By Daniel Casciato
In today’s competitive market, businesses continually look for ways to set themselves apart. One way to do this is by incorporating innovative learning techniques into your workplace. Not only will this make your employees more productive, it can also help attract new talent to your company.
“People are busy. Time is limited. Change is constant,” says J.D. Dillon, chief learning architect for Axonify, an employee experience platform that provides frontline workers with learning, communication, and execution tools to improve their performance and achieve business goals. “An organization can only transform as fast as its people can learn. Therefore, people must always learn and evolve their skills to meet business needs and foster future opportunities.”
According to Dillon, a traditional, course-based approach to learning that requires people to step away from work for hours at a time and consume large volumes of information does not align with the needs of today’s workforce. Instead, it would help if you embed continuous learning and support into the everyday workflow with targeted activities that support iterative development and long-term retention.
“This reduces the need to pull people away for ongoing development and makes it easier to justify the time needed to address more complex in-depth training needs,” he says.
As a result, more healthcare organizations recognize the mismatch between traditional job training and workplace skill requirements.
“It’s become impossible to keep up, so they’re evolving their practices to take advantage of new tools, tactics, and technologies,” Dillon adds. “This includes mobile learning, microlearning, adaptive learning, performance support, and immersive learning. Data and artificial intelligence also enable this transformation by connecting the right person with the right learning opportunity at the right time.”
There are two keys to successful workplace learning. Learning programs must:
(1) focus on a specific, measurable outcome and
(2) align with how people actually learn.
“If you don’t start with a specific result in mind, you’ll never know if your program worked,” says Dillon. “Clarifying the measurable outcome will keep you focused on people’s knowledge and skill to achieve it and reduce the time and volume of content required. Next, learning solutions must align with proven cognitive science principles. For example, people are built to forget. We retain information more effectively when we practice applying instead of mass consuming it. We learn more effectively when information is spaced out over time. These proven principles must be the basis for all learning design to set people up for success.”
Dillon notes that the most important thing for healthcare organizations to remember when implementing a workplace learning solution is to involve the people you’re trying to help.
“Make sure the intended solution makes sense to them based on the work they do every day and the outcomes they’re trying to accomplish,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how high-tech or well-designed a solution is if the people you’re trying to help can’t or won’t use it. Make sure your learning solution fits their everyday workplace reality.”
By using innovative learning techniques in the workplace, you’ll be able to keep up with the competition and improve your employees’ productivity and morale. It can also improve employee productivity and engagement.
“These are examples of the outcomes organizations must specify before designing a learning program or selecting a technology solution,” says Dillon. “Organizations must identify metrics related to their short and long-term goals. Then, they must work backward from each metric to determine how employee performance impacts the metric and what knowledge and skill are required to achieve the desired result. From there, the organization can decide on the right learning solution to apply. They may also determine that learning is not the problem since many business outcomes are influenced by other factors, such as motivation, environment, resources, and management.”
Dillon has a new book out—The Modern Learning Ecosystem available on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 (now available to pre-order). It’s his practical, personal, and humorous take on how to build a disruption-ready organization through modern learning and performance practices. The book includes many stories, examples, and step-by-step instructions for transforming your learning strategy to keep pace with the ever-changing workplace.
For more information on Axonify, visit axonify.com.