How Are You Making Sure Learning Makes a Real Difference in Your Business?

Published 13 March 2020 by Charlie Braithwaite

On Tuesday 25th February, we hosted 2020’s first Advisory Boards – welcoming learning experts across a diverse range of industries to both our London and New York events. The two panels came together to discuss a variety of key learning issues, mull over potential solutions, share their own unique insights and experiences, and help guide the content and courses that Circus Street offers going forward.

Both of these Advisory Boards focused on one critical L&D theme: How are you making sure learning makes a real impact in your business? Whilst the corporate world is beginning to embrace the importance of lifelong learning, many organisations still struggle with linking learning to tangible business results and demonstrating its overall ROI.

We get it –  it can sometimes be hard to effectively measure the role that learning played in someone’s improvement. If a member of the sales team increased their performance by 200%, what precise amount of that uplift can be attributed to learning alone? 

Other times, learning is quickly forgotten about. It’s all well and good if employees are actively engaging in courses, but if they don’t remember the content and don't use it in their roles, then it all comes to nothing. The message is clear: we need to keep learning alive within our organisations.

In order to do this, a number of companies have decided to introduce learning communities. Not only do these communities keep learning alive through ongoing discussion and knowledge-sharing between employees, but they can also be an incentive for individual employees to prioritise learning –  for example, some companies regularly reward top learners with events, workshops, and networking opportunities. 

However, it’s also necessary to provide individuals with the impetus they need to actively seek out learning opportunities on an ongoing basis. Employees often complain that they don’t have time to learn, or that they instead need to focus on achieving their immediate KPIs. This means that it’s crucial for L&D teams to link specific learning courses to tangible business activities and objectives.

How will taking ‘X’ course help achieve ‘Y’ objective? What can I learn right now that’ll help me achieve my next goal? If you’re able to make this link, then employees will be far more willing to dedicate their time to learning. 

Our new style of courses are aimed at helping organisations do just this. These 10-minute-long bite-sized “Spotlight lessons” will help learners easily digest key information and fulfill short-term objectives. For example, if an employee is about to have a meeting with a large data firm, they can quickly skim through the Spotlight lesson on big data so that they’re fully clued up on the subject matter at hand.

Lastly, our panels spoke about the need for learning to be personalised according to the learner’s individual preferences, their role, and their objectives. One-size-fits-all approaches rarely hit the mark; instead, organisations might need to offer online courses, discussion groups, and on-the-go podcasts (to mention just a few methods). 

By ensuring that lessons are highly relevant to each individual’s job role and objectives, and by offering a variety of learning formats, L&D teams can make continuous learning highly appealing to individual employees. 

The pace of change is increasing at a rate of knots. In this day and age, those who fail to learn will be left behind –  so it’s crucial that we do everything we can to create a corporate culture of continuous learning.

After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal?

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