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How to upgrade L&D for the 21st Century

“Most traditional learning and development solutions involve taking you out of your workflow, to some clunky L&D platform that pushes learning onto you and… learning becomes a chore.” 

Pretty strong introduction, right? Well, that’s how Nasos Papadopoulos opened his episode of the MetaLearn podcast with our CEO and Co-Founder Nelson Sivalingam. They discussed upskilling at work, which we’ve summarised in full here, and how to upgrade L&D to meet the needs we have today. 

What’s changed in L&D that means we need an upgrade?

A lot. Coming back to the opening quote, it seems pretty obvious that dragging people out of a platform where they work and into another app disrupts their workflow. Learners have recognised this too, and just under 50% now prefer to learn at their point of need, meaning we should send the knowledge and resources they need into the applications where they already work.

That’s how you remove one of the biggest barriers to learning and empower people to grow. It’s also how you drive a continuous learning culture that happens in the workflow.

Ever heard the saying if you don’t keep up then you’ll get left behind? That happened in the people function at most companies and even more so in L&D. While everything else seemed to be tapping into data to drive personalisation, too many learning solutions lingered on the old model. A one-size-fits-all bank of resources that didn’t take into account who you are and what your job, goals or interests are. 

If you’re thinking that last part sounds pretty rubbish then you’ve found a kindred spirit in us! This is a podcast summary and not the place where we brag about how we do all of that stuff in the sentence before and facilitate workflow learning. You’ll find all of that here anyway…

Learning in the flow of work

We touched on this already, but learning in the flow of work is so effective and popular because work is where we spend most of our day.  During that time, there are tools, apps and systems we use every day. You don’t need to take people into a classroom or out of those tools they use, if you do then you prevent them from finding and applying knowledge in the moments of need. And that’s when it’s most relevant and useful.

Think of it this way, what’s going to be more effective: trying to disrupt people’s habits with new systems and behaviours or meeting them with knowledge where they’re already happily working? How about a couple of example scenarios that highlight just how useful they can be. 

You join the sales team but you’ve never used Salesforce before, where better to get to grips with it that in that platform itself and by finding the guide you need right there? Or imagine you’re a customer success rep and you’re in ZenDesk when a client asks a question that you don’t know the answer to. Why wait until your manager’s free or tap on a colleague’s shoulder yet again? If the relevant knowledge was surfaced there and then, you’d be able to provide a more informed response much faster.

That’s how you enable people with the right knowledge at the right time, and it’s what drives performance because you’re taking time into account.

How do I do that in practice?

Plenty of companies have an approach where they focus 80% on compliance and 20% of continuous learning, but they’re starting to realise that they need to flip those numbers. When you do, it becomes clear that the old-style LMS model isn’t fit for purpose, you need something that matches people with the knowledge they need to get things done faster and better. And a lot of the time those resources need to be personalised according to each person’s behaviour, goals and interest.

If that sounds like you, why not get in touch and arrange a HowNow trial today? Or, if we’re really piqued your interest, watch our recorded product tour right now.