In the last five years, the corporate training landscape has transformed drastically. With the widening skill gap,Learning and development (L&D) leaders in every company are looking at new approaches and making millions of investments to help employees develop new skills to fill the skill gap from within the organization.
But as we know, people forget what they learn faster if they don’t practice. While investing in employee learning,and upskilling should be the first step towards improving their performance and addressing skill gaps, the next step should be providing them the opportunity to practice what they learn through experiential Learning.
Therefore, an increasing number of L&D leaders are turning to Experiential Learning to help their employees master skills through simulated real-world problems where they can apply the knowledge or skill individually or in a team to solve the given problem statement.
What does that look like?
Many companies today encourage their employees to upskill to fit into the evolving job roles and embrace technological advancements. But even after training, the employer is not always sure whether the trained employees are ready for projects or not.
Let’s say you have trained a team of lateral hires on Microsoft Azure, AWS, or GCP for an upcoming cloud project. Through skill training, they might have gained theoretical knowledge, but if they do not practice the new skills regularly, they are likely to forget the lessons learned and lack hands-on experience. As a result, when deployed on an actual project, they fail to perform and meet expectations. This is when the experiential learning process is needed to assess their competency and skills before deployment to check their project readiness.
What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential Learning refers to the process of Learning by doing where learners get the opportunity to connect theories learned in the classroom to real-world business challenges through simulated real-world projects, case studies, and capstone projects.
Upskilling and reskilling through experiential Learning helps your employees gain:
A better understanding of targeted topics through practical experience
Deeper insight into their own skill set, passions, expertise, interests, and values
Opportunity to network and collaborate with diverse individuals with different expertise levels to work on a common solution.
Confidence to work on real-world projects and meet business objectives.
5 Ways to Encourage Experiential Learning at the Workplace
There are multiple ways to create experiential learning opportunities for your employees. Let us explore the popular ones at the workplace:
Project-based Learning (PBL) is a learning-by-doing process that allows learners to acquire knowledge and skills through engaging in projects based on real-world challenges and problems.
Often organizational leaders combine instructor-led training (ILT) with new job assignments, projects, or job rotations to tackle an urgent business problem. These assignments are also referred to as incremental projects wherein employees get to work on stretch assignments other than their current job role. Project-based Learning helps your employees apply new skills and, in the process, learn insights that can add value to your organization later.
A scenario-based learning approach helps sharpen your employees’ critical thinking and decision-making skills. By engaging employees in real-life scenarios such as selling products to a potential customer, day-to-say office scenario, resolving business issues, team building activities, or a particular skill development scenario, you can train them in specific key areas and help them understand how well they can put their knowledge into use in a professional environment. This form of experiential learning simulates real-world scenarios to help employees translate their education into insights for better handling situations.
Internal Case Studies
We all know that case studies are impactful in establishing brand credibility as it documents the successful journey of a company in solving complex business problems in real life. However, other than being used as marketing collateral, case studies can be used internally for employee upskilling, leveraging an experiential learning approach.
Within your company, you can ask customer service representatives, internal experts, and frontline workers to author case studies that can be used as learning material by a new team or a new hire. Such hands-on experience can be beneficial in helping your employees develop skills and insights to solve a given problem.
Games and Online Simulations with Immediate Feedback
For decades, simulations have been used in corporate training in one form or another. It offers learners exposure to different perspectives and broader experience across various business situations. Even research shows that employees find it easier to grasp concepts when presented in games and simulations than in text-based traditional training curriculums.
Moreover, when employees participate in learning through games and simulations, they get real-time feedback from the platform and the instructor, enabling them to identify weaknesses faster and capitalize on strengths.
In the workplace, Virtual reality (VR) runs your employees through real-world scenarios while receiving personalized on-the-job training to acquire skills and knowledge that better fits their job role. VR is widely used by businesses to support the skill development of employees as part of their experiential learning process. It has minimized the need for lengthy training programs that often fail to grab the attention of busy working professionals.
Get Started with CloudThat
Do you want to test the project readiness of your employees?
Let us help!
At CloudThat, we have designed the Experiential Learning program, a mentor-guided learning solution exclusively for enterprise clients to help companies like you transform employees into billable resources by letting them work on real-time use cases that resemble real-world projects and business challenges.
Based on your potential project requirements, we can help tailor the learning experience through customized problem statements on your chosen topics for better outcomes. From early career to mid-level and senior level, you can enroll employees from any level of experience for our guided learning program and test their skills and competency for an upcoming project to allocate the right human resource for the right job role.