The current climate calls for fast, flexible and memorable learning in the workplace.

The traditional art of learning in the workplace has witnessed a huge change with the introduction of technology. The old approach to training, workshops and other formal routes have had to swiftly adjust. People desire learning that is fast, flexible and on-demand.

As a result, HR departments are trying hard to keep pace with employees changing needs and expectations and create a learning environment that sees behaviour shift.

So with constant change around us, what does this mean for L&D initiatives in today’s digital world? Well we think you should be looking at how you:

Engage people in their own learning.

If you want to inspire and encourage people to learn and shift the way employees behave at work, the first step is to engage people in their own learning. You might have excellent learning videos and podcasts, but if it sits online and no one realises it’s there, what good is it? Lack of engagement is often the reason behind failing initiatives. Launching a program, sharing the reasons why learning something is important and demonstrating how it will help employees do a better job will increase curiosity, commitment and create a buzz across the organisation for learning.

Deliver just-in-time learning. 

Today we are able to find any piece of information instantly at a drop of a hat. We have sources like Google, Siri, TED, Linda, Khan, Quora, Forbes and every app under the sun. We’ve gotten so use to convenience and speed, that we just expect that learning at work should be the same. This trend is influencing the design of content, channel, experience and length of learning.  We are designing more online content that is short, task or problem-focused and easily accessed on mobile devices. The employee of today wants to know how to manage pressure, inject creativity, deliver difficult news, influence others, or be agile. And they want to be able to access it on their way to work or in their lunch hour on their phones, so that they can begin to use it that day or week.

Choose the right channel.

This is incredibly important. Don’t assume that all workshop content can be replaced with eLearning, podcasts or video. Each channel has its place and limitations.

For example video is excellent for increasing awareness and connecting new information to existing knowledge. As it’s visual, it’s best used for storytelling and engaging people emotionally with the why of a topic. Because of this it helps people to remember and recall the information better.

Whereas eLearning takes people one step further. This channel is great for sharing more complex information, as you breakdown content into more manageable chunks for people to learn. Use video branching, games and tests to share a theory or concept and apply it to a relevant scenario.

Then there is virtual reality, which aims to replicate work scenarios and how you interact with other people in a virtual world. For subtle nuances like human behaviour and reactions, this is a great channel for people to experiment and play in a safe environment.

But of course digital will never replace the value provided between people learning from each other. Face-to-face provides the perfect space for people to experience something new, share their insights, challenge one another, create new perspectives, practice and try out new theories and ultimately shift behaviour.

A new era for people development is being created, and today we are spoilt for choice with the multitude of learning channels and platforms available to us. The key factors for you to action when making L&D decisions are:

  1. Can people access the content on their mobile phones, or are archaic IT systems stopping people? Make learning accessible through their mobile devices, online, on the go, and informal.
  2. Have I thought about the channel to use that will match the level of interaction and the depth of content I’m wanting people to learn?
  3. Have I communicated and engaged wider employees and leaders that the program is happening and got a plan to roll it out? That means the formal (town halls, events, meetings, emails) through to the informal (corridor conversations and social media)

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