People, Process, Technology: The Keys to a Successful Learning Experience
What constitutes a good learning experience?
Is it a culture of learning spearheaded by leaders and managers? Is it process design engineered to provide a modern learning experience? Is it simply learning technology?
You’re probably thinking, "I'll take option d, all of the above."
A successful learning experience requires a unified approach to giving your learners what they need. Here’s a look at the roles people, processes, and technology play in fostering a successful learning experience.
People: The importance of a learning champion
Learning technology can be expensive, but the first step in investing in a learning experience is absolutely free. Get yourself a learning champion. Better yet, make everyone a learning champion.
LinkedIn’s most recent Workplace Learning Report says that managers play a significant role inspiring others to invest in themselves (and as a result, contribute more to the organization). But anyone can be a learning champion! In fact, given that organizations are flatter, less hierarchical places than before, passionate learners can lead the charge by inspiring project members and other peers to commit to taking on something new.
Implore your managers to reach out to the people on their teams, find out what they’re learning, what they want to learn, where their passions lie. Encourage your teams to push the first domino and share their learning with each other. You may create a ripple effect that inspires teams to learn from and grow with one another.
Process: Put learners in the driving seat
Peter Drucker famously said “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” You also can’t track what you don’t measure, can’t grow what you don’t measure, can’t…well, you get the picture.
Learners need autonomy over their learning process which means personalizing the learning experience and defining paths towards mastery. Do your people know why they are learning? What skills are they developing and why? How those skills contribute to their career trajectory? Are there learning paths that could lead to internal job opportunities? Are learners aspirations documented and tracked?
To place the learner in the driver seat, you may need to develop competency frameworks to benchmark current skills, knowledge, and capabilities and to track those metrics as learners progress on their learning journey. If you want to help your people grow, you need to specify what excellence looks like, build a path to mastery with specific training recommendations, and track progress as learners engage the material.
Technology: Timely recommendations in the flow of work
We walk around with supercomputers in our pockets: we are accustomed to information instantly, the moment we need it. If we want workplace learning to pass the “consumer-grade” test, learning needs to be available in the flow of daily work activities. Learners shouldn’t have to wait weeks and take days off work to attend in-person training that may not be relevant to their role and career aspirations.
Experience should be at the heart of learning strategy, not an afterthought. Today’s employees need a blend of micro learning (short, bite-sized content) and macro learning (more in-depth skills that may take several hours, even days). Most important, however, is context. Learners need intelligent learning recommendations at the moment of need, such as within the applications they use every day.
Learning Experience Platforms have made exciting breakthroughs using AI and machine learning to provide the most relevant content based on your role, your ambitions, your recently viewed content, and a host of other metrics.
Learn and grow
Learning is more important today than ever before. Business leaders rely on learning programs to attract and retain the best and brightest candidates, while learners need learning programs that empower them to take control of their roles and careers.
Basically, learners need to be inspired to learn and given the processes and tools to do it.