The new wave of learning and development
16 November 2015 |
Lisa Stubbs | About a 4 minute read
A new wave of Learning and Development
When I first entered the world of L&D 10 years ago, it was a very structured one. I quickly learnt that functions like L&D were under scrutiny to prove themselves – being a non-revenue generating function and all! It was also very difficult to show the benefit of training people, so we scrabbled around for metrics and landed on the number of days training people went on, not taking into consideration the value delivered to people.
But oh how that world has changed! Those organisations where the above is a familiar picture are at risk of not developing their people and not attracting great talent to their organisation. So here five of my lessons learned from working in the changing L&D landscape…
- Don’t be tied down by structure
Structured training curriculums? Mandatory training? Training days per person? What value are these things really adding? Instead, point people in the right direction by giving them the correct tools to learn and ensure their managers can support them. Next, it is time to relinquish the L&D control! At AND Digital we provide our people training categorised into ‘the basics’, ‘give me more’ and ‘deep dive’, so once they understand the skill they need to develop with their manager, they can pick the level and type of training most suitable for them by themselves. Simple! Most of all remember to empower people to be responsible for their own development, instead of dictating what they should do. Ownership means greater engagement.
- If you’re going to invest in anything, make it communities
This has been the real switch for me since joining AND Digital. It seems obvious now, but I’ve found that our Product Analysts and Developers want to talk about what they are doing as well as learn from others. The best way of doing this is to encourage the development of learning communities. Find a topic that people want to learn about, then find a passionate expert and then empower them with the lead role to develop this community. It’s important to understand what the purpose of the community is and how they are going to share with the rest of the business, but once done, it is about sitting back and letting them get on with it. We’ve even found that these communities then build their own training courses, then go ahead and deliver it too! The best thing? They’re free!
- Learning is not the same as training
How many times have we heard that everyone learns in a different way? And what are organisations truly doing about it? Hmm, not a lot. A few weeks ago, I was sitting across from a Developer and he pulled four brand new books out of his bag that were relating to his role. He expressed to me how excited he was to get stuck into them. However for me, that’s my worse nightmare! I’d much prefer to learn with other people, talking about experiences and situations. Gone are the days where we can schedule everyone onto classroom training or give them a bit of eLearning. We need to give people a vast choice – communities, workshops, hackathons, meet-ups, online subscriptions, videos, coaching, interesting projects and yes, even books. This is learning, not training.
Cake to celebrate the launch of the Academy at one of our clients!
- Make learning interactive – learn by doing
There is evidence to show that people learn more when they are in an environment where they ‘learn by doing’. How many of your training courses are activity based, where people get to present back what they’ve learnt? At AND Digital we prefer to call our classroom sessions, ‘workshops’. For example at ANDbootcamp, we have a ‘build week’ where people put into practice what they’ve learnt in a simulated work environment. We give people real life scenarios in a safe environment, where they can learn key skills to take into the real world of working. We’re also getting more of our people involved with delivering training too – it means they become more of an expert in that area and we reduce our need for external trainers.
Just before we kicked off Bootcamp for a client
- Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce!
The statistics around how much knowledge we retain after a training course is something unbelievably low, like 5%. In order to get the most out of learning we must find ways of reinforcing it. Can we encourage people to get together following a training session to discuss what they’ve learnt – what they found easy, what they’ve found hard? At AND Digital, we have recently developed an app called ‘Boost’ which aims to do just that after training – in an interactive, digital way of course!
Re-inforcing learning with Boost!
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Senior Full Stack Developer (London)
Champion software quality and technical vision for AND and our clients, work on large-scale projects and help junior and mid developers grow in their roles.I'm Interested
Full Stack Developer (London)
Put your development expertise to work, building remarkable, digital products in Agile environments using a variety of languages and frameworks.I'm Interested
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Bring your expert tech knowledge to the table to influence the direction of projects, whilst coaching and your team through engineering best practices.I'm Interested