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Learning & Development Blog

Training Your Modern Workforce Without Gadgets and Gizmos

Training Your Modern Workforce Without Gadgets and Gizmos

As more millennials join the workforce and corporate cultures trend in the direction of faster onboarding and employee production, there is an increasing need to modernize training efforts to keep up. New innovations are being developed every day with more advanced LMS systems, app-based eLearning, virtual reality systems, and the list goes on.

In this booming age of tech, it’s easy to get swept up into the craze for the hottest trends, the latest gadgets, and the desire for everything shiny and new. However, the latest doesn’t mean greatest. You don’t have to dive into the technology deep end to create effective training for your modern workforce.

Although being a first adapter to new technology can sound appealing, it can often be intimidating and expensive to deploy. You don’t have to become adept at augmented reality or 100% gamification to have successful training.

Here are three ways to modernize your learning without having to rely on technology alone:


According to eLearningindustry.com,

“If organizations want to attract, develop, and retain talent in this generation, they have to adapt to their audience.”

Outside of adapting to technology, this means adapting to busy schedules, shorter attention spans, and an increasingly popular habit of multi-tasking. Microlearning, or, strategically delivering small, bite-sized pieces of information exactly when the learners need it, is one way to modernize. We’re already learning about a variety of topics this way across social media platforms, whether we know it or not.

Using microlearning effectively, you can deliver training to learners quickly and in retainable chunks. Microlearning is concise, focused, and created to be directly relevant right when needed. Microlearning is versatile, so you can choose blended approaches for delivery. Consider using video to capture your learners’ attention and deliver your content in a format that your learners are used to consuming on a daily basis. Whichever medium you choose, just be sure that each microlearning chunk focuses on one idea or topic at a time to best ensure knowledge transfer and immediate results.

Microlearning is also easier to maintain and keep updated because it’s already broken down into small pieces. Making sure your content is fresh and focused will help learners integrate it into their daily workflows and apply it immediately.


Consider a blended learning approach to delivering your training. Diversifying training modalities to include elements of video, eLearning, classroom training and performance support meets the needs of our modernized workforce.

The Association for Talent Development recently stated in that “one of the greatest benefits of blended learning is the ability to deliver quick, just-in-time content.”

Blended Learning Graphic

Having easy access to a variety of training materials, for example short videos, infographics, or how-to guides on phones, tablets, and laptops will create efficiencies in your learners’ day to day tasks and help them to retain the content.

Your learner audience has already adapted to the outside world. They’re used to being able to pull up information whenever they need it, wherever they are – and creating blended learning solutions that mirror these outside resources will match your learners’ expectations for how they seek guidance elsewhere on a daily basis.


The concept of social learning is not new, opportunity still exists to use it effectively in the workplace. What is social learning theory?  Essentially, it’s the idea that we all learn from one another, either by modeling a behavior, and then observation and imitation of that behavior, or simply by asking questions of our peers and learning answers. Why is it modern? Because we are already socially learning every day both in person and online. Strategically taking advantage of this fact is something that has yet to be done well in work environments.

Some say that attempting to direct social learning might stifle creativity, though it’s helpful to create an environment for social learning to occur. For example, company intranets or wikis can be organized for easy accessing, searching and bookmarking of employee-created content. Designing courses that allow for dialogue among team members or groups promotes social learning. Organizations might also support business resource groups or other internal teams to allow for brainstorming and idea sharing.

By embracing our natural tendencies to seek out answers from each other, companies will empower their employees to take control of their own learning roadmap.

Modernizing Works

In a recent case study, Bloomingdales reported saving more than $10 million in safety-related costs and a 90 percent voluntary participation in learning since modernizing its training, according to learningsolutionsmag. The organization achieved this by creating learning that was consumable (provided daily in three- to five-minute bursts), delivered in a variety of modes, available on demand, and tied directly to desired business outcomes. Bloomingdales successfully met the needs of its learners and modernized its training without having to go down the proverbial technology rabbit hole.

The term, “modernize,” can carry the stigmas of dollar signs and headaches, and might even result in instant red flags from your stakeholders or leadership. However, modernizing doesn’t have to require implementing expensive and complex new technologies. By creating learning content that is micro, delivered via a blended variety of mediums, and directly relevant to your learners and desired business outcomes, you can modernize your training to accommodate your modernized workforce.

 free training audience analysis template

Senffner, D., Kepler L. (2015). Blended Learning That Works. TD at work. Issue 1510.

McIntosh, C. (2015, November 2). Bloomingdale’s Saves Millions Through Revolutionary Approach To Employee Training. Retrieved from https://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/1844/bloomingdales-saves-millions-through-revolutionary-approach-to-employee-training