In today’s workplace, more and more companies recognize building engaging team learning as a necessity, but the question often becomes, “what should that learning look like?”
We wanted to spell things out a little more clearly: do this when building team learning, and don’t do that. These best (and worst) practices can shape the framework of an effective and engaging learning program at any organization looking to increase employee productivity and confidence.
Do This: Build learning for learners
Team learning should, first and foremost, benefit your employees, so they can do better work. When online training software focuses on this goal, instead of other metrics, a positive shift occurs. Harvard Business Review reported “significant potential” in development programs focused around employee strengths. Among other benefits, employees trained in this type of program reported:
- Having ample energy
- Feeling well-rested
- Being happy
- Learning something interesting
Such employee engagement reaps huge productivity and efficiency benefits, and improves recruiting and retention—all of which add up to better return on investment on what is likely your biggest business expense: your team. Ben Horowitz, author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things, did the math in a post on his blog. Preparing 4 training courses with 3 hours of prep time means 12 hours invested. For 10 employees who will work a total of 20,000 hours in a year, even a tiny 1% improvement means an extra 200 hours of productivity gain. And if employees really learn and that improvement percentage rises, productivity gains grow exponentially.
For content to be truly learner-focused, it should have a lower barrier-to-entry than traditional training manuals or documents. Specifically, breaking content up into concise, consumable chunks makes it easier to digest and retain. Getting buy-in and engagement from employees is an important ingredient in a culture of learning. The first step toward this, outlined in our post on humanizing learning, is “putting yourself in the lesson: Introduce yourself right off the bat, and consider adding a friendly photo to your greeting. Doing so breaks the ice with your audience.”
Other suggestions for infusing meaning into team learning include keeping the tone conversational, showing and telling, and asking for feedback. The result of these efforts is training that doesn’t feel as burdensome and learning that truly benefits both the business and individual Learners.
Not That: Focus only on compliance
Situations will undoubtedly continue to arise where compliance training has to happen for entire industries. However, many times, normal employee training is seen as nothing more than a way for companies to check a box and say, “We’ve provided this.” This approach often leads to training programs that feature the bare minimum, without much effort to engage Learners. A Brandon Hall Group study showed that only about 20% of companies had “robust learning technology strategy that leads to successful outcomes.” That means nearly 80% of companies in that study have software not suited to driving “successful outcomes.” Strategies that focus on the bare minimum obviously won’t resonate with learners.
And if teams and employees offer feedback, don’t shut it down. Listening to feedback builds engagement and learning into the culture of a company through dialogue. You can learn more about effective feedback loops on our blog.
Lessonly means putting the learners first
Employee-centric companies around the world use Lessonly to build effective learning programs that have tangible business outcomes. Take a self-guided, five-step tour of our team learning software and see how it works. Sign up today.