Employee learning and development is a key factor in the success of an organization. However, everyone learns and retains information differently as everyone’s learning style is unique. A learning style refers to behaviors, attitudes and other relevant factors that facilitate learning for an individual in any given scenario. It’s how an individual gathers, interprets, analyzes, organizes, concludes and stores information.
Underutilizing or overlooking the different styles of learners could lead to difficulty in retaining employees in an organization. If you want to make the most of your team’s learning and working styles, it’s important to identify various kinds of learners.
Understanding The 4 Types Of Learners
To understand the different types of learners in workplaces, you need to look at the VARK model. In 1992, a researcher named Neil D. Fleming discovered that learning doesn’t have hard and fast boundaries and there can be different learner types. He proposed the VARK Model, an acronym that stands for Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing and Kinesthetic. It describes different kinds of learners and how they process and organize information differently. Here are the details of the VARK Model describing multiple styles of learners:
1. Visual Types Of Learners
They prefer the use of graphic depictions to access and understand information. They may respond to arrows, charts, diagrams, and other visualizations of information. For example, PowerPoint presentations are useful in communicating information about a project to these kinds of learners.
2. Auditory Types Of Learners
They are most successful when they’re presented with content vocally. They use repetition as a learning technique and benefit most from speeches and group discussions. They pay attention to what someone has to say and gather new inputs simply by listening. They benefit from group discussions and brainstorming sessions because ideas are shared out loud. Some other learning tools include voice-over videos and audio recordings.
3. Reading/Writing Types Of Learners
Those who prefer the reading/writing type of learning have been found to learn most successfully through words. They can be serious note-takers or avid readers and can translate abstract concepts into words or essays. For instance, during discussions or meetings, they prefer taking notes and reading them to understand the information being conveyed.
4. Kinesthetic Types Of Learners
They best understand information through an active, hands-on participatory role. They tend to engage all of their senses in the process of learning. They often can’t succeed in conventional work settings because of their active nature. These kinds of learners retain information through their senses. Simply put, they learn through hands-on experiences. Their strengths lie in tasks that involve engaging with materials or objects.
Managers and team leaders shoulder the responsibility of guiding and supporting their teams. Navigating various styles of learners can help bring out the best in each employee and encourage them to be productive and motivated.
Working With 4 Types Of Learners
Employees come from various walks of life, with different experiences, knowledge and skills. If someone isn’t good at something, they will probably do better in other things. As a leader, you should be able to identify and navigate different types of learners in the workplace so that you can provide them with opportunities for growth. You can play to their strengths and confidently delegate responsibilities. This will further help individuals find meaning in their work, therefore reducing the turnover rates.
Here’s how you can make the most of different styles of learners and motivate them to do their best:
- Let your team know that there aren’t any hard and fast rules for completing a task; you will accommodate their needs if required
- You can either circulate a survey or ask your team during feedback sessions about each member’s preferred learning style; by actively seeking out this information, you can provide them with multiple options
- When dealing with a new employee or someone who isn’t able to meet project expectations, provide them with opportunities to upskill or reskill themselves
Pay Attention With Harappa
If you want to help employees step out of their comfort zone and upgrade their knowledge or skill sets, you need to be able to understand their needs and expectations first. Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will guide you in gauging your team’s goals and expectations and sail through the stages of team development. You’ll not only know all about individual learning styles but also help your team leverage their strengths, which will help you foster team spirit and collaboration for greater business outcomes. The Social Styles Model, in particular, will help you navigate various working styles and types of learners. Be the voice of reason, change and inspiration with Harappa today!
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