One of the greatest challenges that learning & development professionals face is creating a culture of constant learning.
For many teams, employees are only engaged in their development when they have an immediate task at hand.
Let’s say a tender is coming up for a client that only speaks Chinese, so they take an intensive Mandarin course. Or there is a new invoicing system, but they only learn the basics of what they need to get done without really understanding the full power of how it works.
In an ideal world, the team lives and breathes learning and development in every part of their jobs and actively seeks to upskill themselves. Leveraging modern technology throughout the office, a self-directed learning culture is being driven and there is an engaged workforce that’s appealing to new recruits.
So how do you go about making that ideal world a reality in your organisation?
Here are 5 tips that will help foster that culture of learning:
1. Measure by Impact Not Completion
Most learning professionals consider their job done when the training has been completed. But in a survey by Speexx, 30% define their Key Performance Indicators in terms of the number of training hours.
However, the true measure of success of any training is the improvement in employee performance and the retention rates of employees who have undergone training.
Start using metrics that result in impact on the business (and the learners themselves), rather than just finishing the exercise of learning, and then people have more motivation to do more of it.
2. Draw Learning Goals Explicitly From Organisation Goals
Too many Learning & Development professionals are creating goals that vaguely have something to do with their overall organisation’s goals but are not explicitly defined according to the vision and mission of the company.
When you set goals that have this direct link to the direction of the business, there is an automatic understanding and motivation to complete it (as long as your employees have bought into the organisation’s goals, of course).
3. Actively Use Modern Technology in Learning
We are now well and truly in the digital age and it’s almost expected that employees are reasonably comfortable with technology. In fact, most employees are probably more comfortable on their phones than they are on the computer.
There is an opportunity to be had in applying learning through mobile devices. If everyone is already comfortable on them, then putting learning through that space makes the learning that much easier to encourage.
4. Gamify Learning
Linked to the previous comment, when you integrate mobile devices and alternative technology you can actually make learning full of real fun. You can foster community, stoke competition, motivate through setting goals and generate live and constant feedback.
Continuous learning – and microlearning – is most effective when it’s mobile-based because when it becomes a game and can be digested in bite-sized portions, it becomes addictive and enjoyable to learn.
5. Utilise Blended Learning
Blended learning is becoming more and more prevalent as the optimal way for teams to absorb information. In a survey by Towards Maturity that identified ‘high achieving’ organisations and ‘lower-achieving’ ones, you can note that 84% of the high achieving ones use blended learning whereas only 45% of the lower-achieving ones did.
It is particularly effective in helping consolidate any one-to-one formal language training and translating the theory into practical skills.
Creating a culture of learning and development is a huge challenge, especially when most people in any organisation are run off their feet, or highly focused on their immediate work. However, with these tips, you should be able to start edging towards a more engaged team.
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