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This sponsored post is produced by Axonify.

Meet the modern learner. She’s energetic. She’s enthusiastic. And she’s eager to make praise-worthy contributions at work.

But she’s also overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. Incoming tweets, emails and texts, combined with websites, videos and apps all vie for her attention. And interruptions disturb her as frequently as every five minutes.

Because she’s always mobile and is preoccupied every single moment, she doesn’t want to be tied down to daylong training sessions that interfere with her already over-packed schedule. And because she knows what she wants and where she wants to take her career, she’s not interested in wasting time completing courses that aren’t relevant to her current job and professional goals.

Check out Bersin’s Meet the Modern Learner infographic and the message is clear. Today’s employees learn differently and need organizations to catch up with this new reality.

Step into the shoes of a vice president of learning and development or head of safety and compliance, for example, and the task can seem daunting. How can these senior managers capture modern learners’ attention and deliver training that matches their needs and expectations, while also meeting corporate requirements at the same time? Additionally, with high turnover rates and wide access to people and information outside corporate walls, how can they shrink time to competency and communicate consistent messages to a vast network of employees that live and work across states/provinces, countries or even the entire globe?

Until recently, there was no way for businesses to achieve this alignment. Even now, most organizations still rely on traditional classroom-based methods to deliver content in-person or online. But, let’s face it, this type of learning has a high snooze factor and doesn’t motivate employees to engage.

But with advances in brain science and eLearning technology, there are things those responsible for learning, sales, product or safety can do to align the needs of modern learners with organizational goals and requirements in a more effective way.

Daily Sessions

The conventional way of delivering training is through lengthy one-off events. Once the session is over, it’s done. Typically, there are no follow-ups that continue to reinforce the learning (even though research by Will Thalheimer indicates learners forget more than 90% of what they learn in a training event within a month). But with the decreasing attention spans and increasing distractions of today’s modern learners, it only makes sense to approach learning differently. By using eLearning technology to deliver information in small chunks and reinforce it over time, research shows knowledge retention significantly increases. For time-crunched modern learners, short 3-5 minute daily training bursts also make it easy to fit in learning without creating information overload or adding stress.


People of all generations enjoy basic game elements, such as challenges, competitions and points. But for modern learners, in particular, taking advantage of eLearning technology that includes gamification can drive motivation and engagement like no other form of training. Integrating questions, while learners play short arcade games or brainteasers, transforms dreaded training sessions into something employees look forward to. And virtual or physical rewards and leaderboards encourage wide participation, while motivating employees to do their best.


Although modern learners have many traits in common, they are also individuals. Integrating eLearning technology that personalizes learning experiences to individual skills and goals boost relevancy and knowledge at the same time. Modern learners see what’s in it for them and feel empowered to take more ownership over their development. eLearning technology that incorporates personalized knowledge maps also allows employees to learn at their own pace and see their progress.

Mobile Access

Instead of forcing employees to be in the same room or access training from work, mobile eLearning applications give modern learners the opportunity to learn on-demand, anywhere that is convenient for them. This gives untethered workers easy access to training, while giving the organization more control over the content. It also helps reduce the chance learners will search outside the organization to get information that may be inconsistent with business direction.

Social Connectivity

Modern learners are accustomed to the benefits of collaborative communication that social networks provide. By using eLearning technology that includes social components that mimic those outside the organization, management can encourage employees to connect with and learn from each other. This encourages dialogue about training content and fosters internal communication.

Until now, learning has been abstract. Modern learners have been unable to understand how training applies to their individual needs and ambitions. But advances in brain science, that are built in today’s eLearning technology, now give organizations the tools to deliver knowledge in ways that are not only receptive to modern learners, but allow them to get the most out of it. Clearly, it’s time to break outdated traditional training methods and embrace the requirements of today’s modern learners.

For more information on implementing an eLearning technology solution like the one described in this article, visit axonify.com.

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