In an ever changing business environment, how does a Learning & Development function ensure it delivers what the business wants today – while developing employees for tomorrow?
This is not a new dilemma for learning leaders within organisations, but is becoming ever more challenging due to the plethora of available solutions and the rapid changes within technology. Additionally within L&D, a lot of debate has arisen and been focused on implementing effective 70-20-10 interventions. This ‘fog’ is potentially blurring the fundamentals of effective L&D which many believe should:
- Provide training that is aligned to business objectives
- Be agile and deliver tactical training interventions
- Deliver development learning opportunities to meet the organisations strategic plans
Raytheon Professional Services’ (RPS) approach to providing a blended learning approach for clients is to implement a blend of media assets that can be used formally, informally and socially. We take a holistic approach when designing learning interventions, to ensure that learning assets are portable across an organisation’s complete range of learning media, whether that be web based, virtual classrooms, learning games or instructor-led courses. These same assets are then utilised to enhance informal learning solutions such as mobile job aids (using smartphones) and are adaptable across a wide variety of social learning platforms such as wiki’s, video portals and managed communities.
This best practice in terms of blended learning provides a number of business benefits:
- The frequent re-use of content consistently re-enforces the learning experience, increasing knowledge retention and helping to reduce time to competency
- The organisation sees that there is a Red Thread of learning that is aligned to the business
- L&D spend is maximised for the entire learning population
In summary, the key focus for an organisation aiming to implement an effective blended learning approach for their employees is to ‘bridge the gaps’. The emphasis for an L&D team, or chosen supplier, is to first take into account the different learning styles across the organisation and geographic regions; then design and develop content that is rapidly deployable and easily adaptable across the formal, informal and social learning spaces.
The right learning strategy is never about merely just adding new media or new technology, but rather using technology as an enabler to support the different cycles of learning.