10 Myths about Modern Workplace Learning

Inspired by TeachThought’s  22 myths in modern academic learning, here are 10 misconceptions about Modern Workplace Learning (MWL).  More to come in another post.

  1. MWL simply means modernising training.
    No. It is much more than modern training. It means a modern approach to learning at work – recognising and valuing all the ways that people learn at, through and for work as well as training, e.g, as they do their daily jobs, as well as on the Web. MWL means a new organisational learning mindset.
  2. MWL is all about using new trends and technologies to design and deliver modern learning experiences, e.g.
  • moving training from the classroom to e-learning – so everything is online
  • using social learning – making people discuss things with one another in courses
  • using mobile learning – turning e-courses into mobile courses
  • using micro learning – chunking courses up into small pieces
  • using virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality

No. Whilst all these trends and technologies have their place, it is not just about using the latest technology in training, but rather helping to find the right solution for a problem. This might be some sort of training, but there might well be another more appropriate non-training solution.

  1. MWL is all about the learner.
    No. People don’t go to work to (e-)learn; they go to work. So, they are primarily employees or workers (rather than learners), but ultimately individuals with different needs and interests. The term “learner” conjures up images of sitting in a classroom or at the desktop ploughing through an e-learning course! In the workplace, it is better to think in terms of the “modern professional” or “modern employee” rather than the “modern learner”.
  2. MWL means providing personalised learning for every individual.
    No. It’s about helping individuals to develop their own personal learning strategies that suit them and their needs.
  3. MWL is all about learning.
    No. MWL is a much wider concept. It’s about (new and improved) performance, individual and team growth, and professional career development.
  4. MWL is all about ensuring individuals can do today’s jobs.
    No. It is also about preparing for the future. It is not just about providing modern courses or resources for individuals to do their current work, but building and supporting a new skillset for the modern workplace.
  5. MWL means using gamification to improve engagement (and learning) at work.
    No. Gamification doesn’t necessarily result in engagement nor learning. People only learn when they are motivated and have a purpose to do so – and the greatest motivation and purpose is to keep themselves marketable and employable.
  6. L&D is responsible for MWL.
    No. Everyone is responsible for what they learn. L&D might take responsibility for designing and delivering modern learning experiences (where required), but managers are responsible for the growth of their team members, and individuals are responsible for their own self-improvement and self-development.
  7. MWL means tracking everything everyone learns in a central learning platform.
    No. Whilst it will be important to have central records for compliance and regulatory purposes, it doesn’t mean trying to achieve the impossible task of tracking everyone’s learning. Rather, it means helping individuals to manage their own learning and development – using their own personally-selected tools – and maintain a record of their own achievements that they can take with them throughout their career.
  8. MWL means there is no role for L&D in the future workplace.
    No. But the profession now needs to adapt to the new world of workplace learning – one where it is no longer solely about L&D directing and managing training. Instead L&D needs to provide a broader service that includes encouraging, enabling, guiding, facilitating and supporting all the ways people learn at, for and through – as and when it is needed.

A comparison of organised and self-organised learning in the workplace

What is the difference between L&D organised and managed learning AND self-organised and self-managed learning? In the graphic below I have plotted some of the activities of both approaches to learning in the workplace.

Although most interest still focuses on the top half of the graphic – ie providing services and tools for L&D to organise (ie design and deliver) as well as manage learning in the workplace, there is growing interest in supporting self-organised learning at work.  So, what does this mean for L&D?  Well, it is much more that just providing a library of self-service courses and resources, and managing usage in a LMS! It means a new mindset, new activities and new skills – for both L&D and the entire organisation.

For L&D it’s all about enabling and supporting a continuous independent approach to self-improvement and self-development. So, if you would like to find out more about what this means, come and join the next online workshop where we will be looking at:

  1. Changing mindsets: Preparing individuals and managers for continuous independent learning
  2. Helping managers enable and support continuous independent learning
  3. Helping individuals learn from their daily work
  4. Helping individuals acquire (or hone) the skills for learning on the Web
  5. Helping individuals provide structure to their planned learning by managing their own professional self-development

What does the 6th annual Learning in the Workplace Survey say about the state – as well as the future – of L&D?

This year in the 6th Annual Learning in the Workplace survey, I asked respondents to rate the importance (value/usefulness) – of the following 12 ways of learning for, at or through work.

  • Classroom training
  • e-Learning (e.g. online courses for self-study)
  • Internal resources (documents, guides etc.,)
  • Knowledge sharing within your team
  • Daily work experiences (i.e. doing the day job)
  • Manager feedback and guidance
  • Coach or mentor feedback and guidance
  • Professional networks and communities
  • Conferences and professional events
  • Blogs and news feeds
  • Web resources (e.g. videos, podcasts, articles)
  • Web search (e.g. Google).

The results from over 5,000* people worldwide make for interesting reading. In the table below they are ranked by their combined  VI+Ess   scores.  The  red  figures  are where the most responses were received in each category.
(NI = Not important, QI=Quite Important, VI=Very Important, Ess=Essential)

Rank Results of the 6th Learning in the Workplace survey
(as at Tuesday 8 August 2017)
NI
%
QI
%
VI
%
Ess
%
VI+Ess
%
 1 Daily work experiences (ie doing the day job)  1  6 26  67 93
 2 Knowledge sharing within your team  1  9 30  60 90
 3 Web search (eg Google) 5 16 27 52 79
 4 Web resources (eg videos, podcasts, articles) 4 20 37 39 76
5 Manager feedback and guidance 7 19 39 35 74
 6 Professional networks and communities 4 24 41 31 72
7 Coach or mentor feedback and guidance 7 28 43 22 65
8 Internal resources (eg documents, guides, etc) 8 32 35 25 60
9 Blogs and news feeds 10 34 33 23 56
10 E-Learning (eg online courses for self-study) 20 39 25 16 41
 11 Conferences and other professional events 17 48 32 3 35
 12 Classroom training 28 41 19 12 31

The most interesting thing to note about these results is that the 4 most valued ways of learning – Daily work experiences, Knowledge sharing with teamsWeb search and the use of Web resources are all self-organised and self-managed “non-designed” forms of learning, whilst “designed” and “organised” forms of learning like Classroom training and E-Learning – both of which L&D traditionally has focused on – are the least valued ways of learning in the workplace.

All this seems to point to the fact that there needs to be some changes to the work that L&D does in order to offer a service that is more valued in the business.

Whilst some L&D teams are putting in great efforts to modernise their “designed” learning efforts – in order to make them more relevant for today’s people – this will not be enough. There is now enormous potential to support the other ways of learning in the organisation.

But that doesn’t mean putting in place some new enterprise learning platform and trying to capture and manage all the “learning” thats happening outside formal learning initiatives – an impossible task anyway. It doesn’t mean DOING more things TO people.

  1. It means enabling and supporting individuals to DO more FOR THEMSELVES – by helping them to
    • get more out of their daily work
    • to organise and manage their own continuous learning (i.e. self-improvement and self-development) both inside and outside the organisation – rather than simply spoon-feeding them stuff. This which will include helping them to
      • grow their professional networks
      • keep up to date with their industry or profession
      • learn something new every day
  2. It also means working with managers to help them take a more active part in the growth of their people.

But all that requires a brand new L&D mindset, new L&D role(s), and new L&D skills, as I showed in The Case for the new Role of a Modern Learning Advisor.

Those L&D departments that offer new services that are of real value to the business are more likely not just to survive but to thrive in the modern workplace,

What do you think these results mean for the future of L&D? Comments are open below.

Meanwhile, if you want to find out more about helping your L&D department modernise their activities, take a look at our online workshops.

*Breakdown of demographics

  • Countries: From 63 countries around the world, including USA 25%, UK 25%, Australia 9%, Canada 7%, New Zealand 6%, Germany 5%, Netherlands 3%
  • Industries: Education 25%,Financial Services 10%, Government 9%, Healthcare 6%, Technology 6%
  • Organisation size: 250+ people 66%,
  • Function: HR/L&D 59%, IT 5%, Marketing 4%
  • Job type: Non-managerial 39%, Senior manager 22%,  Middle manager 18%, Line manager 10%, Other 10%
    • Age: 41-50 36%, 51-60 25%, 31-40 24%, <30 6%,  >60 6%
  • Sex: Female 62%, Male 38%

Here’s more about the work of a Modern Learning Advisor

In my previous article, I put the case for the new role of a Modern Learning Advisor and showed that in the modern workplace, L&D has two roles:

  1. To design, deliver and manage modern learning experiences for today’s busy people; and
  2. To enable and support individuals to organise and manage their own self-improvement & self-development, as a natural part of their daily work as well as in planned activities on and off the Web.

I also explained that the latter requires a new breed of L&D professional –  a Modern Learning Advisor.  In this article I want to talk more about what the work entails.

The work of the Modern Learning Advisor falls into 3 stages, although  in some organizations (depending on their readiness) he/she will not necessarily need to go through all stages.

Stage 1: Get ready

Prepare the organization (managers and individuals) for a modern approach to workplace learning; one that isn’t just about designing, delivering and managing learning solutions or learning experiences for people to do, and make sure they do them, but enabling and individuals to organize and manage their own self-improvement and self-development.

Explain the rationale for this approach (for both the organization and employees), the principles of modern professional learning, and the new practices involved (for both individuals and their managers).

The aim would be to identify interested managers and individuals (as likely there will still be people who will not be convinced by this approach, and expect all their learning at work to be delivered to them.

Stage 2: Get set

This stage involves two aspects

  • Helping managers to understand how they can operationalize it in their team, what it means to them, and how the MLA can help and support them
  • Helping individuals acquire or hone modern professional learning skills so that they can get the most out of (and learn from) their daily job as well as from the Web, and to organize and manage their own self-development in a more structured way (particularly if their manager is supporting them)

It means understanding new activities, developing new skills, and selecting own tools and services.

Stage 3: Go!

Some people in the organisation may well already be in this stage, for others they will have needed help at stage 2.  But here the Modern Learning Advisor takes on an advisorial and support role:

  • Providing bespoke advice and support – to managers or employees, as and when required – in the form of a Learning Concierge or Help Desk service
  • Promoting sharing of learning and new performance in work teams as well as coordinating events to showcase new talent across the organisation

The role of the Modern Learning Advisor (MLA)

The MLA will be a Specialist, Expert and Master of Modern Professional Learning – demonstrating modern attitudes and practices.

The MLA will be a Guide and Helper to individuals – empowering and supporting them to self-improve and self-development in many different ways.

The MWL will be a Partner and Consultant to managers – helping them to understand, and how to adopt a continuous learning mindset and support self-reliant employees and build a social team.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about the work of the Modern Learning Advisor,  the upcoming online workshop: Supporting Independent Continuous Learning will look at Stages 1 and 2 of the work over 5 weeks as follows.

  1. Changing mindsets: Preparing individuals and managers for modern professional learning
  2. Helping managers enable and support modern professional learning
  3. Helping individuals learn from their daily work
  4. Helping individuals acquire (or hone) new skills for learning on the Web
  5. Helping individuals provide structure to their planned learning by managing their own professional development

Find out more about the Workshop and sign up HERE.

The case for the new role of a Modern Learning Advisor

“The biggest innovation in workplace learning will not come from new technology but from supporting people to learn continuously
and to manage their own learning.”
Jane Hart, 2017

In a number of previous articles in the MWL Magazine, I have explained how modern professionals now recognise that they learn in many different ways at, through and for work.

The standard approach of a L&D department is to design and deliver learning interventions to and manage employee learning CENTRALLY in some sort of learning platform,  e.g. a LMS to manage courses, or more recently in a Learning Experience platform to manage use of other types of content and interactions.

Standard roles for this L&D work include course designers, developers, trainers, and LMS administrators. However, whilst the work of these standard roles is currently being modernised: e.g. Instructional Designers have become i LX designers, and trainers have become facilitators, fundamentally their work is the same as it has always been – designing, delivering and managing learning.

But this standard approach  is no longer enough in the modern workplace, there is now need for a more modern approach of enabling and supporting learning, where individuals manage their own self-improvement and self-development.  This new approach requires a new role: a Modern Learning Advisor.

What is the rationale for this modern approach and new role? Here are 6 good reasons:

  1. L&D can’t create everything everyone needs to do their jobs. As it is, individuals are already doing things for themselves and by-passing L&D, so it is time to make a virtue of this fact, and encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own continuous self-improvement and self-development.
  2. It is no longer appropriate for L&D’s focus to be just about developing content, making sure that employees learn from it and tracking their every move, but rather it needs to be about helping them develop modern learning skills so that every employee can become self-reliant and self-sufficient, and make the most of, and learn from all kinds of experiences and opportunities.
  3. One size doesn’t fit all, even if it using the latest technology trend (whether it be video or VR)!  It’s more about helping individuals identify what they need to self-improve and/or self-development and how they might do this in the most appropriate format or way for them.
  4. L&D can’t possibly manage everything everyone learns centrally. As it is,  a lot of what people learn (naturally) happens without them even realising it, and in most cases, they don’t want to record things on an enterprise platform.  So what they need is to  to reflect on, record and manage their own learning and achievements themselves – using their (self-selected) tools so that they own their own learning – and in such a way that they can demonstrate their achievements to current or future employers.
  5. But in fact, taking a greater interest in employees as individuals – with individual needs and preferences – and helping them to prepare for their own futures, they are more likely to stay in the organisation than seek employment elsewhere.
  6. Furthermore, by taking on this new role, a L&D department moves from being a “course order-taking” unit, to providing a more relevant service for the modern workplace.

But it is not  either/or approach.  It’s NOT either the traditional approach or the modern approach. There is room for both approaches, particularly there will still be a need for the design and management of essential (e.g. compliance, and regulatory) training. However,  introducing the new work of a Modern Learning Advisor, will mean that there are many more opportunities to help individuals learn in the modern workplace.

Are you interested on taking on the role of a Modern Learning Advisor? If so, it requires a new mindset, new skills and new work from the standard L&D roles.

New mindset

The role of the Modern Learning Advisor is about building and supporting self-reliant and self-sufficient modern professionals who make the most of, and learn from all kinds of experiences and opportunities to self-improve and self-develop. It’s not about designing, delivering or managing learning for them.

New skills

The Modern Learning Advisor will need to be someone who can “walk the talk” and demonstrate what it means to be a modern professional learner (MPL).  He/she will

  • have established a habit of continuous learning,  and learn something new every day
  • make the most of (and learn from) everyday work experiences – through problem-solving, interactions with their own manager, and their own team
  • manage their own self-development
  • have grown their own professional network
  • continuously keep up to date with their industry or profession in many different ways

Want some help? Our 30 Day Learning Challenges are a good way to hone your skills in these areas.

New  work

The work of the Modern Learning Advisor will be to:

  • change mindsets, and prepare both individuals and managers for modern professional learning
  • help managers enable and support modern professional learning
  • help individuals acquire (or hone) modern skills for learning on the Web
  • help individuals make the most of, and learn from their daily work
  • help individuals manage their own professional development

Want some help with this? Our upcoming workshop, Supporting Continuous Independent Learning Workshop looks at these aspects of the work of the MLA.

Next article:  Here’s more about the work of the Modern Learning Advisor

Who supports non-designed learning experiences?

In past articles I have showed that modern professionals learn from a multitude of sources.

and in a multitude ways

They learn

  • for today – to improve in their current jobs
  • for tomorrow – to prepare for future jobs

But the KEY point is that they learn from both

  • designed learning experiences (aka training and education) and
  • non-designed learning experiences – in fact 80%+ of how people learn happens in non-designed ways.

Most L&D efforts are focused on designed learning experiences. Instructional designers and content developers design and develop these experiences, trainers/facilitators help to deliver them, and others (try to) manage them in their learning platforms or LMS.

But who supports  the non-designed learning experiences? They clearly don’t need to be designed or developed. Nor do they need to be managed in a learning platform or LMS.  They simply need to be encouraged and enabled.

It seems that many (in L&D and elsewhere) are not interested in non-designed learning experiences – often believing  they are of little value compared to those that have been designed for people. Or if they are, they want employees to record their experiences  in their enterprise learning platform/LMS so they can manage them centrally –  an impossible task, as it happens, and also one that is not appropriate or relevant in today’s world.

Rather individuals (and their managers) need to be encouraged to value these experiences, and be enabled and supported to take responsibility and ownership for learning in these ways.  It therefore requires a completely new role to help do this. Enter the Modern Learning Advisor  – someone whose role and skills are very different from traditional L&D roles. So what does this role entail? I’ll be exploring this topic in future articles over the summer.

But in the meantime, if you haven’t  got anyone to take on this new role, and want to encourage, enable and support your people to get the most out of their non-designed learning experiences, then our 30 Day Learning Challenges might help.

Designing, delivering and managing modern learning experiences


In previous articles I have talked about how my ongoing Top 100 Tools for Learning survey shows how individuals are learning in new ways – particularly on the Web – using a wide range of tools, for example

  • by using Google and YouTube to solve their own learning and performance problems
  • by using social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to build their own professional network (aka personal learning network)
  • by using messaging apps on their smartphones like WhatsApp to connect with colleagues and groups
  • by using Twitter to participate in conference backchannels and live chats
  • by using Feedly to aggregate the blog posts and news feeds they subscribe to which provides them with a daily flow of information
  • by subscribing to services like Highbrow to provide them with a short daily lesson.
  • by participating in online courses (or MOOCs) on platforms like Coursera, edX and FutureLearn

What is clear about the way people learn on the Web is that is very different to the way they learn in traditional training, ie it

  • is on demand and continuous – rather than intermittent events
  • takes place in short bursts (minutes) – rather than long periods (hours, days, etc)
  • it mostly happens nowadays on mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) rather than on desktop machines
  • it is highly social  (interacting with people) – rather than just consuming content
  • it is a personal experience, selected by the individual concerned – rather than being a one-size-fits-all experience, designed by someone else (eg L&D)
  • it is autonomous (self-directed, self-organised and self-managed), in that the individual choses what, how and when he or she accesses, interacts and/ learns –  rather than one that has been directed by someone else (eg L&D), who (tries to) manage the individual’s learning for them.

In other articles here I have written about the new work of L&D that is about supporting modern professional learning, as I call it. But here I want to consider what it means for the design, delivery and management of organised and managed learning experiences –  because this will of course still be required.  In other words, what it means to modernise training. I believe there are 5 aspects to this and, in brief, it means

  1. Modernising classroom training experiences – so they become interactive and collaborative, technology-friendly events.
  2. Modernising online learning experiences – so that content is no longer about pressing the Next button to move to the next slide, but about creating content in more modern and appealing formats, and (where appropriate) guiding social learning experiences.
  3. Modernising assessment and learning management – so it is no longer about attendance, participation or completion – but about achieving performance outcomes using real-world methods and activities.
  4. Modernising learning support – so that participants are offered are range of different mechanisms that they can tap into to help them before, during and after the training.
  5. Modernising a blended programme – so that it provides a more flexible programme that allows the individual to be guided but not constrained to the resources and activities on offer.

This is just an overview of what it means to modernise training, if you would like to take part in a 6-week online workshop to find out more, to try out new tools and discuss the practicalities with others, click here to sign up to our  next ONLINE WORKSHOP: DESIGNING, DELIVERING & MANAGING MODERN LEARNING EXPERIENCES  There are no synchronous activities, so the online workshop is suitable for any time-zone.

Jane’s Personal Top 10 Tools for Learning in 2017

My 2017 (11th annual) survey of Top tools for Learning is open for voting here, and there have already been a few hundred entries, so I thought I’d share  my personal top 10 tools for this year. If you’d like to share your own 10 favourite learning tools here, then please send them to me at editor@modernworkplacelearning.com and I’ll collate them into some follow-up articles.


TWITTER is still the place where I can quickly and easily keep up with what’s happening in the world – and in particular what others are up to with their ideas and activities   around workplace learning. But I do prefer to use TWEETDECK rather than the web interface – since it’s so easy to set up different columns for my news feed, mentions, hashtags I follow, etc. This makes it much easier for me to get the overall picture of what’s happening in the moment. It’s still  the first place I turn to in the morning.


I also couldn’t do without FEEDLY – my RSS reader – where I aggregate well over 300 blog and website feeds. So this as another way important way for me to keep up to date with new ideas and thinking in workplace technology, the future of work, and other related topics.


WORDPRESS is the platform I use for all my websites – Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, my blog, Centre for Modern Workplace Learning, the MWL Magazine and 30 Day Learning Challenges. WordPress is a very powerful web publishing too and I have my own WordPress installations which I enhance with the use of a large number of 3rd party plugins . I also make good use of PIXABAY’s image library.


I use YAMMER to host the online workshops I run, since, for me, it is all about facilitating and guiding a social learning experience.  And I also want to show the workshop participants how valuable a platform it can be to underpin both informal social learning as well as formal (guided) social learning in their own organisations.


I am now making increasing use of ZOOM for video meetings, as it is really good to be able to see so many people’s live videos in one place – rather than just a list of names in a webinar tool. Whilst WHATSAPP has become my key communication tool with individuals and groups.


Recently I have become attached to a new web browser, VIVALDI as I like a number of the features that make it stand out from other browsers. If you don’t know Vivaldi, take a look at 9 reasons to switch to Vivaldi browser today.


Finally, I’m still in love with my APPLE WATCH!  People often ask me what it is about it that I like so much, and I say it is not just one thing – it is all the little things that make it a very useful productivity tool for me – reminders, alerts, notifications and so on.


 

Building Modern Professional Learning skills through 30 Day Learning Challenges

In the modern workplace every employee needs to take responsibility for their own self-improvement; there is no longer such as a job for life so everyone will constantly need to think about not just improving in their current job but preparing for a future job too.

So how can we help individuals become self-reliant, self-organised and self-managed? In other words, how can we help them build the new skills they will need to survive and thrive in the modern workplace?  Furthermore, how can you hone your own skills too – in order to be best placed to help your people?

One way  is through 30 Day Learning Challenges.

It is said that it takes 30 days to establish a new habit, so our 30 Day Learning Challenges are intended to help  kick-start modern learning habits that will last a lifetime. In other words, every day for 30 days there is a short task  to help participants build the new habit.

Our first five Learning Challenges have now been announced, and they are as follows. Click through the links below to find out more.

  1. Learn something new every day – This Challenge will help you build a habit of learning something new every day.  Your goal is to find a number of useful sources that will inspire you to continue to learn something new after the Challenge ends.
  2. Get the most out of your day job – This Challenge will help you get the most out of your day job so that you can benefit from your everyday work activities. Your goal is to develop a number of new approaches to learn from your daily work experiences that you will be able to continue after the Challenge ends.
  3. Manage your own self-development – This Challenge will help you develop the habit of organising and managing your own self-development. Your goal is to get started on a process for continuing professional self development that you will continue after the Challenge ends.
  4. Enhance your professional network – This Challenge will help you build from scratch and/or enhance your existing professional network. Your goal is to build a process for enhancing your own professional network that will continue after the Challenge ends.
  5. Keep up to date with your industry or profession – This Challenge will focus on a variety of other ways to help you keep yourself up to date in your industry or profession. Your goal is to identify a number of approaches and tools that will allow you to continuously keep up to date with your industry or profession after the Challenge ends.

Who’s responsible for Modern Workplace Learning? We all are!

Workplace Learning has traditionally been seen as the sole responsibility of Training/L&D departments, but in the modern workplace we are all responsible. Here I look at the roles of the individual/employee, the manager and the L&D department.

Individuals/Employees

In the modern workplace every employee needs to take responsibility for their own self-improvement; there is no longer such as a job for life so everyone will constantly need to think about not just improving in their current job, but preparing for a future job.  This means

  • Getting the most out of (and learning from) their daily work experiences
  • Organising and managing their own self-development
  • Learning something new every day
  • Keeping up to date with their industry or profession
  • Building a professional network
  • Choosing and using a mentor

Managers

Every manager need to take responsibility for nurturing their team members, so that they can learn for themselves and with one another. This means

  • Encouraging and supporting a continuous learning mindset in their people so they don’t rely on being spoonfed training
  • Being a coach more than a boss in order to develop people
  • Building a social team and leading informal social learning and social collaboration
  • Facilitating collaborative problem solving

L&D Teams

L&D’s role in the modern workplace now becomes one of supporting managers and individuals in the modern workplace, rather than focusing on design and delivery of training. This means

  • Supporting managers
    • as they promote a continuous learning mindset in their people and encourage learnability and self-reliance
    • as they develop their people
    • as they build and lead social teams so that effective sharing of knowledge and experiences takes place
    • as they help their teams to find their own solutions to their performance problems – and supporting the development of any learning solutions or performance support resources (producing only what is required and needed in the format that is desired)
  • Supporting employees
    • to acquire a modern professional learning mindset and the necessary skills in order to become self-reliant, self-directed and self-managed continuous learners in the workplace
    • to connect with one another across the organisation in order to share and learn from one another, and find their own mentors

New role and skills for L&D

So how can L&D teams prepare themselves for modern workplace learning?

Currently most of the products and services directed at L&D are focused on helping them organise and manage training/e-learning initiatives – through technology, content development and outsourced training. That is, after all, what the whole L&D industry has been set up to do.

But to survive and thrive in the modern workplace, L&D teams will need to re-skill themselves to take on the new work of supporting managers and modern employees. So for every learning professional and team this involves 3 key steps.

  1. Building your own modern professional skills.  You can’t help others until you have the skills yourself.  To help you we have designed a series of 30 day learning challenges to help you kick-start modern learning habits that will last a lifetime. These challenges can be offered directly to your people too.
  2. Becoming a social team. This means sharing experiences with one another in your L&D team so that you work closely together, grow together and solve your problems together – and in doing so become role models for the new social behaviours in your organisation. You might start this process by working together on the 30 day learning challenges, and this might be a way for you to encourage other teams to start working (and learning) together too.
  3. Designing the new services that your team will offer to the business – This means considering a range of new services so that you can support all the ways people are learning at, through and for work – not just by designing and delivering training. Our online workshop, Supporting Learning in the Modern Workplace can help you think this through.

In the modern workplace, everyone is responsible for learning and development, but this doesn’t mean the role of L&D will diminish but rather it will become even more important than before, and has the potential to become a driving force for change. But it does mean leaving behind old mindsets, old tools and old behaviours. That is the biggest challenge.