‘Blended Learning’ Leverages Power of Internet for Workforce

An emerging and encouraging trend in business is adopting a "blended learning" approach to educating the workforce. Blended learning has proven to be a best-of-both-worlds scenario. It combines the effectiveness of instructor-led training (ILT) in a traditional classroom with the ease of Internet-delivered eLearning modules.

The combination of blended learning and assessment that results in certification for specific goals accomplished and/or skills acquired has proven to be even more effective method of improving the customer experience.

This added proficiency -“ with a corresponding increase in profitability for the companies leveraging this approach - is especially apparent with retail organizations with customer-facing staff. As associates polish their skills and increase their knowledge of the products and services offered, they are better prepared to handle interactions with customers. Not only are customers more satisfied with the interaction with informed salespeople capable of dispensing valuable advice and recommendations, but the employees themselves are able to leverage the learning opportunity and improve their professional standing.

One of our clients employing this approach is an auto parts supplier with numerous retail locations. Meeting the training demands of such a large and geographically diverse retail network created the need for a new method of knowledge sharing. It is using the learning management system (LMS) for employee on-boarding of certain "soft skills" such as leadership, time management and diversity awareness training.

The LMS also delivers specific information about the company's product line, proper method of installing various parts and serves as a repository of frequently asked questions and the appropriate responses.

They have created specific tasks and training events so that they can track progress toward completion of certain topics. In the past, this information was sometimes communicated verbally with no means of verification. Using the self-study capability of the LMS, an administrator can quickly create a course that instructs associates to login to a company intranet site and read the appropriate training content.

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