Two out of three employees say that training plays an important role in decisions to stay with their current company, according to an InterCall’s Digital Media Services survey published in October 2015.
The study, which surveyed more than 200 full-time employees, found that most value corporate learning, and most aren’t pleased with the training offered. Iain Scholnick, founder and CEO of Braidio, identified a few learning mistakes companies often make and how they can address them.
They don’t incorporate a social layer in training. He said a big part of how we learn and grow is by observing people we identify with. People learn from others all the time, such as by noticing and liking the way they deal with problems. “That social layer is critical to learning because we don’t learn sitting behind a desk and not talking to or watching anyone. We want to model.”
Creating a learning management system that allows learners to reach out to others and have others reach out to them would be effective. For example, a platform might allow employees to communicate with each other, share ideas and comment on other people’s ideas.
They don’t incorporate learning into the daily workflow. The traditional learning model, based off an instructor-led classroom experience, works in some ways. Employees can sit through three-hour sessions and feel like they learn something, but afterward there’s nothing to reinforce the material. That’s why “learning sprinkles”— Scholnick’s term for short, five-minute pieces of learning consumed throughout the day — are valuable. They allow learners to continuously pick up new information on their own time rather than try to absorb it all at once. “People are learning … in streams, learning with a consumerization of the enterprise experience. Learning management systems have to adopt to that model,” he said.
Companies should not try to incorporate all of these changes in their learning management systems at once. Scholnick said it’s smarter to pick a specific department, group or initiative and go from there.
For example, Braidio had a banking client that incorporated changes in one particular diversity initiative, which was responsible for 12,000 learners. The client, who asked not to be named for privacy reasons, began to deliver learning in 5 or 10 minute modules consumed at a learner’s convenience rather than four-hour sessions. As a result, training that normally took six months took eight weeks, and people retained information at a higher rate than before.
“Over time you can go back over content, chat and maintain contact with the learning experience,” Scholnick said. “You end up having a community, not an audience.”
Andie Burjek is a Chief Learning Officer editorial intern. Comment below or email editor@CLOmedia.com.