If you are an L&D professional, it is likely that you have tried to create a culture of open learning in your organisation. You may have hired the best corporate trainers, held meetings with colleagues and superiors to identify specific domains for training and invited employees to attend learning sessions. Enthused by the initial spark of hope, people may have attended such learning sessions, only to drop out after some time. A kink appears on the learning curve of your organisation. The transition towards being a learning organisation somehow never seems to happen.
Where are you going wrong? What is stopping your organisation from creating a culture for learning? What should you do to enable your organisations to create that open learning environment that embeds into your culture and DNA?
Major Challenges to Creating a Culture of Learning in Your Organisation
If the transition to creating a culture of open learning continues to elude you, it is highly likely that your organisation is facing the following challenges mentioned below:
Top-Down Approach to Learning
Who decides the tracks of learning and on what basis? Is your staff consulted before deciding on the content? Do they have a say in deciding what to learn? Do you seek the opinion of your staff on what they need to learn? Your employees are the ambassadors of your company. Your customers get to know your brand through the services that your employees provide. As such, not consulting them on their learning needs amounts to a top down approach to learning. Remember that it is the people who create a culture of learning in an organisation and keeping them away is a big mistake.
Less or No Choices to Decide on What to Learn
How diversified is the menu of content and courses that you are offering to your staff? Are you giving them enough options to surf through the courses available for learning and then decide accordingly? A short menu of courses for organizational learning may miss out on the courses that people in your organization actually want to pursue. Lesser number of options of courses translates into a loss of interest, dropout from training programs and course modules.
Enrolment into the Learning Ecosystem
What routes do your people have for enrolling into the ecosystem for learning? Is your organizational ecosystem inclusive enough for people to decide how, when and where they want to learn? Does your learning ecosystem depend on a physical location, device or platform? Such dependencies if present in the ecosystem of your organization shall only lead to entitlement failures and inaccessibility to learning content and courses.
Mismatch Between Learning Needs and Modular Content
How do you map the available knowledge resources and learning content against the training needs of your people? Is the course content customized for your organization? Does your learning platform provide standardized content to everyone? The best part about people in any organization is diversity. An LMS that offers standardized learning content kills the diversity and correspondingly the synergies that can be created from complementary knowledge reserves, competencies and skill sets.
Content That Does Not Engage Learners
Do the content modules fascinate the people in your organization? Content modules, knowledge resources and courses that do not augment learner engagement lead to high drop out rates and renders the learning ineffective, indirectly raising the costs of repeating modules already covered, hiring corporate trainers for extra classes and accessing downloadable content available on metered billing.
No Scope for Learners to Give Feedback
Does your learning management system allow learners to share their feedback? If yes, how do you leverage this feedback to improve and upgrade the course content? To create an organization-wide culture of learning, the learning management system has to be more participatory and feedback driven. That is how your organization can climb up the levels of institutional learning.
How Can an LMS Enable an Open Learning Environment?
- Participatory and employee-driven approach to learning
- An abundance of relevant courses for employees to choose from
- Multiple modes of enrolment including those for self enrolment
- The customizability of content to meet the individual needs of learners
- Feature-rich content and interactive pedagogy
- Feedback mechanism for customization, edits and upgrades of course content
An LMS must cater to all these criteria in the following ways:
- It must be driven by employees. And designed to allow greater participation from people. Your employees can browse through the menu of courses and content modules available to decide what to learn. By allowing people to come onboard it puts your organization on the track of habitual learning.
- Offer an easily accessible catalogue of courses to choose from. When employees can browse content relevant to their areas of interest, competence and skills, they end up learning what interests them.
- A cloud-based learning platform that is agnostic of location, time, device. It must allow employees to log in and access relevant educational content at will at any time from any location, thereby ensuring there is no break of study and discontinuity due to entitlement failures.
- Also, being technology driven it must be feature rich. It offers a superior interactive pedagogy to capture the attention and interest of learners in a business setting. It has a far higher learner engagement quotient compared to a traditional onsite or device installed e-learning systems.
- Finally, it must allow you to incorporate the feedback of learners and channelize that feedback to make improvements, edits and upgrades to the course content.
In the long run, sustaining the habits of learning amidst the mundane organisational routine of daily work is a key challenge. Any sustainable solution to the challenge must look to conquer the parameters of time, space and scale. A learning platform that empowers you with tools to create an open learning environment can enable your organisation to do just that.