Learning Methods

Mix It Up: Why Modern Employee Training Content Still Includes Reading

Back when you were in school, you knew that when you saw this…

…something awesome was about to happen. Either Bill Nye the Science Guy was going to blow your mind with some incredible experiment or facts about outer space, or Lavar Burton was going to dazzle you with some new books through his show Reading Rainbow, usually just in time for the Scholastic Book Fair.

Reading Rainbow was a core element of elementary education, and we learned through the program that “Reading is Fundamental.”

It’s with good reason that reading is so ingrained in early education; research shows us that children who read well perform better on tests, experience more academic success, and even earn higher incomes later in life compared to children who annually read fewer books.

If children who read well perform better on tests and achieve more in school, then we can reasonably deduce that reading is a powerful channel to deliver learning.

While video continues to be the preferred medium to deliver corporate learning, reading is still an important part of employee development.

Since reading is such a strong indicator of success in learning, we’ve compiled a few facts and figures about reading in corporate learning that could help you provide a more robust learning program.

People Are Reading

We’re willing to bet you have a fair share of employees in your organization who fall between the ages of 18-49. If you don’t, then you have more pressing issues in your organization than delivering multimedia training content, and should immediately read our article on succession planning.

However, if you do have these younger generations contributing in some way to your organization, then it’s important to understand their reading habits. Check out this graph, showing how many people say they’ve read a book in the past 12 months:

As you can tell, reading is higher among younger generations, despite their healthy diet of video and digital content. When you’re trying to deliver training to where the learners already are, if you’re ignoring reading as a medium to deliver training, then you are doing a disservice to your overall program.

Anywhere, Anytime

At BizLibrary, we work hard to make learning available anywhere, anytime. Our training platform works on any device, which means that as long as you have your mobile phone, you can watch or read top-quality training content.

There has been one minor caveat with this benefit, of course, which is that online training requires internet access.

Depending on where your employees are, that might not be beneficial for your organization.

For instance, if you send an engineer to a sales meeting to explain the technicalities behind a design or feature for a solution you’re pitching, and that engineer wants to brush up on their presentation skills in transit or before the meeting, unless they have reliable and fast internet access, they may not be able to access useful video-based content.

Ebooks, however, have a one-time download option, which means they don’t require a good internet connection to be read. They circumvent that caveat, and truly are available on any device at any time.

Fill Content Gaps

We firmly maintain that microlearning is a great way to teach any topic, regardless of complexity, through chunking strategies.

However, before a video makes it into The BizLibrary Collection, it must first meet a set of standards regarding quality, subject matter, and production value.

Put simply, creating a video that we would consider adding to our collection takes considerable time and resources.

Ebooks (although they do take time to research and create) can often be done with only one author and in a timely manner. We’ve quickly discovered that they’re an effective and cost-efficient way to broaden content offerings and fill any topic gaps that may exist in our library.

We’ve been taught from an early age that reading is an important part of the learning process. Strong readers are smarter, more equipped to handle problems, and learn faster than those who neglect reading. Unfortunately, in many modern training programs, reading has been all but forgotten.

We’re hoping that you find a time and place to reinforce and deliver learning through reading in your organization.

For more information about how on-demand content can help your organization develop your people, be sure to download our free ebook, “Off-the-Shelf Content: Your Secret to Optimizing Employee Training!”

Training & Development Industry Researcher | Derek researches, discusses, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. He regularly interviews L&D and HR professionals, sharing their insight on trends and best practices that help organizations create stronger training programs, and help to grow their employees and their business.