The modern rhythm of life dictates its own terms. Very often, managers need the opportunity to allocate a sufficient amount of time for effective training, but their leadership skills still need to be improved. To improve this, you might consider blended learning.
At the same time, after the COVID-19 pandemic, many training experts have developed and implemented online-training programs. And there are no plans to abandon this particular format.
As a result, due to its convenience, flexibility, and low cost, more and more people are trending towards online training, even though it’s mainly about theoretical knowledge and short-term courses. In reality, leadership training covers complex topics and requires not only academic lectures but also practical skills.
This is where blended learning comes in, which is becoming more and more popular by the day. Blended learning is a special form of online training in which theoretical lectures and work with an instructor alternate with practical assignments and independent study of materials. Studies show that this method leads to more effective results. And below, you can see the main reasons for that.
A blended approach allows busy managers to receive training in a convenient way without taking a break from their core business. Very often, leaders can’t afford to set aside 7 to 15 days to attend classes. And there’s no sense in traveling to another city, as your working hours may not coincide with your course schedule.
On the other hand, a training course can provide you with materials that are available for you at any convenient time. You can learn while traveling, between meetings, during your lunch break, or while waiting for your flight at the airport.
Online courses are often divided into 60- or 90-minute segments (sometimes even shorter). This allows you to hone your skills during long trips with no interruptions. There’s no need to stick to a rigid schedule, which motivates you to get through your training even faster.
In addition, the flexibility of blended learning makes it convenient and easy to scale as your company grows. Usually, a group of 15-20 people is assembled for training. Additionally, even if a group consists of heads of departments located in different cities, who find it difficult to combine their work schedules, blended learning can easily solve this problem.
Every organization tries to cut costs wherever possible. Often, blended learning is chosen precisely for this purpose, as the cost of the course, in this case, is noticeably lower than traditional offline training.
In addition, you save money on the following expense items:
Mixed training can take 1-2 hours per day without taking time off from your main job, which is beneficial and convenient. On the other hand, if the opportunity arises, a person with high motivation and the ability to work with information can complete a full course of study even faster than when attending regular courses. And this also saves time and money for the company.
One of the most important perks of traditional training that everyone who attends professional courses or leadership training notes is the lively interaction with other students. People are social creatures, and discussing what they have learned helps them better absorb, understand, and remember.
In addition, practical solutions based on past experiences and newly acquired knowledge often emerge in communication. Often people then say, “I learned even more from my colleagues than I did from the instructor. In fact, this is not entirely true, but the result is really worth noting. In addition, communication during a training course in a professional environment is also new and offers useful connections.
Blended learning involves not only watching lectures at convenient times and doing homework but also:
Practical group sessions and other forms of training are also possible, which allows you to combine the advantages and flexibility of online learning with the benefits of traditional courses. Also, you are free to combine the features of blended learning with support from your in-house mentor.
A leader with sufficient self-motivation will not only be able to make an individual class schedule but will also try to apply new knowledge. After all, there’s still work to do in the learning process.
At the same time, in case of any mistakes, failures, or misunderstandings of the tools offered by the instructor, you can at any time contact the instructor or fellow trainees. This way, you will also be able to:
In addition, if the company continuously practices leadership development through specific training programs, the training process can be supplemented by hands-on training with a mentor from the senior management team.
In this case, as you go through the course material, your mentor will offer you more complex tasks beyond regular competencies. This will help consolidate your knowledge even better in practice and prepare you for career advancement.
Christopher Pappas, the founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, states that already today, more than 77% of American companies choose online learning for advanced training. In the case of advanced training of executive staff, this is more often the blended learning type.
It’s expected that the market, which before the COVID-19 pandemic already showed a steady growth of 13% per year, will grow even faster because people got used to online training, and many employees do not plan to quit working remotely.
At the same time, more than 30% of the total number of corporate training in the U.S. is carried out by the blended learning method. Certain fast-growing countries like India and China are increasingly switching to blended learning as their main method in a variety of areas.
The introduction of modern technology, as well as the mass distribution of computers, smartphones, and quality Internet connection, allows an increasing number of opportunities for learning. Businesses are also actively taking advantage of it.
Thus, with blended learning, managers develop and gain new skills. They are able to maintain their reputation and improve motivation in the workplace to achieve results more effectively. At the same time, any company is able to reduce costs and train each employee at a comfortable pace under a program tailored to the personal needs of this or that student.