How L&D does more than foster good learning habits

Explore why the most forward-thinking L&D teams are doing more today than just delivering training. 

Mark Ward Co-Founder

How L&D does more than foster good learning habits

The world of L&D is evolving. The most forward-thinking L&D teams do more than deliver training. To create the right environment for growth they also look out for wellbeing, improve communication, maintain organisational culture and much more.

Is that too much to ask? Not with a focus on solving the right problems and empowering the people in your organisation to contribute...

Time to reflect

According to The Office of National Statistics, this year saw 74% of employees feeling like they’re missing out on company news and 68% of people having to learn new ways of working. With the increased pressure to change the way we work it’s clear people need L&D more than ever. But what’s more, with the rise in remote working, people clearly aren’t getting the information they need from their organisation.

So, I started to reflect on the year and think about how some of our clients have navigated the challenges of 2020 and what lessons we’ve learned from their response to Covid-19...

What’s changing? 

The teams that have got it right this year have acknowledged that for people to be productive, primary needs have to be met. 

Most of us will remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You may snigger, but this year ‘A theory of motivation’ couldn’t be more pertinent. It tells us that before we can begin to influence behaviour we must satisfy our primary needs. Needs ranging from the basics like food and good health to slightly more complex ones like fulfilment. Hello 2020 and mass food shortages, threats to our health, job and financial insecurity and a complete overhaul of our working patterns and habits.

A big part of our client success stories this year has been the acknowledgment of this. That dose of perspective Covid-19 gave us- what’s really important- these L&D teams acknowledged that. They recognised that for people to do their jobs well this year, they really needed more than good training materials. So what else did these teams deliver?

1. Effective communication 

Good communication keeps people in the know. That’s why businesses with effective communication are 50% more likely to have lower employee turnover according to BITAI. 

Remote working has put even more pressure on us to get the right information to the right people at the right time on the right channel. Because we can’t just rely on people picking up on things in the office, or those quick coffee-break chats. If we want people to continue to work productively as a team, they need access to information without disrupting the flow of their work. Here’s how we’ve seen clients do it:

1. Define who is in your audience. Who does the information impact? Who needs to know? Who doesn't need to know just yet? Nobody who could benefit from hearing what you have to say should be left out.

LXP tip: THRIVE uses groups to target your message to the right audiences

2. Think about when your message needs to be shared. When do you need to pass on information? Is the matter pressing or can you wait for a response? When will it be too late to act?

LXP tip: Scheduled campaigns will automate content so it goes out at the right time.

3. Think about where your message will be best shared. Which communication channel is most appropriate? Would a written paper trail be useful? Does it need to be searchable by everyone? Different communication channels suit different kinds of information better than others.

LXP tip: THRIVE not only makes all content searchable but its personalisation engine recommends content to the people who need it based on skills, interests and behaviour. 

In response to the communication needs of our core clients, we’ve recently launched a new comms tool: broadcasts- a built-in live video tool that allows business leaders to connect with their entire organisation in real time. Harnessing the power of interaction, you’ll be able to see how your team is feeling with reactions, get answers with polls and host Q&A’s through live chat. 

Read all about it here. 

2. A community

Research from BITAI found 54% of employees state a strong sense of community kept them at a company for longer. Foster a community and help your employees feel a sense of belonging. 

Even teams that have a positive approach to remote and home working will acknowledge that one of the benefits of being in a shared environment is connectedness to colleagues. We’re all human and we all need social interaction. This year more than ever. 

But how do you keep that alive when people aren’t physically together?

One thing that organisations like Sumo Digital have created is a full social calendar of events for their employees. Inclusive, opt-in events that make people feel a part of something bigger than their products provides that sense of community. Sumo Digital hosted a big day in, where they sent out goodie boxes to everyone in the company and ran a range of different virtual events, games and quizzes on their THRIVE LXP.

It’s all about sharing an experience and having fun. It doesn’t have to be a formal,  structured event, it could just be a theme or campaign that gets people talking, and sharing at their leisure.

But when it comes to creating a sense of community digitally, there’s also a point around user experience and that’s something we’ve really thought about at THRIVE. 

Community isn’t a single place where people go, like a forum or a group, it can be smaller pockets of collective interests or shared causes, that together make up the personality of an organisation. A lot of more traditional LMS’s have tried to create it, rather than foster what’s already there. But community is an output of individual expression, it just needs to be nurtured to flourish. 

Which leads me onto my next point nicely… 

3. A voice

One of the most common barriers to learning is that knowledge is buried away in people’s heads. Trust the people in your organisation to share their expertise and give them a channel to express themselves. This could look like:

  • Encouraging more user generated content - Let go of perfectionism and let your teams share their knowledge and ideas through content that works for them. It could be a selfie video using a mobile phone, posting a link, writing an article or simply asking a question. Simply provide the tools and let your teams do the rest.

  • Connecting people to people -  Make sure your experts, those who have the experience solving problems or answering questions are accessible. Creating a wider support network outside of offices or teams can boost learning and bring your company together.

  • Encouraging interaction -  Creating a transparent environment where there are no stupid questions and everyone can benefit from everything. That way people feel like it’s a safe space to engage, comment and discuss resources, learning and more! 

4. Engagement

Employee engagement is way more than ticking off compliance training. It’s about creating a space for learning that your employees want to visit everyday and keep coming back for more. 

  • Set the agenda and create campaigns- Set the narrative by giving people a topic to engage with, whether it’s a social event, a learning initiative or celebrating an awareness day such as World Mental Health Day, your learners want to engage with something topical and they will keep coming back if they can expect something new every time. Afterall no one wants to feel left out!

  • Use your analytics - Engagement is an iterative process. You’re not always going to get it right and that’s ok, as long as you’re continuously reflecting on what you’ve done and asking yourself; “what’s worked and what hasn’t?” A learning platform like THRIVE will help you make data-driven decisions and keep it simple.

    LXP tip: Our latest learning analytics suite uses heatmaps to showcase user behaviour including what time and day your learners are most engaged as well as what content they engage with the most.

  • Army of influencers - Your people are your best weapon. Try getting a team of influencers on your side who can encourage usage, get the discussion going and set the trend when it comes to user generated content. They’ll also be able to help you evolve your engagement strategy by collecting honest feedback from your most loyal learners. 

Interested to find out how your organisation can supercharge L&D and build the right environment for growth? Download our ebook; what is an LXP? And explore exactly why social learning and user experience is the future of learning platforms.

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