I love sitting down to plan the year ahead – it’s a great opportunity to step back and look at the big picture. And in a perfect world, creating your strategy for the months to come and setting clear objectives and outcomes would all be quite straightforward.
However, we know life isn’t always like that!
When creating your strategy you need to think about your culture, and whether it needs work. A tradition of ‘push’ learning often will have led to disengaged learners, which could mean starting with an upward climb.
However, adopting a blended learning approach can stimulate those who have become disengaged, nudge the learners in the middle along the path from ‘push’ to ‘pull’, and offer opportunities to the most self-directed and motivated of your learners.
So, here’s some different methods that can help drive your learning strategy for 2018 – no matter what it is you’re hoping to achieve.
1. Improve searching
1 in 4 learners are struggling to find what they need due to fruitless searches.
A great LMS or search facility can provide an opportunity for L&D to improve how quickly and easily learners can find what they need, learn it, and apply it.
Creating a clear structure – organising the learning by topic or issue – improves accessibility, helping learners find content related to their specific needs, and cuts down time wasted when they can't – meaning fewer will find themselves getting frustrated and giving up.
2. Reduce time off the job
Getting buy-in from managers can be a lot easier when we soften the impact of their people taking time away from the job to learn.
New learning technologies have provided us with more flexibility, more options for learning delivery, and platforms that can deliver ever more sophisticated blends – all of which learners can now access without even stepping away from their desks.
We can support and encourage this integration by incorporating quick-to-consume, easy-to-pull learning that can, for example, support performance without learners spending days away from the job.
3. Faster application of learning
97% of L&D leaders want to speed up the application of learning in the workplace.
They’re not alone – of course, faster application means better performance, and more ROI for stakeholders, which can help us get the buy-in we want for our learning strategies.
We need to be sure we are delivering solutions that reduce time to competency by using an engaging mix of methods. Supporting face-to-face learning with a blend that includes other types of learning, such as microlearning, performance support, eLearning, and more, can be a great way to meet learners at all stages of competence and help them move forwards.
4. Tailor content to delivery
If you’re creating learning in the form of video, for example, you’ll want the right kind of video; if you’re creating performance support materials, they’ll need to be in easy-to-access formats like PDFs and mobile learning, and if you’re delivering instructor-led training, then to get the most for your budget and time, situate this at the right time in the learning journey to meet your peoples’ needs.
Tailoring content effectively minimises the risk of spending unnecessary budget, and means your learning will be all the more engaging and effective for drawing on your knowledge of learners’ expectations and motivations.
5. Let learners set the pace
L&D can see boosted engagement by putting learners in control of what they learn, when they learn – and, to a certain extent, how they learn.
Of course, it’s not always possible to let learners make all the decisions. But as 91% of learners say they like to learn at their own pace, letting them take control of some parts of their learning journey– perhaps by giving them the option to choose the order in which they pull aspects of a blend, or by making it mobile - means they can learn when it’s convenient for them.
6. Match their motivation
We’re seeing more career-minded professionals in the workplace who expect opportunities to learn. 83% of learners say they are seeking out opportunities to gain new skills in the workplace. So why not take advantage of this motivation?
Delivering learning to support the career-minded learner’s aspirations will engage them at their most motivated – so try and locate opportunities to contribute to CPD, such as working opportunities for coaching and mentorship into a blend.
7. Encourage social learning
Since 61% of learners say they are motivated to learn using technologies that enable them to network and work with others, this is a great opportunity for L&D to incorporate social learning and networking.
If you're looking for a little direction for your learning strategy, then why not download our whitepaper on Building a successful learning strategy.
Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning
Sharing ideas and observations to help improve performance.
Copyright © 2017 Bray Leino Learning
Unlocking Potential: Releasing the Potential of the Business and its People Through Learning. 2016–17 Towards Maturity Industry Benchmark Report. (2016) (pp. 31, 36, 47, 52, 56). Retrieved from https://towardsmaturity.org/2016/11/19/unlocking-potential-business-learning-benchmark/