Today’s economy demands that businesses and workers alike continuously learn and apply new information to remain competitive. Of course, this presents numerous challenges to workplace managers, who must design training programs to fit a diverse array of preferred training methods and workplace learning styles.
Everyone learns differently, which makes it important for managers to identify each employee’s learning style. There are many schools of thought on this subject, but it’s a helpful tool to use sparingly. Failure to do so could mean underutilizing or overlooking talent that exists within your organization. By choosing the right types of training methods, teams minimize training time, fully utilize available talent, and prime the pump for long-term success.
What are the different learning styles in the workplace?
Everyone has preferred ways to approach and absorb new information. It’s helpful to think about people possessing different learning strengths.
Some people may read better than others, while others may process spoken information better. Although each employee may have a preference, your goal in training all employees is to help them perform more effectively.
Learners fall into four basic categories: Kinesthetic, Auditory, Visual, and Reading/Writing.
Balancing Training with Learning Styles
Whether they realize it or not, each of your employees has an individual learning style, a way in which they best absorb information. It is not always possible to serve every employee’s learning style all of the time, but it is important to recognize the role of learning styles in the workplace in order to tailor your training to accommodate everyone in some way.
The best way to meet each employee’s learning style is to customize your training to the needs of the workplace. One commonality among learning styles is that they need the content to be clear, relevant, and engaging. Scenario-based training is an active learning style that tailors training to your employee’s needs.
Here are just a few scenario-based learning methods to incorporate into your training program that target each learning style.
The Kinesthetic Learner
Kinesthetic learners gain knowledge through direct experience and practice. They like to dive right into an example project and learn by interacting with the subject matter. Given their tendency to explore, kinesthetic learners often take more risks than other learners, which makes for a valuable team member.
The kinesthetic learner absorbs information and skills best when doing. On-the-job training, however, can be risky to jump into right away. Simulation training is a great way to train kinesthetic learners on everyday scenarios with the freedom to make mistakes without consequence.
The Auditory Learner
Auditory learners absorb information best when it is shared out loud. Auditory learners may talk their way through a problem or repeat information aloud to aid in retention. They greatly benefit from discussions and learn more by talking about what they know with others.
Explainer videos would be best for auditory learners. Explainer videos are short video clips that explain the content if the learner misses a question during elearning. As with the kinesthetic learners, auditory learners would benefit from simulation training. Simulation training allows learners to talk through scenarios, hear instant feedback, and respond accordingly.
The Visual Learner
The Social Science Research Network reported that 65 percent of adults fall into this category. Visual learners assimilate information when it is presented as an image. They learn best when information is broken down into clear sequences or processes and is presented in formats such as graphs, charts, diagrams, and text. They are effective visualizers and work well with self-instruction opportunities.
Branching scenarios are great for the visual learner because it allows them to self-guide their instruction and see scenarios play out in real time. Branching scenarios also break down processes and explanations throughout scenarios to help learners receive feedback and redirect their thought process instantly.
The Reading/Writing Learner
Reading/Writing learners learn best through close examination of text, reports, stories, and case studies. Workplace training for reading/writing learners can be tailored to include manuals, handouts, and presentations, and on-screen text for scenarios.
Click and Reveals would be best for reading/writing learners because it allows these learners to read through information independently, in small chunks. Branching scenarios would also be great for reading/writing learners, because they are able to read the scenarios and absorb the information better. Simulation training would also be good for reading/writing learners, as long as on-screen text and typed responses are available.
There are more types of scenario-based learning that could be used across learning styles. Just as your workplace has a range of diverse employees, these individuals have diverse learning styles. Try one of these training methods and see what works best for your team.
Don’t know where to start? Contact us and we’ll help guide you through these scenario-based learning methods and more.