideal, for most people, would be on-the-job training, perhaps in collaboration with colleagues. The world is far from ideal, though, and not all companies invest in their employees. Perhaps it’s the idea that learning needs to take place in a classroom for it to be effective which deters companies .
And yet investing in staff increases engagement and productivity, and boosts staff retention. Companies with a track record for providing training and encouraging professional development are more likely to recruit and retain quality staff, especially given the loss of ‘jobs for life’ and the desire of younger people to find fulfilling work with a good work-life balance.
It helps if the training offered makes use of modern technology, especially with younger employees who have grown up in the increasingly digital world. Online courses are becoming increasingly mobile-friendly, accessible at any time, although not all adapt well to the smaller size of screen.

As well as offering online training packages in Special Educational Needs, Connect Training also offers virtual reality training, with avatars controlled in real time by simulation specialists and scenarios which can be adjusted to meet the needs of each company. For more information click here.