What does it take to improve E&C program effectiveness? While any number of factors could be cited—from a bigger budget to stronger leadership support to better risk assessment—our proprietary research and experience with leading companies suggest that adoption of a strong blended learning approach to E&C education and communications is the most cost-effective, feasible way to create a more impactful E&C program.

Broadly defined, blended learning (BL) uses a range of delivery formats (e.g., online, mobile, live), instructional strategies (e.g., scenario- and game-based learning), and communication tools to build knowledge, develop skills, and change behaviors. By delivering E&C content more frequently through a variety of channels, BL addresses different employee learning styles and combats training fatigue. BL offers a more relevant, engaging, and social approach to E&C learning, and it prepares leaders at all levels to set the tone in the middle.

Recent research in behavioral ethics and other fields of study suggests the need for a more active, blended approach to E&C learning. To be effective, researchers say, E&C education and communications needs to move away from a one-sided emphasis on knowledge acquisition and rational thinking, and move instead toward a behavioral and psychological approach that acknowledges the vital role of intuition and emotion in ethical decision making and behavior. Unlike one-dimensional learning strategies (e.g., online only), BL creates compelling educational and communication experiences that influence people and organizational cultures at emotional and intuitive levels.

This LRN white paper discusses some of the challenges faced by E&C educators, presents a research-based case for adopting BL, offers practical suggestions for developing a BL strategy, and shares case studies of successful BL programs at leading companies.