Requiring learners to sit through redundant or irrelevant training is a surefire way to lose their attention. While many companies mistakenly view “one-size-fits-all” training force-fed to large numbers of employees as efficient, role-based training may be a better approach.

Each role in a company demands a different set of skills and knowledge. While there is some eLearning that may be applicable to the entire company, much skills-based training or eLearning focused on specific knowledge is applicable only to a single department or smaller subset of employees. For example, while some safety training should be company-wide—evacuation procedures in an emergency—other safety training is not. In a warehouse, forklift safety training is necessary for anyone working with or near the equipment, but not for administrative employees who rarely venture beyond their cubicles.

Attempting to make all content serve all employees, regardless of role, often ends up serving no one. It’s too broad to really teach people the role-specific skills they need, yet it still covers areas that are irrelevant to large numbers of learners. Winnowing down the all-company eLearning to barest minimum and creating role-based eLearning that targets learners more narrowly offers these benefits:

  1. Solve real problems: The cardinal rule of creating eLearning is to know your audience. By examining each role and talking to people in that role—and their managers—eLearning designers can create focused training that meets real needs rather than trying to cover everything in overly broad strokes.
  2. Personalize training: Each employee is recommended or assigned training based on the skills and knowledge needed for her role. Adding in a mechanism to test what learners already know takes personalization to another level by enabling individual learners to test out of role-appropriate training that covers material they already know. An LMS or an LXP can automate the process, pulling together job metrics, data from previous training, and results of pretests to create tailored learning paths.
  3. Anticipate and fill skills gaps: By focusing narrowly on the needs of a role, managers and L&D teams can examine the skills needed in the moment, as well as how the role is changing. They can then identify existing skills gaps and anticipate—and train for—skills that will be needed, whether due to attrition, changing technology, or shifts in the role.
  4. Prepare high performers for advancement: Tailoring training to a role allows for preparing star employees to take on new roles by creating an individual learning path that fills any gaps in their skills and experience.
  5. Save money: It might be less costly to create short, narrowly-focused training for each role than to have to constantly update massive eLearning courses each time one element changes. And less employee time is spent on redundant or irrelevant training, saving money and reducing frustration.
  6. Improve engagement: Over and over, eLearning experts emphasize that in order to be engaging, training has to be relevant to the learners. Offering learners focused training that is directly applicable on the job, and, even better, creating personalized learning paths, will increase learner engagement. They will spend more time on the training, pay closer attention—and potentially improve their performance as a result.

Explore the Possibilities

Explore ways to offer role-specific and personalized learning at the Learning Solutions 2019 Conference and Expo, March 26–28, 2019, in Orlando, Florida. Join the Workflow Learning Summit, dig into sessions on management, learning platforms, and more—and discover new ways to target eLearning to specific roles or skills gaps, and drive results.