Initiatives We Should All Start Implementing Now
Regardless of our current circumstances, learning departments are still responsible for ensuring the workforce is prepared for the new skills economy. An economy where knowledge is available in the palms of our hands but where critical skills are rapidly evolving to include: Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence Analysts, Drone Operator, AR or VR Experts, Community Managers, Cloud Computing Administrators and the like. Against the backdrop of a travel restriction tsunami, let’s explore three learning initiatives to tackle these challenges right now:
1. Replace Face-to-Face Training with Interactive, Live Learning Solutions
Many training departments will be reaching for conference platforms such as Zoom, Webex, and Adobe Connect. This is good, but not great. Learners want training to be interactive, engaging and connected; and this is where simple conference call tools fall short. Rather, you should be exploring and testing Virtual Classroom Training Solutions that:
- Feature live Instructors who can facilitate interactive discussions with geographically dispersed learners
- Provide engaging learning experiences with features such as “breakout rooms”, polling and white boards
- Keep the community of learners connected with persistent classrooms
- Fully integrates with modern Learning Management Systems
Here is a video example of our Live 360 VCT solution: small group of learners working with a Subject Matter Expert, very interactive sessions, excellent learning evaluation score, and quickly deployed.
2. Explore New, Experiential, Micro-learning Methods
What does the business need? CEO, CFO and business leaders have clear expectations of their L&D teams: show me the impact, measure learning transfer, demonstrate ROI (check the Philipps and Phillips method). Unfortunately, many learning programs fall short of delivering on these expectations, reporting instead on classes delivered, learning completed and smile sheet results, but failing to demonstrate the connection to the business.
What about learners? They want learning to be more experiential, more engaging, and less conceptual. For them, learning takes place inside and outside the classroom – Remember the 70-20-10 model. Employees are busy, they have a job to do and, right now, cannot travel to a training location. So how do we get training to them – wherever and whenever?
It is high time to shift learning away from the traditional blend and explore the journey to performance. The concept is not new but gaining in popularity:
- The journey to performance delivers an engaging blend of micro-learning, assessments, polls, opportunities to practice and feedback through virtual coaches. It focuses on performance and business outcome.
- It also allows users to easily access learning assets from their mobile devices, share what they learned and earn rewards with new experiences. The perfect blend of social learning, gamification and on-the-job experiences to spice up our employees’ workdays in their home office.
- Journeys also open opportunities for L&D teams to collect new talent and performance data, “check the pulse” of the learners and better target the next learning interventions.
Starting years ago with six sigma programs, I helped design and deploy multiple learning journeys for our customers. The results are real, measurable and largely exceeded the outcomes of traditional learning programs:
- For comparable deployment costs, our pilot journey programs engaged more learners, and each of them were able to complete four times more learning experiences than traditional learning
- Learners satisfaction score topped 97%
- Impact evaluation studies such as training relevance, learning transfer or “would you recommend…” promoter score range from 96% to 99%
3. Reassign Some of Your L&D Resources to Rethink Your Learning Strategies
The success of any learning initiative is about understanding the business challenges we need to address. L&D professionals need more than learning data to conduct the right analysis and define the right learning interventions (check out this CLO study “Unleashing the Power of Performance Analytics):
- Talent data such as demographics, background, certification levels and any other attributes we can access to profile our learners
- Performance data, describing the learners’ everyday tasks and work quality
Relevant data points, yes. Easy to collect them, no! You will need proven tools, templates and processes to help collect talent and performance data. Now is the time to collect new types of data, analyze them, and refocus your learning investment on the most critical business challenges.
You can also use these new data points to benchmark your learning strategies. Looking at both best practices and industry data, our consulting experts have come up with a comprehensive model consisting of 10 Strategic Learning Levers. This is how the model works:
- It assesses the multiple dimensions of the L&D function, including assessment, design, delivery, implementation, and evaluation of learning across the 10 levers.
- First, the state of each lever is evaluated against multiple criteria by using the data points you collected together with qualitative data from stakeholders’ interviews.
- This current state, evaluation data is then rolled up into a one-page summary. This provides you with an overview of your learning strategies against the 10 Strategic Learning Levers.
- The next and final step is to bring together key stakeholders into a collaborative, virtual work session. Together, they define the vision (both interim and future state) of the L&D Strategy along these 10 levers.
Reach Out to RPS
Virtual Classroom Training solutions, journey maps and, comprehensive data-driven benchmarks of your learning strategies: how do you use these three approaches and shift your learning operations, as we all face the same No-Travel–Stay-Home directives?
Have you tried journey maps? What was your experience? Start a conversation in the comments below or connect with us on LinkedIn, or at @RaytheonRPS using hashtags, #learning, #training, #virtuallearning, and #onlinelearning.