Are organisations ready for agile learning?

Written by PA Consulting on 1 October 2018 in Sponsored Article
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PA Consulting argues that learning is core to the success of organisations and a critical component of the employee value proposition

Any organisation that can create a learning programme fit for the modern world will gain an advantage.

But with advancing technology, shifting demographics and a constant need to upskill people, how can organisations better train their people?

The key is agile learning

People often have training dictated to them, rather than being allowed to choose what’s most useful to them. Meanwhile, traditional classroom learning has been shown to be inefficient. This means the impact on performance is often underwhelming.

To maintain a sustainable workforce, organisations must become more user-centric in their learning approach. By focussing on agile learning, where speed, flexibility and collaboration rule, effective learning solutions can be designed so employees pull whatever training they need whenever they need it.

We see three key areas to focus on when creating an agile learning solution:

1. Just enough

Instead of pushing mountains of training onto employees, organisations should create learning experiences where people can find information to support their daily work whenever they need it. Continuous learning at the point of need ensures relevance, meaning it’s retained more easily.

At a major UK transport infrastructure company, we created an online learning portal with checklists, video shorts and ‘how to’ guides. People can access it on any device to get practical support whenever they need it.

This also mirrors what people do in their personal lives. Google is searched 3.5 billion times a day, simply because it gives us necessary information instantaneously.

“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn” – Peter Drucker

2. Just in time

Using technology is key to driving employee-centric learning. Mobile, social, and web platforms can deliver on-demand content right when someone needs support, easing pressure and empowering employees.

That’s why we’ve developed a resource hub that gives employees what they need, when they need it through a mobile app and online database. So, if someone’s struggling with a system, process or other aspect of their job, they can watch a short video or read an article that gives all the necessary information. And by using the learning app as part of the daily routine, people will be much more likely to make a habit of it.

3. Just for me

We’re all familiar with the idea that different people learn in different ways, so it’s important to tailor learning to individual employees. They should have the freedom to tackle training at their own pace. In turn, this will improve engagement and productivity.

At Facebook, the learning approach is designed to appeal to workers who are hungry for autonomy, feedback, learning and advancement. As such, Facebook offers employees personalised learning experiences through on-demand classes. Most of the learning happens organically as it’s peer-to-peer and employee-driven.

Create a sustainable workforce

In today’s competitive talent market, companies that don’t constantly upgrade skills and rapidly develop leaders won’t have the sustainable workforce need to succeed. Agile learning is essential for engaging employees, attracting and retaining top talent, and developing long-term leadership.

About the author

Antonia Strotdrees and Rachel Bend are talent experts at PA Consulting

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