Start with integrating learning into everyday work

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Lately the stakeholder I work with wanted to engage their employees by providing them with state of the art learning tools. Or actually wanted their employees to stay in their company, because they were given opportunities to learn tobe innovative in their work. For me this is not a new question, but in the light of learning in the reality of 2020 it can be viewed as new.

The reality is that our employees have to be more and more service driven, and in my organization, the mental healthcare, more patient service driven. Skills needed to perform their jobs are more “hybrid” then ever: tech skills as well as soft skills. Creativity, curiosity, collaboration and communication are key. Our employees are overwhelmed with all there is to do and know and research shows that their is only 24 minutes left in a week to actually learn something (Bershin 2019). Meanwhile learning is the factor that can help employees to be more confident, to have more purpose in their work.

So how can we as Learning and Development people rearchitect learning and development so our employees will thrive in learning and working and our stakeholders will see results that matter?

I think the answer starts with having a growth mindset. Easier said then done, I know. But it starts with building a culture of trust, growth and learning to feel comfortable to learn during work. So start experimenting with micro-learnings, with events, with assignments on the job, with mentoring. Advice leaders (formal or informal) that they should lead the way in looking outside their own company for best practices, involve their employees in every phase. Know and experiment what Service Design Thinking can help to change your collaboration with experts and employees making Learning experiences. Then the next step the focus won’t be on building an LMS for administrative causes anymore, but on learning experience platforms. Meaning a platform with Microlearning (less then 2 min), Macrolearning, (More hours/days), Events, and on the job experiments/coaching/assignements/mentorship and last but not least initiatives of the employees themselves. I love to build a domain specific academy that incorporates all this types of learning opportunities to focus on a strategic development program. Using the tools we already have in our work, like Teams we can create an environment for working and learning out of a mindset to serve our patients. And also love to engage with people who are leading the way by just taking the first step.

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