Making Learning Matter

Everyone wants to learn, but no one has the time.


According to Bersin, the modern learner is overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. To make matters worse, only 1% of the typical workweek is time that is available for employees to focus on training and development. That’s not a lot.


With limited time available, no one wants to sit through hours of soul-sucking, unoriginal training.


Here are a few tips on how to add some pizazz to your learning and development programs and get people coming back for more!


  1. Make it visible. I know what you’re thinking, this is obviously a no-brainer. However, your jaw would drop if you knew how many employees have no idea how to access training courses. You might have a spectacular learning management system (LMS) filled with hundreds of great courses, but if your team doesn’t know it exists, they’ll never use it. Start thinking of ways you can showcase your LMS. Develop a monthly learning newsletter that highlights new, popular content. Share learning news, tips and insights on your organization’s internal social networking tools. Shamelessly plug your learning and development options whenever and wherever you have the chance. If you want some more advice on how to market your learning courses, check out our “Why Learning and Marketing Should be BFFs” whitepaper!
  2. Make it valuable. Learning gets a bad rap because people think it’s going to be boring. And you can’t blame them. Everyone has had to sit through hours of soul-sucking training. It’s important that you create content and development paths that go beyond traditional on-boarding and management training. Learning doesn’t have to be serious. You can make it fun and interactive!
  3. Make it bite-sized. The fact of the matter is, people don’t have enough time in the day to dedicate to learning. Learning and development teams need to accommodate the distracted and impatient workforce. Rethink your content strategy. Create five minute videos and courses that engage the learners. A short training session will have far more attendance and impact than hour long courses.
  4. Make it a game. Gamification is the sexy new trend in the learning scene, and for good reason. Gamification engages learners. Yet, according to Gartner, 80% of gamification initiatives fail. It’s important that you apply gamification to the right content in the right context. Identify the problem you’re trying to solve, rather than just applying gamification for the sake of making learning fun. Explore the idea of creating leaderboards or showcasing the top learner of the month. A little friendly competition in your organization might be trick to getting learners engaged. For some great advice on how to get started, check out the blog post, Game On, from Fistful of Talent.
  5. Make it a conversation. Ask for feedback! Throwing learning content against the wall and seeing what sticks is a waste. Opening up the lines of communication is the only way to truly understand what is working and what isn’t. Survey and interview your employees to understand what they want to learn and how they want to learn. You will be surprised by the amount of meaningful feedback you receive.


Learning should be celebrated, not ignored. Not to mention the impacts of strong learning and development programs are profound. Bersin found that organizations that have a strong learning culture do better in their market than those who do not. These organizations are 46% more like to be the leader in their industry, saw a 34% increase in their ability to respond to the needs of the customer, and are 17% more likely to become the market share leader.


For more information on making learning matter, reach out to one of our learning gurus!


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