5 steps towards Modern Workplace Learning

How do you begin to move forward, and implement a modern workplace learning approach? I believe this involves 5 key steps:

  1. See the change
    • Have a vision of what you would like to see in your own organisation:
      • A new mindset that embraces all the way people learn at work (not just training)
      • A new role for L&D that enables and supports workplace learning rather than commands and controls it
    • See the success of this new learning mindset and approach in terms of increased organisational agility as well as improved job, team and business performance
  1. Be the change
    • Adopt a new mindset/approach for your own professional learning and development, and focus on exposing yourself to new thinking and ideas rather than just addressing current job needs.
    • Encourage the rest of your team to do the same
    • Provide a private group space where you can build a social team and share everyday workplace experiences as well as new ideas and thinking
  2. Show (the value of) the change
    • Promote the new mindset throughout the organisation – that workplace learning is more than training – from the very top to the bottom by demonstrating
      • what this new approach to learning looks like for you and your team
      • what you are achieving from it – on a practical day-to-day basis (working more closely together, learning from one another on an ongoing basis) as well as
      • what it means in terms of improved job and team performance.
  3. Support the change
    • Consider how L&D teams needs to evolve to support this change in new ways (ie the new roles and skills required)
    • Work with managers and their teams to help them put it into practice. (Note: don’t bang your head against a brick wall trying to convince managers and teams who want to cling onto the traditional workplace learning (training-focused) model – but identify work those who can see there is a better way forward)
      • Help managers to becoming more involved in developing individual potential
      • Help managers to encourage learning from work as well as at work (ie not just through training)
      • Help managers to build their own social team and provide a private space where the team can learn (and share what they learn) as they work
    • Encourage independent learning (though personal and professional learning) and the sharing of new ideas from exposure to new thinking.
    • Use a performance consultancy approach to identify how ad hoc problems might best be solved – so as not to assume that training is the only/best solution
    • As appropriate, create learning campaigns, learning challenges or learning flows, as well as flexible, on demand, flexible resources.
  4. Measure the (success of the) change
    • Measure the right things – NOT learning activity NOR learning outcomes BUT how well this new mindset and approach are contributing to improved organisational agility and performance.

So essentially, it revolves around the L&D department developing this new mindset and approach FIRST for their own learning and professional development, so that they can then espouse the change and help others to embrace it too in new ways.

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Jane Hart

Jane Hart helps organisations and learning professionals modernise their approaches to workplace learning - through public workshops and bespoke consultancy. She is the Editor of the Modern Workplace Learning Magazine, and is the author of a number of books including Modern Workplace Learning 2020 as well as the resource for individuals How to become a modern Learner. Jane was the 2018 recipient of the ATD Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development award. You can contact Jane at Jane.Hart@C4LPT.co.uk.