Thinking about learning in organisations differently

So you’re in Learning & Development, or training, or Training and Development, or you are a proactive manager, business owner or a consultant… in fact, you could be just about anybody because that is who there are benefits for in understanding and taking control of you and your team’s learning in the workplace.

If you want to move away from ‘tick and flick’ learning and drive ROI (and ROE – Return on Expectation – as the knowledgeable Con Sotidis @LearnKotch puts it) then you need to start thinking about learning as an organic, ongoing, personal process that can help organisations get more out of their people (and have happier people).

Organisations that take a holistic approach not only get the feel-good-vibes associated with actually caring about their people, but they also have more committed, happier, more productive employees than other organisations. Increasing your organisation’s feel-good-vibes (and you know, that important thing that’s called your Employer Value Proposition) shouldn’t be the only thing that convinces you of this though, how about the fact that:

  • 40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year, that costs big bucks 1
  • Organisations in the USA that invest in learning outperform the market by more than 45% – 45%!!!!! 2
  • Your competitors are doing it – businesses increased training budgets by an average of 15% in 2013 3

Ok, so I make a pretty good case – but what does this mean for you?  

I’m all about evidence-backed change. There is no point jumping on the latest bandwagon in the interests of being seen to be doing the in thing, if that in thing doesn’t bloody work! A pet hate of mine is the overuse of the concept of ‘learning styles’ – yes learning should be enjoyable but I’ve yet to see any convincing research proving that learners playing with play-doh or throwing squishee balls at each other during a face-to-face training sessions helps ANYBODY!

Well it doesn’t have to equal a whole lot of effort. Advances in technology and the way people are using it mean that more and more there are cheap (and often free) solutions to problems that are pretty consistent across most organisations. What it does mean is that you and the decision makers that you work with, may have to readjust some assumptions you hold about learning in the workplace and how it happens.

Refs:

1 https://www.go2hr.ca/articles/employee-training-worth-investment

2 http://www.astd.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2012/11/ASTD-2012-State-of-the-Industry-Report

3 http://www.tlnt.com/2014/02/19/investing-in-employees-smart-companies-are-increasing-their-ld-budgets/

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