When it comes to the workforce, motivated, top performers always find a way to access the knowledge and develop the skills they need to be successful. They may request a mentor, engage in ongoing online learning or join a peer-group.
So how do you cater to this top performing group AND infuse this self-learning drive into an organisation’s workforce?
Build Excitement and Engagement
Employees are the No. 1 resource of any organisation, and once the executive team is on board the next step is to “employee source” and test new ideas to gather feedback. By allowing employees to play a role in the creation of a learning program, they will feel responsible for its success.
By implementing it in one part of the organisation—perhaps a department or project team —and working closely with the employees, you can demonstrate initial success as it’s rolled out more broadly.
Building excitement around the program can have a viral effect, and without engagement and excitement from employees, it will fail miserably.
Provide the Right Assets
Providing the right assets is at the heart of creating a culture of self-learning. The right tools delivered via the right technologies at the right place and time (and communicated properly so they are used correctly by employees) is critical to the success of the learning strategy.
Today’s workforce is accustomed to digesting information in “chunks,” and this should be taken into consideration when providing learning tools. Technology allows flexibility, speed, and interaction and supports on-demand learning, all key to driving home this culture.
In a self-learning program, technology should be based on the following attributes:
For example, at ELMO we have a learning management system that is simple to use and integrates with your existing systems. We also offer a pre-built content library so you can add new courses quickly, including compliance training maintained and updated as and when legislative changes occur. You can also increase engagement with customisation – your brand, photos, language and policies – making it more relevant, more relatable and more easily accepted by your workforce.
Build into the Corporate Culture
In order for a self-learning program to be a success, it must be ingrained into corporate culture, from the CEO down to the intern. The program needs to be strategically communicated and implemented to ensure success. With a top-down approach, success will cascade down throughout the organisation.
But while CEO buy-in is paramount to success, it is not the only ingredient to creating the culture. The self-learning program needs to be promoted across the company to drive awareness and excitement, feeding and accelerating the success.
Also, it’s important that every employees learning is measured in relation to their role. Ideally, your learning technology should integrate with your performance technology. By ensuring this data is captured in one central location, you remove the risk of it being reviewed in isolation to overall performance.
Create clear learning goals and expectations
To instil a desire to learn across the employee population, it’s important to create clear learning goals and milestones. These can be applied to both individuals and teams within the company.
With a clear learning roadmap, employees will push themselves outside of their normal comfort zone. Coupled with team targets, peers are likely to encourage each other to complete and work as a community to reach goals.
Development plans that outline the goals for learning and align them with corporate goals are also important in this step.
Strategically Recognise Successes
When it comes to self-learning, the aim is to achieve employee buy in driven by a personal and career growth perspective. If it’s truly part of the culture, employees WANT to take part.
Giving employees the right tools and support to find their own way to success, drives the creation of a self-learning culture and maintains the momentum of talent development.
For an organisation, a pervasive culture of self-learning drives speed, performance, and results—all of which are critical in a highly competitive landscape and ever-changing market.