Post-pandemic, most organizations worldwide adapt quickly to new ways of working. Organizations experienced a rapid push for digital innovation and flexible work arrangements, which ushered in what we proudly call “the new normal.” What is it? Simply speaking, it’s the hybrid workplace or hybrid work culture. The leaders did not take much time to embrace the new way of working. Speaking of the employees, they always desired such a work culture. Why? Because the work culture does not require planning and action to cultivate productive cultures, allowing people and businesses to thrive. Approximately 61% of global executives believe a hybrid workplace requires a significant change in corporate culture.
We live in a world of uncertainty and continuous disruption that requires agility from individuals and organizations. To remain agile and innovative, you must take this opportunity to your root culture in learning.
Hybrid Learning: What Is It?
Hybrid learning is a form of synchronous learning where you, as a learner, must attain sessions virtually, and others attend them in person. Remember, the training format is instructor-led and happens in real time. It focuses on bridging the physical classroom and virtual learning spaces closer together into a complete education. It is the only form of learning that occurs physically and virtually simultaneously.
The hybrid learning model is never limited to full in-person or virtual instruction. Instead, it blends both styles. The learning method bridges the gap between in-person classroom instructions and self-paced asynchronous learning, creating a comprehensive training program for varied learning styles and keeping up with the ever-evolving work environments.
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Benefits of Hybrid Learning
Let us look at the various benefits hybrid learning offers to corporate employees.
Since hybrid learning combines online and traditional learning and development methods, employees experience higher engagement. While traditional learning forces learners to attend all the in-person class sessions, hybrid learning does not help self-directed learners learn more at their pace. When you control your learning method, your boost your engagement.
Remember, learning is not a one-size-fits-all experience, and each employee has a different aptitude for different types of learning. Hybrid learning is flexible to adapt to them. Coaches can adapt each learner’s learning to the room, making employees flexible in how they engage with the material. It creates a personalized environment, as the program is flexible to individual needs.
Hybrid learning leverages the scalability of digital learning, which makes better use of resources as it maximizes the value of in-person time. With such an excellent methodology, you can squeeze a lot more value than you can from a dedicated lecture series or a complete asynchronous digital education program. When you reduce these costs, you can deliver more development opportunities to your employees.
Regardless of whatever you learn, the ability to track and measure is a key component that determines a learner’s development. Organizations have limitations regarding how much feedback they receive, making them feel a bit out of touch about the ongoing program that employees attend. However, the hybrid learning model offers organizational leaders numerous opportunities to track progress and receive employee feedback, which you can use to educate and improve the overall delivery.
Cost and Time Efficient
Hybrid learning is a cost-effective training method. Organizations can present information through less costly modalities and reserve instructor-led training for discussion between participants to capture the benefits of face-to-face learning.
Hybrid Learning Model
Enlisted are a few different models for structuring hybrid learning.
The Differentiated Model
Under this model, all learners attend a class at the same time. However, the instructor designs differentiated activities for learners learning from home and in-person. It is an excellent model that uses asynchronous and synchronous communication tools for corporate learners. Learners begin by logging into a video conference platform from home or in person. Although the model keeps the groups separated, learners have the scope to interact with each other in the class learning management system. Learners can even post their queries, creating a combined classroom community.
The Multi-Track Model
The approach treats each group as a completely different cohort within the same larger class. Although the learners attend the same class and earn the same objectives, they act as a different class. After completing the course, the learners sign up for a virtual track or a face-to-face track. Instructors run the virtual and in-person lessons simultaneously, with the learners accessing the online modules at their pace. Since one can customize, the model is the most suitable for any environment. It further allows dividing the learners or cohorts into different classes, where instructors can teach each class separately.
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How to Create an Effective Hybrid Learning Environment for Your Employees?
Hybrid workplaces change the landscape as they bring new challenges to Learning and Development (L&D). Although hybrid learning is highly context-based on a high level, we recommend several steps your organization takes to ensure success. These include:
Analyze the existing learning assets
Are you looking to adopt a hybrid learning approach? Then, the first step is to analyze the existing learning assets. It includes slides, modules, and performance support materials. After assessing them, determine the following:
- The most successful learning activities.
- The training topics and activities are crucial for the learners’ success.
- The activities and topics offer the highest engagement levels among learners.
Once you determine the vital topics and activities for your employees’ training, sort the topics ideal for self-paced learning, synchronous and in-person learning.
Understand your employees’ learning preferences
Do you want successful hybrid learning? Of course, who doesn’t? In that case, you must contextualize the model to the requirements and demands of the learners and specify the learning situation. Remembering your learners’ preferences is difficult, especially when developing synchronous and asynchronous learning activities.
Are you finding effective ways to discover your employees’ learning preferences? Here’s how you can do it.
- Evaluate the training data and identify the programs with the highest positive rating.
- Conduct surveys to gain insight into the employers’ preferences.
- Review the past training sessions and determine which earned the highest participation rate.
You might notice that most of your employees prefer enrolling in eLearning for the asynchronous learning portion. Alternatively, they might opt for educational articles and receive printable study materials. Whatever they choose, you, as a leader, must understand their preferences and ensure they remain motivated to complete their asynchronous learning.
Create a culture of accountability
Employees in a hybrid learning environment complete a self-paced, independent learning activity. It might involve watching videos, reading articles, and writing in a learning journal/. Whatever it might be, employees are responsible for completing learning activities in their time before the instructor-led synchronous session.
Learners must complete a short reading of the main concepts that the instructor will discuss later in the class. However, if only half the learners complete the reading, the remaining participants will find it difficult to have a meaningful conversation.
Are you wondering how to prevent the scenario? You must create a culture of accountability in the following ways.
- Track completion of the pre-work.
- Send out communication that promotes the relevance of the pre-work to participants’ job functions.
- Engage leadership and ask them to communicate with the participants.
Ensure every learner must commit to completing the asynchronous training. Else, your organization might lose the value of synchronous learning activity.
Ensure the learning method adopted is relevant and applicable
Ensure the asynchronous learning is relevant and applicable to your employees’ roles and responsibilities. It helps your employees remain motivated and encourage them to complete their self-paced learning. Try measuring the relevance and applicability of your asynchronous activities. How? Examine whether your learners are applying what they learned to their roles correctly.
Change never happens overnight. Moreover, shifting behaviours is difficult. Therefore, you must commit time and attention if you want to change your organizational culture. When you recognize your organization’s value individually and collectively, you foster a learning culture.