If you build it, they will come ... won't they?
Shaping the future of learning
Once upon a time, this may have been the case. However the reality is, they don’t. But why aren’t your learners queuing up to access your learning? Because employees (and people generally) are busy and have multiple choices of how to spend their time; how can they spend it learning if they don't even know the learning exists?
Say Goodbye To The Good Old Days
Gone are the days when learners waited eagerly for their next regulatory piece of elearning or time management refresher training (OK, maybe they didn’t ever keenly wait for that). But now that we are all technologically sophisticated and short on time our expectations have shifted. Now learners instantly expect the best learning experience from their employers (and you better believe that will include multi-device options).
Unfortunately, even if you do create that fantastic learning experience, most learners will only know whether that learning exists if there is clear signage that leads them to it.
Learning today needs to stand out from the sea of information and communications that learners are exposed to on a daily basis, and must pack a punch to differentiate and really make a difference.
Campaign For Change
Those involved in developing online learning strategies can get so excited (and carried away) with the creative design and build phases, that they can sometimes forget about the biggest job of all – implementing and exposing (we like to call it marketing) the end product to learners and driving adoption throughout the organisation. There are few things worse than creating a stunning learning intervention that ticks every organisational box – for nobody to even know it exists.
So, how do you get learners to love your learning like you do?
There really are many different ways to drive adoption of learning in the workplace and it really depends on organisational factors such as your internal manpower and resources. Here at City & Guilds Kineo we find a number of client projects are not singular, one-time learning interventions. Rather they are ongoing, with a much wider emphasis and focus on behavioural change and change management.
Your Ultimate Business Objectives
The key is to recognise and define your ultimate business objectives at the beginning of the project and then make a concerted decision on your approach. You could design and deploy ‘just another elearning course’, or you could look at creating something more innovative or creative that defines the outcomes of the learning, as well as how you’ll get learners to engage with the learning.
In the world of CG Kineo, we call these Learning Campaigns. Of course, many organisational challenges cannot be fixed in one singular learning campaign, therefore exposing your learners to an extended mix of learning resources which all push the same message can help drive behaviour change over time.
This is not a new theory; our friends in marketing functions have been doing it for years. We’ve been talking about it for a while now too, but we’re bringing it up again because we often see great elearning disappear into the ether because learners don’t know it exists.
Great campaigns (regardless of who’s executing them) follow the same simple principles. Interesting, dynamic learning often requires many of the same aspects to be successful:
- It must grab your attention
- It should always target specific audiences
- It should aim to plant seeds of thought with learners
- It should build up a mental presence over time
- Ultimately campaigns should lead to action (ideally from that aforementioned target audience)
Drive Forward and Progress
Taking a multi-pronged attack, using a mix of channels and techniques to reach the same end goal will enable learners to become immersed in your message – whether they necessarily realise it or not.
The bespoke assets (these could be posters, email campaigns, stressballs etc) and resources that constitute your campaign must be compelling, searchable, shareable, relevant, useful and action-orientated.
Ultimately, if you want to drive engagement and sustain incremental performance changes with measurable goals, build a learning campaign strategy to help launch your learning in your organisation.
And from my experience, if you do that successfully, they will come.
We’ve helped plenty of global organisations launch their learning in the workplace using a campaign approach. See how we could help to take your learning to new adoption levels.