On January 22, we invited a few of our Mind Tools Toolkit clients to The Fellow pub in London to discuss their experiences of L&D in their organization. The aim of the session was to provide an informal space to network, share stories of successes, challenges and future ideas that will inspire each other within the learning and development space.
During the day, we uncovered several insights which may help others to get started on their learning journey and overcome certain challenges. Here’s what we learnt...
Challenges and successes
When it comes to embedding a learning culture and engaging learners, our clients identified the 8 biggest challenges they’ve faced, and ways in which they successfully tackled them:
Challenge 1: “People don’t have the right attitude to learning”
Before you implement your learning solution, you’ll probably find that your learners already have their own perception of L&D. In order to get your learners onboard, you might consider looking to the more senior members in your organization to set an example. Once your learners see you have the buy-in from management, they are more likely to engage and follow suit.
Top tip: Many of our clients have found that advocates of Mind Tools have really helped drive engagement. Whether it’s having senior managers or leadership teams recommend the solution or creating “learning champions” by using employee success stories to promote resources that have really helped. One of our clients even used their vice president to record a video and talk about the importance of learning at work.
Challenge 2: “Learning is not prioritised”
When it comes to learning, many people will say that they’re “just too busy”, especially when it comes to developing skills they don’t see as “essential”. The truth is, well developed soft skills are essential for your career, and they can be easily digested if you find the right resource. So, make sure you’re demonstrating why they’re so important and encourage your people to use the resources that are most relevant to them.
Top tip: Some of our clients have found that when it comes to embedding a learning culture, using a mix of classroom training and soft skills can helps reinforce the importance of learning, and help ease your employees into learning.
Challenge 3: “People still think learning only happens in a classroom”
When thinking of learning, many people picture a classroom with handouts, but nowadays there’s lots of ways you can make learning more flexible. By investing in an online solution like Emerald Works, your learners can access resources when and where it suits them. So, make it clear to your learners that they’re not just restricted to learning at a certain time. By fitting it in on their commute, on their lunch break, or even at home, they can make learning more manageable, and part of their everyday routine.
Challenge 4: “You can’t see the impact of learning”
In order to see the impact of your learning, it’s important to understand the ways to measure this. This can include reporting, measuring engagement and getting feedback from management and learners. You may also want to consider looking at metrics outside of learning and development, and measuring the impact on wider business KPI’s such as profit, retention, and staff morale.
Challenge 5: “I’m not sure how to engage my learners”
It’s not just enough to have the right resources, you need to make sure your learners are engaging with them. Creating an engagement plan is key to this. Make sure to have conversations with your marketing communications team to understand how to overcome or tackle a lack of engagement.
Top tip: Many of our clients have found that regular “nudge” emails are a great way to encourage continuous learning.
Challenge 6: "Learning is seen as a tick box exercise”
Learning shouldn’t be implemented so you can simply say that you offer it – it can make a real impact to your organization and its learners. According to our latest report, “Back to the Future: Why tomorrow’s workforce needs a learning culture”, organizations who invest in building high-impact learning cultures report 45% increase in staff engagement. This is something that you need to reinforce with your learners. By improving your internal culture and embedding a learning culture within your organization, learning becomes crucial and not just something you need to get through.
Challenge 7: "How do we get them to access the resources?”
L&D practitioners often worry about how their learners are going to access the content they’ve purchased. With a solution like Mind Tools from Emerald Works, you can implement content into your LMS, providing your learners with round-the-clock and on-demand access for any device, with a single click.
Challenge 8: “How do we know we’re pointing them to the right resources”
Although it’s great to have a range of resources to choose from, sometimes it can be heard to promote content that’s relevant to everyone. Sometimes, you might be driving disengagement by forcing learning they aren’t interested in. So, when the content themes are too broad, think about who you’re directing the resources at and try to narrow down the subject matter.
Top tip: One of our clients created something very specific for their management team during annual appraisals. They decided to create a “cheat sheet” with a list of Mind Tools resources to help with giving feedback so that their managers could refer to it in the time of need.
We learnt a lot from this session, and we’d like to say a special thanks to all our clients who attended the event. We look forward to connecting with more of our clients in New York on March 2!
Are you looking for a solution that can help embed a learning culture within your organization? Find out more about Mind Tools from Emerald Works and request a meeting with one of our experts, today!
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