We love Learning at Work Week here at Bray Leino Learning, it is one of our busiest times of year, supporting our clients as they celebrate all things learning related. We are helping with Roadshows, Learning and Career Fayres, as well as providing a raft of bite-sized learning sessions and webinars, to whet the appetite of learners.
For companies that have a great learning culture this is just a highlight in their learning year. It is a time to celebrate all the good work that has already happened and an opportunity to emphasise the joint benefits to the learner and business of personal and professional development. For the less successful, it is a one trick pony, a token effort, a rallying cry.
I am a strong believer that in order to have a great learning culture you need fantastic learning solutions that meet the needs of the learners and the business. You also need to market those solutions to the learners in order to galvanise them to action and keep them engaged.
Marketing is not a one off task, it is not something that is done once and then forgotten. It is skill and profession in its own right and, done well, it produces fantastic results.
Even lay people know that whenever you hear people talk about marketing they very often interchange that with the phrase ‘marketing campaign’ and that give us a clue to one of the keys to marketing’s success. It is never a one hit wonder; it is always part of a carefully choreographed campaign. Any good marketer would probably laugh at the futility of having just one week where you reach out to your audience.
What can we learn from those organisations with great learning cultures? What are they doing to build learner engagement and what would the marketer’s advice be if you want to see Learning at Work Week as a celebration, rather than a drop of water in the desert?
In the Towards Maturity report ‘Preparing for the Future of Learning, A Changing Perspective for L&D Leaders’ published only last week, it was quite clear that whilst there has been progress there are a still many people in L&D who do not have the business consulting skills needed. Perhaps if they did they would be more in tune with the why of learning, not the what. Why does the organisation need people to develop these skills? And, just as importantly, why would the learners want to engage with it? Finding that out the “What’s in it for me” is crucial.
If you want to build your learning culture, then one place to start is changing your mind-set from Learning at Work Week being an annual, one off event, and start to think of it as the culmination of four, quarterly learning engagement campaigns.
Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning
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