“And how many hours a day did you do lessons?” said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.
“Ten hours the first day,” said the Mock Turtle: “nine the next, and so on.”
“What a curious plan!” exclaimed Alice.
“That’s the reason they’re called lessons,” the Gryphon remarked: “because they lessen from day to day.”
The Gryphon’s theory of a lesson lessening daily might be a curious plan indeed but might make a lot more sense today (considering the pervasive feeling of being pressed for time amidst all that needs to be accomplished) than back in 1865 when Lewis Caroll published Alice in Wonderland. Every organization might not succeed in becoming a Wonderland for all their employees but helping your workforce leverage on their potential, nurture their talents and develop Learning & Development programme can surely bring you closer to being established as the workplace Utopia that every organization is on the run to be known as, besides gaining you significant business advantage of course!
Are you a learning organisation?
Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline popularised the concept of the Learning & Development in organisation and enumerated the characteristics that make up one. When it comes to being an organisation that is engaged in facilitating learning experiences and in continuous unanimous transformation, there are certain aspects that need to be borne in mind. The ability to analyse facets of the business requires systems thinking, mental modules of learning and training along with scope for team learning. But is there more to that? It cannot only be about putting processes in place. A culture of continuous learning, knowledge sharing needs and imbibing effective skill sets needs to be inculcated at every level of the organisation and the change or the shift should ideally be driven top-down.
What’s new in L&D?
Learning and development is a process cluster that is affected by the changes and the pace of change that takes place in the internal and external environment of any organisation. There have been new trends emerging here too as the scope of work changes and the workplace evolves rapidly.
Small steps to big lessons
Micro-learning is definitely gaining ground with people having lesser time to invest in long-drawn learning processes. Moreover, using mini-videos as a technique to impart engaging learning content is effective, resourceful and allows a wider reach. Course material can now be shortened to 90 to 120 seconds of quick, impactful experiences.
The millennial way
Millennials are quickly taking over the workforce and paving the way for the next generation of employees already. A Deloitte study confirmed that 22% of the millennial population would prefer learning advantages at work over flexi-hours or monetary bonuses. This has led to more and more organisations opening up learning platforms that millennials can bank on for training opportunities.
Mobile is the new way to be. No one is confined to the desktop or laptop anymore. With the idea of accessibility of one’s self and knowledge evolving, tablets and mobile phones have far greater users today (about 240 million smartphone users with internet access). Learning modules are thus now being made mobile-friendly and mobile optimised with relevant and appealing UI and UX to engage better.
(Virtual) Reality check
Moreover, gamified learning experiences are fun, engaging and lead to insights that have long-lasting effects.
The type of content used in learning modules and even the nature of learning modules themselves has undergone a prominent change and moved towards a future driven by VR, AI and gamification. People don’t just seek learning processes but rather crave for experiential learning and effective skill sets that can connect with and relate to. Learning that they can directly grasp, internalise and apply to their work. Creating modules based on neuroscience theories of distributed learning, the plasticity of the brain and the science of motivation is the way to go.
With the Learning & Development scene changing fast, every organisation is looking out to provide their employees with the most apt learning solutions. Employee engagement is very closely related to the Learning & Development opportunities that an organisation provides. It not only makes employees realise that the organisation has their best interests in mind in terms of helping career progression and developing their skills but also enables the organisation to upgrade and improve the workforce collectively.
With the workplace evolving, it’s only natural that the workforce evolves along with inculcating effective skill sets amongst the employees. After all, it is only when people and processes move forward in tandem with each other that the organisation can grow and advance as a whole. As the Red Queen said, “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”