Is It Possible to Make Learning and Development Relevant for All?

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learning and development

Learning and development (L&D) differ among individuals. Every employee possesses strengths and interests that shape their perspectives. These perspectives will determine the preferred approach to the learning process. Organisational leaders must understand each employee’s perspective to tailor the most effective learning pathways. 

L&D can be relevant for every person, depending on individual goals and visions. There are various ways for organisations to involve employees in the course selection process, which maximises interest and attention levels. With the right approach, L&D will keep employees excited and more willing to apply learning points towards improving on-the-job performance. 

Organisations spend a great deal on corporate L&D budgets, and leaders need to ensure each penny counts. Optimised L&D will keep employees engaged and motivated to go the extra mile in their daily activities, leading to higher productivity and increased efficiency. Additionally, a motivated workforce will substantially reduce the risk of employee turnovers (which can cause significant disruptions to organisational function and development)

Go Mobile 

Time is of the essence. Statistics show that many employees (and employers) prioritise operational duties over L&D. While workplace routines require attention and fulfillment to keep companies running, L&D is vital for the future. Leaders can navigate the time constraint issue by taking L&D initiatives online. 

Trainers may offer on-demand online courses that cater to the busiest schedules and accessible via digital devices. With a mobile L&D lesson, learners can tap on valuable information while they are on the move and even in places with poor internet connectivity. Mobile-friendly courses tend to break information down into bite-sized bits (so they fit into the dimensions of a phone screen), providing micro-learning opportunities that have proven successful in many use cases. 

Busy individuals may consider sneaking in a lesson or two during lull periods in work-from-home situations or during an uneventful weekend. Mobile L&D promotes seamless lifelong learning that can help employees make the most of their time to develop their professional lives regardless of location. 

Employers should consider mobile learning applications compatible with various operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows) and devices (tablets, smartphones, and laptops) for optimal results. 

Gather the “Intel” 

Some companies may make the mistake of conducting generic organisation-wide training. These errors abound, especially in response to trending industry issues, such as cyber hygiene and data protection. However, it is essential to note that every employee has a pre-existing set of strengths and skills, and it is unproductive to enrol a worker for a course subject they’ve already mastered. 

Therefore, leaders must find out what each employee needs to take their career forward. By catering to individual goals and desires, leaders can equip workers with the most appropriate skills and tools to excel in their tasks. Organisational leaders may gather the required “intel” by conducting transparent surveys or holding casual meetings from time to time to learn more about each worker’s preferred learning objectives. 

However, leaders should stay focused on the needs of the organisation. There is always a need to align individual objectives with business and company goals. Ultimately, leaders should aim for an L&D approach that consistently fulfills the company’s mission while keeping employees interested and satisfied. It is pointless to follow through with a course that employees cannot apply to their roles or yields low learning retention rates

Providing Choices

Choices provide a level of empowerment that can go a long way. Rather than “forcing” an employee down the straight and narrow path of a standard L&D course, have them choose from a selection of lessons. Employees tend to become more receptive towards L&D directives when given some semblance of control over their learning journey. 

For increased involvement and empowerment, conduct a preliminary brainstorming session to develop the choice options. Essentially, the more freedom and support offered to employees in the L&D process, the greater the interest and engagement. 

Self-directed learning (SDL) is one effective method of empowering learners by providing employees with the specific tools and resources they need to acquire skills on their own – essentially setting them up for success.  

Gauging ROI 

Ultimately, employers need a reliable way to determine the success of L&D initiatives. This success is correlated with the ROI and includes a few metrics. Traditionally, the process involves the mechanical deduction of training costs from program benefits or post-training net profits, but modern L&Ds involve more “organic” responses. 

A positive ROI score directly indicates that existing L&D structures work, and modules are currently relevant to the needs of employees. However, a low score requires some investigation and re-evaluation to identify and remove the obstacles that hamper learning experiences.    

Post-training evaluation is the most direct way to uncover learner perspectives. 

The post-training evaluation works ideally with matching pre-training assessments, enabling trainers to compare results with expectations. Evaluations should include a series of questions that evoke honest opinions from each participant. 

Queries may focus on course structure (rate the sequence and flow of the lessons), content quality (was the information insightful and applicable?), and delivery (was the facilitator helpful and empathetic?). A combination of assessment questions will provide leaders with more comprehensive feedback to optimise L&D approaches. 

Leaders who prefer the digital/mobile L&D pathway may opt for data mining processes that automate learner feedback. Advanced APIs (application programming interface) enables trainers to integrate progression and performance tracking, and other insightful metrics into learning management platforms. 

Well-structured learning platforms can provide an uninterrupted real-time flow of information such as dropout rates, time spent on activities/tasks, and attendance to paint a clearer picture of L&D experiences. For example, more time spent on an activity may suggest high task complexity and learner interest. Employers will also have the opportunity to generate detailed learner reports to evaluate the lesson’s overall effectiveness to fine-tune future initiatives. 

While training is crucial for the growth and development of an organisation, learner metrics are equally important as they determine that courses stay relevant and budgets are well-invested. The most effective way to create engaging and practical L&D content is to involve learners as much as possible through engaging, transparent, and consistent interactions.  

StrengthsAsia has helped many individuals and corporate clients empower leaders throughout the region by enabling breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you wish to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, please reach out to us here.

A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.

Maalikka is the latest addition to StrengthsAsia’s team of marketing and content extraordinaries. As an avid reader, writer and learner, she’s always on the lookout for new information online or interesting conversations to inspire her. Her other passions include gaming, Netflix and cats.

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