Our Learning Environment’s Biggest Challenges

The organisational environment needs to be geared towards learning otherwise efforts and investment towards meaningful learning is wasted. The technology, trainer information quality and captivating delivery may be optimum yet this itself is not enough.

Create an environment that fosters a love and thirst for learning and one that can be reported on in a measured way.

Olivier Herold, CEO of The Oxford Group states that three challenges need to be addressed to reach this milestone.

1. Stop pushing, start pulling

Ask individuals in your workforce what they’ve recently done well and what they have learnt from the experience. 

Be transparent and acknowledge that some learning is about developing in areas they want to focus on while other learning might be more about what they need to focus on. 

Engage with the individual on which aspects of their performance offers room for positive change and establish what’s in it for them.

Olivier Herold adds that The Oxford Group’s 5 Conversations model provides guidance on how to hold a face to face meeting with a staff member that is dedicated to uncovering that individual’s best achievements.  Also, what they can learn that they can put into practice beyond their immediate role.  In addition, explore where they want to take their career and how they would incrementally like to develop their skills to reach their goals. 

Research and experience demonstrate repeatedly the positive impact this has on employee engagement.

2. Bust the elearning myth

Pull learning within the organisations culture is paramount to the success of a Learning Management System along with pre-built course content that is contextualised to the business. Off the shelf libraries can be highly useful in delivering training to large audiences and for technical and compliance training.

As an alternative, bespoke elearning is a surprisingly cost effective and hugely impactful solution, tailored to your organisation, culture and individual needs to promote behavioural change that blends to a wider learning development journey.

Kineo’s ebook tackles the difference between push and pull learning content, ‘How is digital transformation affecting L&D?’ and what are the next steps it brings.

In eLearning Industry’s article on 6 Ways To Create Pull Learning Content, that features Kineo’s ebook, Steve Lowenthal, CEO of Kineo US explores recent learning trend reports that tell of a move from push models of learning to a pull model. Also, what this means and what you need to do to make sure your learning pulls individuals in and creates a strong ripple of word or mouth or even ‘viral’ quality.

Pushing

Only a few years ago L&D managers would push email content out to people to advise about a course or highlight it in a newsletter or a poster in a communal area in the workplace.

Pull Content

Pull presumes that people will come to you and, if you provide an engaging and valuable experience, they'll keep coming back. They might even want to tell. But, to quote Field of Dreams, it is true with learning that "if you build it they will come."

Individuals are now used to hunting down information as they need it. So many people are active consumers of information and learning. That doesn't mean that push strategies are obsolete. There will still be learning that people need to do and in a certain time and format. But if organisations fail to steer learners' inherent habits and preferences towards new and ongoing best practice behaviours, they're missing a big opportunity.

3. Line Manager Advocacy

 The most important factor in achieving sustained behavioural change is to engage with line managers. If the culture is one that values training and professional development as a priority, they are motivated to encourage the staff in their care.  This will not only change their mindset where they view learning as a gift. It’s also a fundamental aspect of their job that will make them more effective and impactful.

“Line managers support learners to use what they have learnt is a major factor in training delivering performance improvement.  Where line managers support learners, 94% go on to apply what they have learnt.”

People Management Journal – March 2010.  Report of research of over 10000 learners over 3 years.

Subsequently, Deloitte has analysed global human capital trends.  Their 2016 report also details that;

Culture cannot be delegated – it must be on the CEO’s list of top priorities. The report goes on to state that senior leaders must be across the cultural values of the organisation and how these relate back to the business strategy, take ownership of shaping them and analyse their own behaviour to reinforce the desired culture.

Whilst many HR organisations are building teams to better communicate leaders’ vision of the desired culture, these teams do not always connect cultural change programs to behaviours and business strategies.

Examine the organisation to determine whether the targeted culture is taking hold.  Remind employees that culture is a tangible set of attributes and behaviours that can be clearly recognized at visible “touchpoints” amongst employees and those outside the business.

Measuring culture through on the job tools to understand employee attitudes and actions.  If the measurement reveals that current behaviours conflict with desired cultural values, refine the program to communicate and model culture throughout the organisation. HR should take the lead in this effort.