An Introduction to Workplace Learning
Workplace learning is the concept of upgrading our skills and knowledge in our place of business. Sometimes, the need for education is due to new technology. Other times, though, it's from the idea that knowing more can result in business success. And doesn't everybody want that?
But what's involved in proper workplace learning to make sure it translates to business success? Read on to find out.
Rules of Workplace Learning
One of the first things to understand about workplace learning is that there are rules surrounding any new training program's implementation. Without rules, you can find yourself flying blind, hoping that anything you teach will translate to success.
Rule 1# Bite-Sized is Best
One of the essential rules to abide by is making learning bite-sized. Creating training programs that are short and sweet can benefit both employer and employee.
Smaller modules are easier to fit into the working week. Thus, employees will be more likely to tap into their new knowledge and it will help their learning development to improve at a reasonable pace.
On the other side, by dividing new information into smaller pieces, you can be better equipped to modify it as updated learning opportunities and development programs become available.
Rule 2# Say Goodbye to 9 to 5
There is nothing more frustrating for the focused employee than being dragged away to attend a workplace learning seminar or an instructor led development program. Instead of being engaged, your team is focused on what work they haven't finished and unanswered emails.
Creating modules that encourage on-demand learning can be more beneficial than you think. Modular, searchable, and fluff-free development programs when and how an employee wants it may be better suited to your fast-paced workplace and will keep employee engagement levels high while taking the training.
Rule 3# Treat Your Learners Like Consumers
Think about how you market a product or service to your consumers. You make it desirable, convenient, engaging, user-friendly, or all of the above. As a result, it's something that your consumers want.
Treat your employees in the same way when planning your workplace learning modules. Find out how they learn the best, then deliver the goods in a way that makes them want to engage.
Rule 4# Welcome Feedback
You might have spent hours, days, and weeks creating a workplace learning module, but that doesn't mean it's suitable. One of the best ways to ensure proper workplace learning for business success is by listening.
Find out how your team wants to learn. Discover their weaknesses, strengths, and preferences. There is more than one way to get new skills, learning opportunities, and knowledge across. Tap into your team.
Strategies for Effective Workplace Learning
Having a strategy or strategies in place for effective workplace learning is paramount. You might have some excellent ideas about program content, but creating a workable program is different.
Strategy 1# Implement a Learning Management System
A learning management system (LMS) can be the difference between chaos and order. Rather than create a variety of training materials that you can't keep track of, an LMS brings organization and structure to the mess.
You can enjoy a mixed-mode form of training exercises, but with everyone accessible in one place. From webinars and written text to video courses and live events, an LMS is a hub for every facet of your workplace learning program and helps to improve the learning experience through ease of access to materials.
An LMS is also beneficial in helping track performance management for your employees and their professional development in the company.
Strategy 2# Don't Underestimate Data
If someone tells you that workplace learning can lead to business success, don't just take their word for it. Let your carefully formulated data speak for itself. Data gathered from each department of your business can highlight your knowledge gaps and money pits.
When you know where to focus your learning efforts, you can set performance metrics. Then, with the right targeted training, your ROI can improve as a result.
Strategy 3# Focus on the Long-Term
As a business owner, you might think you're doing your team a huge favor by bringing in a guest speaker or guru. Someone with all the knowledge in the world can impart their wisdom and completely transform your workplace, right? Wrong.
A one-day seminar can be enlightening and motivating at the moment. However, thoughts of what to eat for lunch can soon take over. Then, all the money you just spent on training goes down the drain.
Rather than blast your team with a whole host of new information in a single day, make it a pathway to success. Let one module lead to the next, and allow room for reflection, feedback, and real-life scenarios to play out. Most importantly, take the path with them.
After all, workplace learning is a team effort and leadership development is just as crucial as developing your team.
Strategy 4# Personalize the Pathway
Albert Einstein once said, "if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
The reality is, every single one of your employees will learn differently. Not all information you have to offer will also be relevant to everyone's job. So, a good strategy is personalizing the pathway.
Make sure that you're customizing your content for your team as individuals, not as a collective. Appeal to the visual learner with videos, but offer written guides for those who love to read.
You can even appeal to the doer with step-by-step visual guides for how to complete a specific task. There is more than one way to teach new skills and impart new knowledge.
This will help to improve overall employee engagement because they will feel that their learning style is respected and will help them to uncover further learning opportunities.
- You get out of it what you put into it with workplace learning. Often, that's a combination of understanding the rules, and following a set of strategies.
- Short, sweet training modules are more engaging and preferred.
- Setting up new workplace learning modules can include worker involvement and feedback.
- Working from a set of data can highlight your company's weaknesses.
- Cater to all learning types and abilities for a broader reach.
- Make use of learning management systems that can work as central information hubs.