Learning doesn’t stop once people complete a course! Well, actually, most of the time it does…
And that’s because most people have failed to create a continuous learning culture and make ongoing development a habit. Fear not, this session will talk you through achieving both sides of this engagement and productivity coin.
From creating culture change to weaving learning into people’s existing habits, this session will help you create continuous learning in your teams. Not in the ways you might think, but by being creative and flexible – because if you’re trying to shift things rigidly, then you will be met with rigidity.
How to facilitate a culture change, for real
Culture is much more than just a buzzword, it’s a dynamic, living and moving thing that’s guided by your people. From the cultural position to the context your organisation operates in and how your people develop – it’s not just limited to the workplace itself.
And when you want that culture to include continuous learning, you need to consider the stops, starts and barriers for people in carrying out those actions. Ask them what’s valuable to them and get them involved in conversations earlier – because if you try to move culture rigidly, you’ll be met with rigidity.
Yelp, Pixar and Airbnb are good examples of learning cultures that are both flexible and continuous. Yelp use ‘Stretch Roles’ that give you the chance to take on responsibilities outside your day-to-day role. Pixar University offers accredited courses internally and Airbnb uses Fireside Chats to learn contextually from leaders and experts.
Avoid the urge to copy and paste existing elements of your learning culture and initiatives, instead, start with a clean slate and have the conversations with people that teach you what’s important to them. Take a longer-term view too and consider how you build momentum on your latest learning efforts and cultural changes. Finally, make sure you’re shouting about it and people are aware of what you’re offering.
Why content is king in encouraging people to learn continually
Variety is the spice of life and learning, which is why a blend of micro and macro learning alongside knowledge sharing is what so many people crave. The reason being that they need resources that won’t just make them better at their role but help them when they’re in the field. And that means better learning experiences, which encourages people to learn more frequently.
In a nutshell, bad content = bad experiences. You don’t need to have everything on there at once, so only share content that adds VALUE. If you’re not adding value, it won’t facilitate a strong positive change for your learning culture.
But how do you know what’s valuable? Start with a content audit, figure out which content types and formats people engage with most, and do more of that. As part of that, think about where they access it – if you’re a Slack-focused team, microlearning and quick answers are probably a better fit.
When you think about value and context, you realise that relying solely on third-party content might not help your case for continuous learning. When people really need that super-specific and relevant resource for your business, if it’s not there then that can halt the momentum you’ve been building.
Creating engagement and learning habits
Think about whether you want to swim against the current or go with its flow. Too often, there’s a temptation to take people out of the tools and platforms they use every day and force them somewhere else. By the very definition, that’s not continuous – they’re stopping one thing to learn somewhere else. Google is the perfect example! There are billions of searches every day, so why ask people to stop that natural learning behaviour? Our Browser Extension surfaces relevant HowNow resources alongside Google search results – so there’s no disruption to your learner’s normal service.
Habits are much easier to form when they’re fun! If you can sell learning and your platform through something fun first, perhaps using a film club or group HIIT class, people will both get more familiar with it and more rewards for participating. That might even come in the form of literal rewards, incentivising people to undertake particular learning actions with prizes, certificates, experiences – think outside the box.
Part of that is built on the social learning aspect, where people are coming together with a feel of community when it comes to learning. So it’s important that you facilitate that! Give people places to discuss ideas or impart their wisdom, democratise learning so that everyone has a voice – that’ll help you create a shared purpose in terms of development and progress.