Over the last few months we’ve published a few articles on learning cultures in organizations, including the benefits of having a learning culture, the ROI of such a culture, and encouraging continued learning with eLearning tools.
There’s a good reason why we’ve focused on learning cultures this much: They are at the heart of what we do here at ej4. The idea of helping organizations transform themselves into “perpetual learning machines” informs not only how we create and organize content, but also how we approach partnerships with clients.
Our approach boils down to one simple fact:
Learning cultures prioritize ongoing training and development.
Understand this, and you can understand the specific ways we help build these kinds of learning cultures. Here are some of the ways this plays out:
Training goes beyond day 1… So must your content
Many training programs focus solely on onboarding new employees. But in a company with an embedded learning culture, training is seen as a continual process. Employees pick up new skills and master those they’ve already learned.
Continual learning requires a good library of content that covers the areas your people need. That content must go beyond the basics of company policy and history typically covered in an onboarding seminar. It should cover useful skills like time management, teamwork, selling, and more. At ej4, we work hard to build a library that covers a number of useful skills and tackles typical workplace issues.
Learning happens “on the fly”... So tools should be readily accessible
Training not only happens beyond day one, but it also happens on the job “in the thick of things.” For example, a new manager needs to learn how to deal with her team’s negativity before their next team meeting, or a salesperson might want to study ways for gaining a prospect’s trust before meeting in person. In these types of situations, learning needs to happen “on the fly” even as the employee handles the requirements of his or her job.
This can only happen if the tools of learning are readily accessible. For example, content should be accessible via mobile devices, contained in an accessible library that’s organized, easy to search, and presented in “bite-sized” pieces that are short and to the point. This holds true whether the courseware is off-the-shelf or custom built. Our video content is created with all of these considerations in mind, presenting actionable learning in an easy-to-digest format that’s just in time and just as needed.
Refreshers are encouraged… And need to be consistent
Everyone can use refreshers now and then, especially when it comes to developing workplace skills. The more opportunities employees have to review and recall information, the more they internalize it.
The same eLearning tools that provide “on the fly” learning can also act as great learning refreshers. A few minutes of video can recap important points or steps in a process, acting as a strong reminder. Allowing the same eLearning tools to do “double duty” not only encourages their use, but also maintains consistency over time.
Learning evolves… So must your approach
There’s nothing worse than training materials that are outdated, irrelevant, or just plain stale. Today’s employees are more accustomed to learning in an environment that is online, social, and collaborative.
This is why training needs to go beyond simply having a content library. For example, our learning platform, Thinkzoom, is a tool organizations use to customize the user experience. It lets your company record, edit, track, and share company-specific knowledge, and allows users to comment, share, and discuss. Clients have success using it, for example, to recommend courses, assign collaborative learning exercises, and more.
Of course, this is just one example of a different approach to learning enabled by technology. The main point is true learning cultures invest in their tools and training programs so they can be maximally effective.