In the first part of this blog I talked about the key to increasing the ROI of your training being learning for performance – being clear on the performance change needed to be seen and designing learning to achieve that. Rather than the traditional approach of focusing on the learning objectives of the course. By considering the performance change needed, rather than the learning objective, we could open our minds to designing and delivering learning in a completely different way.

This leads very nicely onto the question “HOW do we design and deliver learning in a completely different way”? Well in these days of technological upheaval our traditional delivery of (mainly) classroom-based courses, doesn’t deliver for the learners and doesn’t deliver for the organisation. Instead, learning for performance needs a more personalised, blended learning approach, delivered at the point of need.

Here are the key things I think are needed to make learning for performance happen:

Think about learning experiences, rather than events

We learn every day, from a variety of different experiences. Learning Experience refers to any interaction, course, program, or other experience where learning takes place. Great learning experiences are integrated into day-to-day tasks so that learning and development becomes “in the flow of work”.

No one truly masters a skill in a one-day workshop. Ask any Junior Doctor whether they feel ready to take the lead in an open-heart surgery. But by using a variety of experiences, an individual can learn, practice, make mistakes, try again and become successful. Learning experiences can include substituting in a meeting, being part of a project team, sharing information, reading an article, listening to a podcast or webinar or simply shadowing a different colleague.

In a previous role I watched a group of pilot’s peer review a real life aircraft landing. The group followed the aircraft landing using data collected from a variety of instruments and cameras on board. The atmosphere was non judgmental, open, honest and full of questions and opinions. This was a regular occurrence, and part of the pilots’ ongoing development. The experience also addressed performance changes – safe and efficient aircraft usage.

Give learners more control of their training

As consumers we expect choice, tailored to our specific needs and preferences. This expectation is also flowing into work. A recent report by Kineo found that:

  • 68% of employees said they would pick up skills faster if they had direct control over the pace of workplace learning
  • 38% said they wanted more personalisation in their workplace learning
  • 26% said they want bite sized learning.

 

Create a learner centred approach to your curriculums and allow your employees to choose what they need to learn, when and to their pace. There will probably need to be some framework or parameters – like statutory learning or maybe product-based learning. But when it comes to personal development, collectively the manager and employee can agree what skills need to be developed, then offer learning experiences that employees can take them at their own pace. This empowers them to schedule learning according to how they like to work.

This is much easier these days as online and digital learning has developed beyond PowerPoint slides with voice recordings overlaid. By considering learning as experiences, rather than events, also gives the learner more experiences to choose from.

Micro learning

The human brain is not wired to maintain focus for hours on end. It learns better when the content is delivered in short bursts, spaced out to help cement the learning. And that’s what micro learning does – splits training into single outcome-focused bite-sized chunks, often delivered through digital formats. Delivering learning like this allows employees to learn as and when they need to, fitted around their schedules and suited to their own pace. Personalising the learning experience.

Because learning is broken into small chunks, it is easier to create a personalised learning path for each individual based on their individual requirements and needs. Compare this to a traditional course or programme that many people would complete. Each person with their own learning needs, shunted onto the same programme.

Then consider the cost and time savings in terms of travel, accommodation and food expenses associated with group workshops. All of which can be reduced dramatically if we consider more micro learning.

So here are the key takeaways if you want to keep pace with change, and increase the ROI of your your training and development…

  • Embrace the philosophy of Learning for Performance.
  • Add to this a learning curriculum that is experience based, made up of short, sharp pieces of learning that employees can personalise by choosing when to complete.

 

77% of respondents to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey said they are leaning towards the development of the existing workforce over acquiring new talent – so this could be a busy year for Learning and Development as they move to integrating learning and work and embracing Learning for Performance.