Across the world, people make over five billion Google searches each day. The search engine giant has become synonymous with finding information online and as result, modern work environments are full of people ‘just Googling it’. It’s a fascinating trend from an L&D perspective: by using search engines, learners are showing a real desire to pull information towards them and engage in learning, but they are choosing to use external, potentially unreliable resources to do so. The challenge we face as L&D professionals is how to direct this pull desire towards internal resources instead.
It’s easy to see why people love Google. After all, online search engines yield millions of results to most enquiries, but these are rarely targeted at our precise learning needs. Understandably, L&D neither want or need to compete with huge numbers of search results: instead we need to emphasise the quality and bespoke nature of our materials, and the benefits of them to our people.
Using our Google goggles
There’s no argument that Google are doing something right, so what can we learn from its popularity? After all, despite sometimes being an unsatisfactory problem-solving tool, there is a reason that they are the world’s second most powerful brand and part of our daily lives. That massive success is down to how easy Google is to use and it’s speed and quality of returning results.
With that in mind, L&D systems need to be similarly easy to search, providing the learner with exactly what they’re looking for every time. What’s more, Google is loved because nobody has to think about how to use it! If your systems can remain intuitive and responsive whilst increasing numbers of resources are added, you will develop a similar bond of trust with your people.
Identifying how your people search will help too. Google confirms that more searches happen from mobile devices than from desktops, so it’s important that your resources are mobile-compatible and accessible.
Quality not quantity
We know that L&D clearly won’t compete with Google by trying to produce the same number of resources, but your learning has an advantage: It is bespoke and designed to meet learners’ needs, but your learners probably don’t know that. Therefore, you need to promote pulling internal resources as an easier and more efficient process than endless Googling.
For this to work effectively, resources have to be easily accessible and your solutions need to be marketed effectively to build learner engagement and create the ‘pull’ culture you are striving for.
To learn more about creating your perfect learner culture, access my webinar.
Have you taken a Brand stand?
One reason that your people may not be engaging with internal solutions could be because they aren’t sure what is on offer. Of course, we may want learners to get stuck in and start pulling learning to find this out, so it can feel like a vicious circle! Therefore, we need to help learners understand what’s available by having a clear L&D brand identity.
For example, do you specialise in having a large number of bitesize resources to target short-term, specific needs? Maybe your L&D solutions are more lengthy and solve ongoing, complex requirements? Either way, it’s important to ‘set out your stall’ and create a culture change that means your learners embrace quality internal resources rather than searching online.
What’s in your Marketing Mix?
You may already know about my desire to create the perfect L&D marketing mix. It’s important to decide how to communicate effectively with your people, otherwise how will they understand your brand? Every organisation is different and the best way of talking to people changes on an individual basis. It may be through social media, email campaigns, video content or other methods, but it’s vital to find a way to communicate with your people effectively.
Ultimately, it’s important to build learner engagement prior to the moment of need so that people will think to use internal resources when that immediate learning moment presents itself. By marketing your brand effectively, you can spare your people an unsatisfactory period of Googling and help them pull learning from internal resources instead. A win-win solution.
To understand more about the key steps behind building learner engagement and how to create a pull learning culture in your organisation, why not look at my free whitepaper?
Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning
Sharing ideas and observations to help improve performance.
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