Flexible and personalized, self-directed learning (SDL) is already a well-established trend in the education sector and corporate training. More and more organizations shift their focus towards this learning strategy to build a qualified workforce focused on growth and development.
What is SDL? SDL is a strategy that allows learners to take control of their L&D process without having it completely mapped out by an instructor. A learner is the one who decides what, when, and how to study. SDL can take different forms: learning management systems, individual learning plans for skill development, strategic job assignments, and personalized coaching.
If you are still not sure whether your organization needs SDL, keep reading! In this article, an academic writer and expert in education from the DoMyEssay writing service for students breaks down the key benefits of self-directed learning for organizations and employees.
Benefits for Learners
SDL equips employees with the necessary skills and provides many exciting benefits:
Flexibility is a primary benefit of SDL. Employees are free to study at their own pace and choose what content they want to learn, how long their study session has to be, and how often they want to study.
This is great for people who have to balance work with other commitments like college. If you are a student and you feel like you don’t have enough time for corporate training, you can delegate a few papers to a writing service by asking experts to do my essay online with best authors. This way, you won’t miss out on valuable professional development opportunities.
Traditional corporate training is often standardized. It offers the same learning content to all employees, ignoring their interests, needs, and skill levels. This often results in employees being uninspired and disengaged.
In contrast, SDL allows each employee to study exactly what they are interested in. It comes with large libraries of content and flexible learning paths for everyone. So SDL is more fun and engaging.
3. Willingness to Take Initiative
Employees should choose to learn instead of attending training because it is mandatory. Motivation should come from within. This creates a culture of continuous learning in an organization. Employees develop internal motivation to learn and responsibility for their professional growth.
Many organizations fail to conduct effective corporate training. They fail to leverage the motivational component. Instead of emphasizing the value of learning in itself, they introduce flawed incentives like mandatory requirements for promotion or financial benefits.
4. Real-World Learning
SDL makes learning part of the everyday workflow. Employees learn new information and skills and immediately apply them to solve tasks at work. Thus, learning acquires real-world value and becomes more meaningful.
Benefits for Your Organization
Aside from helping learners, SDL also maximizes the productivity of your organization in many ways:
1. Time and Cost Effectiveness
Learner’s autonomy benefits organizations as well. They can save resources on time-consuming and expensive synchronous learning. Instead, employees step in and manage their learning by themselves.
This allows organizations to redirect their resources to provide more effective personalized feedback. This makes corporate training more effective and tailored to the needs of employees.
2. Training Effectiveness
Companies spend billions on corporate training every year. However, as Harvard Business Review points out, only 12 percent of employees find practical applications for the learned skills, and only 25 percent of learners believe that corporate training improves their performance.
SDL serves to address the shortcomings of traditional corporate training. It makes learning more skill-centered and targeted. It gives employees a chance to learn skills relevant to their job duties.
3. Reskilling and Upskilling
The modern business world has an ever-changing landscape. New demands for skills appear non-stop. Learning is the only way to stay up-to-date with the changes and build an adaptable workforce.
To avoid wasting money on constant turnover, organizations should invest in SDL. It enables effective reskilling and upskilling of employees. With learning opportunities, the staff gets a chance to advance in their current roles or equip themselves for entirely new jobs within the company. Investing in SDL is the most future-proof strategy. It ensures the resilience, productivity, and success of your business.
4. Employee Retention
Creating SDL opportunities for employees is key to better retention. According to the Retention Report provided by the Work Institute, every third employee leaves their job because they lack development opportunities. SDL could provide them with the much-needed support and thus encourage them to stay and achieve their full potential.
SDL is full of diverse benefits for both organizations and learners. In a nutshell, it transforms corporate training by making it more learner-focused. Employees get flexible, personalized, and engaging learning opportunities, while organizations enjoy a time- and cost-effective training solution. Self-directed learning is a wise investment in the long-term success of your business.