If you have been paying attention to the learning and development industry, a key conversation that’s happening right now is the debate between centralized and decentralized learning programs. Centralized learning programs are criticized for being slow to react, not targeted enough in terms of providing relevant content, and quickly outdated. Decentralized learning programs are equally criticized as being too fragmented and inconsistent. But learning technology has come a long way. What used to work may not be the best fit for you anymore. In fact, what works best for your company will depend on your specific needs and demands from your learners, but here are a few reasons why you might want to consider letting go and decentralizing your learning.
3 Benefits of Decentralized Learning
1. Increased Control
For those companies who are able to make decentralized learning work for them, the value lies in large part to the increased level of control they achieve on the local level. Individual groups and teams often have the best idea of what they need more experience in, and when those groups are empowered to seek out their own learning opportunities they are better able to focus on what is most important and most valuable to their work. This does, however, require larger companies to put a great deal of trust and invested resources in providing smaller teams with the learning opportunities they ask for. This, therefore, requires additional planning and input from the teams who are often too busy to provide it. Local training departments are a great way to meet everybody halfway, as they are tasked with the responsibility of balancing regional needs with high-level quality and budgetary considerations.
2. Better Reporting
One of the biggest challenges of building a successful learning and development program is measuring success, and reporting is a key part of that. The great thing about a decentralized learning program is that regions are better able to provide accurate and detailed local reports that are particularly effective in describing the success of learning activities taking place on the ground. They are closer to the employees and the trainers participating in the program and can be more effective in following up to ensure accuracy and responding quickly to feedback. The local training departments can better manage their own costs and work directly with the vendors to ensure a high-quality product and service is delivered. These efficiencies truly help corporate learning programs measure and track ROI for their training investments, helping companies actively get more value for their dollar.
3. Localized Events
As decentralized learning programs are able to better control their resources, they are also able to manage more content, localize courses and learning events for greater relevancy and availability, and add spot training instantly as needed. That means more local opportunities for employees to learn relevant information and skills, which means your team is able to better stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive market.
Are you looking to increase the effectiveness of your learning program?
Increase performance, and trim excesses, using a cohesive curriculum. Align your training goals with course content and assessments. Meet training goals by using key performance indicators of efficacy. For more advice on whether a decentralized learning program is a right fit for your company, connect with the pros at Clarity Consultants today.