Customisation is increasingly important in training and education for two simple reasons: one, people learn in different ways, and two, training is more effective when it's targeted, rather than generalised. One aspect of customisation is the new popularity of personalised learning; another is the increasing demand for digital applications that are tailored to the specific needs of an organisation and its employees.
Conventional training methods rarely use a one-size-fits all approach. The tools that trainers and coaches use stay fairly constant; group discussions, demonstrations, Q&A sessions, and role play all have their place and all remain popular group training methods. Customisation is extremely important, however; training and education needs to be tailored to the needs of an organisation, or an individual, or a group of employees, to be most effective.
The same principle is equally important when it comes to the use of digital apps; again, while the tools (in this case the use of apps and digital devices) might stay constant, the needs of the users are highly variable, and that means customisation is extremely valuable.
Generic apps might, at first glance, seem to be easier and cheaper to obtain and use, but while they're useful in some respects, they have their limitations.
- Generic apps are limited in terms of their relevance to specific organisations; there are also potential compatibility issues depending on what platforms the organisation favours.
- Purchasing generic apps for company use might be less expensive than paying for the development of customised alternatives, but generics typically result in poorer training experiences.
- Customised apps that are created for a specific organisation, or even a specific industry, are much more effective, because a high degree of specificity means that employees are receiving training that's relevant to what they do every day.
- In the long run, that translates into cost savings, because employees are trained faster and better, and become more productive.
Another significant advantage of using customised apps is the ease with which they can be updated with new content or additional functionality. That's typically not possible with generic apps, but customised software that's been created for a specific organisation can be updated as and when needed.
Finally, although there is yet to be any research or statistical evidence on this subject, there is one thing that most people will sense is true. People are increasingly spending time such as travelling time immersed in their phones and devices. Providing training via people's devices makes sense as people can do it on the way to and from work and anywhere where they find themselves with spare time and their device on them (when isn't it?). It absolutely fits with the way that people are increasingly living their lives.