Will your employees learn exclusively via smartphone in the future?
April 2020 is Eidam & Partner’s sixteenth birthday. In all this time, I – as the CEO – have followed, pushed, cursed and, in the best case, set trends.
In the process, I’ve never really seen us and our clients as service provider and customer, but rather as two partners working toward the same goal. We all want to make employees better, solve problems and develop character. At the end of the day, we all want to be proud of the work done toward HR development.
Our brains define good learning, not the market!
For me, the fundamentals of good learning have never changed and will never change, because our genetics/brains don’t change. This is why I’ll always consider good learning to be based on experience. I know that I have to experience knowledge at seminars myself in order to learn it. I’m convinced that things stick when I’ve done them myself, when I’ve worked through them myself. Incidentally, leading memory researchers think the same thing.
Think back to how you learned to ride a bike. Theoretically you could have read a book about it, listened to a podcast, watched a video, etc., but I can guarantee you wouldn’t have lasted long in the seat.
Once you’ve gotten on a bicycle, however, found the right balance, rung the bell with wild enthusiasm, then you can ride a bike for the rest of your life – even after taking a break from riding for several years.
New learning options due to sales pressure?
Regrettably, the goal of a lot of the new learning trends that the industry has yielded over the last few years is to earn more money rather than to train you better.
There’s microlearning, training videos, abandoned in-house eLearning portals with hundreds of courses, training apps, two-hour mini-power workshops, supposed miracle seminars for more than 20 participants, game-based learning and much more.
As I told my wife Romy lately: "I can buy a fridge that greets me good morning and uses an app to notify me when the butter’s out, but do I really need that? Or is it just a distraction from the things that are truly important?"
Please don’t misunderstand me!
However, the difference is in the details. I find an expedient combination of face-to-face events and new training media very constructive. This can compensate for certain disadvantages that classroom trainings entail.
What’s important is for a face-to-face event, a workshop or a training always to take center stage. New training media is a sensible supplement, but it’s never a comparable replacement. This becomes incredibly clear when you look at how people’s brains optimally learn: interactively, through self-experience, contemplation and exchange with others.
- Let’s not give in to the temptation of trying new things unquestioningly. New developments are indeed exciting, but they’re sometimes just as useless as a talking refrigerator.
- Let’s take the time to learn properly. Interactive, exciting, experience-based learning [the way our brains want it] takes time. This is why advanced trainings should not be short. Two training days are absolutely essential for most communication topics, regardless of what your budgeting department tells you. I would be happy to provide you with fewer seminars – as long as they’re done right.
- New training media should be a sensible supplement. It should never replace good face-to-face training – especially not for financial reasons.
This is how we achieve our common goal of great, sustainable and effective HR development that we can be proud of at the end of the day.
I wish you a successful 2020 with high training budgets, thankful participants and a lot of enjoyment in our mutual undertaking! :-)