The Benefits of Asynchronous Learning
August 10, 2022
Finding times where team members are available for instructor-led training is no small feat for managers. Employees have busy schedules, making it difficult to facilitate learning and development (L&D).
Asynchronous learning allows your team members to learn on their own time versus attending a scheduled live or virtual training session. This type of distance learning may be ideal for remote and hybrid teams. Depending on their learning styles, this type of digital learning may also be ideal for some in-office workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a transformation in teaching and learning methods, creating the ideal storm for asynchronous learning to thrive.
Unsure whether asynchronous learning can work for your team? Explore the differences between asynchronous learning and traditional methods and the benefits asynchronous learning can offer for your team.
How is asynchronous learning different from other online learning?
Unlike blended and synchronous learning, asynchronous training is less instructor-dependent and can be completed on the learner’s time at their pace.
Asynchronous learning doesn’t require consistent real-time interaction with an instructor, like classes and workshops. Staff can work through the program in their time, using course content like:
- Pre-recorded video
- Blog content
- Online quizzes
Traditional learning, however, can be classroom-based, where learning occurs in real time. An instructor teaches the group at a designated time.
Async learning caters to a growing crowd: remote workers. According to Gallup, roughly 45 percent of employees in the U.S. work remotely, either full-time or a few days a week. It’s hardly surprising that remote learning is a popular method of employee development.
But if you’re not convinced to go async-only, blended learning offers the best of both worlds. This approach mixes real-time and on-demand learning modules, where employees can take part in L&D opportunities depending on the topic, duration, goals, and preferred learning style.
The benefits of asynchronous learning
About 57 percent of L&D pros report spending more time online learning than three years ago. That’s a big increase primarily fueled by the pandemic and the Great Resignation and a driving factor behind human resource experts saying that upskilling and reskilling should be a priority for companies worldwide.
Learn how asynchronous learning can drive your L&D program forward with examples from teams who’ve implemented it successfully.
1. Train teams at scale
As your business grows, so does your team. That presents problems: 26 percent of L&D pros say scaling learning across an organization is one of their biggest challenges.
A Learning Management System (LMS) can allow managers to check in on each employee’s progress, regardless of how many team members they have and their location, with async learning models.
Take the security and compliance monitoring company Vanta, for example. Its Sales and CX Enablement Lead, Megan Hunting, wanted a tool to help her create and assign training, provide an excellent onboarding experience for reps, and deliver ongoing product training and certifications.
“The easy-to-read reporting for each guide makes it simple for me to see who hasn’t yet completed guides,” Megan says. “I can send reminders, and when folks need more of a nudge, I enlist our managers to reach out directly to our reps. Because of this, we always have 100 percent completion.”
“People love using WorkRamp at our company. I’ve never gotten bad feedback from anyone, and we generally have a 100 percent course completion rate for any of the training I put out.”
-Megan Hunting, Sales and CX Enablement Lead, Vanta
2. Power internal and external training
Asynchronous learning experiences that connect globally distributed and diverse learners can help your organization meet learning goals.
Take it from Quantum Metric, a product design platform that captures 20 percent of the world’s traffic. With staff learning and development paramount to its continuous service, the brand used WorkRamp to award 1,000+ certifications in the first year.
That’s alongside Quantum Metric University, a place for the organization to train and certify 75 percent of customers on its product offerings.
“With Quantum Metric University, we’ve developed a platform with over 50 training modules that provide in-context, bite-sized, searchable information to assist customers’ understanding of how to use our product to its fullest potential.”
-Chauncy Cay Ford, Director of Enablement, Quantric Metric University
As Quantum Metric shows, asynchronous learning prevents your L&D program from being on hold while you wait for employees to join a real-time session. Global employees can start training as soon as they’re hired or when their managers want them to learn a new skill.
3. Increase employee satisfaction
Career development is a driver of job satisfaction. Employees who don’t get the training they need with a current employer are 12x more likely to consider leaving. (With new employees, the number soars to about 30x.)
Invest in your team’s futures-and increase their job satisfaction-with asynchronous learning opportunities. Both online learning and asynchronous learning provide the opportunity to customize instruction for individual employees. Users can set their own learning goals, choose their career path, and the kind of interactive content that helps them learn.
Some organizations also find that asynchronous learning has higher participation rates. In fact, Ashley Crisostomo, the Principal Program Manager on the Sales Enablement team at Reddit, uses WorkRamp to build out Reddit’s L&D function, train new hires, and roll out branding initiatives.
“WorkRamp is simple to use. Learning Management Systems can be riddled with complications and too much customization, which gets in the way of the user experience. We’re a small team, so a great UI and UX saves us time and resources. The straightforward UI was the first thing I noticed when I tested WorkRamp.”
-Ashley Crisostomo, Sales Enablement Manager, Reddit
The result? Reddit improved employee NPS by more than 13 points.
4. Create a culture of learning
Getting managers to make learning a priority (49 percent), and creating a culture of learning (42 percent), were the biggest challenges for L&D professionals worldwide, according to a survey by Statista.
Asynchronous learning inspires employees to embrace growth—personally and professionally—to become leaders within their teams.
Replicate this with your organization through customized learning programs that:
- Take into account their learning style. Understand how your employees learn best. Asynchronous learning programs are suited for various styles with learning materials, such as images, videos, or presentations, making them more accessible.
- Builds on an employee’s strengths and areas for growth. A self-service “essential skills” library allows employees to choose courses that fit their individual needs. Use them to accurately measure the varying skill levels. Not everyone in their 50s needs technology training, and not all 25-year-olds are seasoned tech wizards.
- Aligns with your business culture. PartnerHero used WorkRamp to provide searchable and accessible learning to everyone, nurturing a learning culture and supporting employees’ development.
- Builds a learning culture with remote teams. Help remote and hybrid employees feel more connected and engaged with your community through asynchronous learning. They won’t feel like they’re losing out on L&D opportunities by being outside of the office.
5. Improve employees’ work-life balance
A fifth of the total U.S. workforce has quit their jobs since April 2021. Burnout and poor work-life balance are two driving factors behind employees’ quitting.
Asynchronous learning can help reduce the pressures of balancing work and family life. It’s flexible, and employees can fit learning and development around their busy schedules, producing greater job satisfaction.
For example, employees with children or workers who care for older relatives can learn flexibly to meet the daily demands of their personal lives. Parents can leave the office at 3 p.m. to pick up children from school and not have to miss out on real-time training.
Disadvantages of asynchronous learning
Asynchronous learning is advantageous to some teams. But there are some things to consider before adding it to your L&D program.
Studies show that 42 percent of people prefer to learn in a classroom with a group of peers. Take action to find out your employees’ preferred training methods. Otherwise, you may end up with low participation and engagement rates.
Also, low attendance and lack of motivation are training challenges that cannot be ignored. Employees need self-study skills to stay on track, including enough motivation to achieve their goals. Asynchronous learning relies on the employee to prioritize their skill development.
Finally, asynchronous learning works on the principle of employees having some technology skills. This can cause problems when an employee struggles to load a video or navigate toolbars to move on to the next module-ultimately affecting their self-confidence and learner satisfaction.
These concerns don’t need to be deal-breakers. A user-friendly learning management platform with easy-to-use features can help you cater to team members who aren’t as tech-savvy. You can also survey your team ahead of time to determine the best learning approach for your organization.
Ready to offer asynchronous learning for your team?
For many teams, asynchronous learning has become the new normal. Use it to upskill your employees, offer greater flexibility, and empower them to learn what they need when they need it-without a set training schedule.
With WorkRamp, employees have access to instructional materials and courses anytime. It’s perfect for returning to educational content they have learned in the past, helping staff retain what they’ve already learned.
Want to learn more about how WorkRamp can help you provide a fantastic learning experience and build asynchronous learning programs for new hires or customers? Get in touch to request a free demo.
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