17th October 2017 TESTMatt Jarman

How will you fix your broken learning proposition?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t ‘turn it off and on again’. However, rebooting a Firm’s learning proposition is not necessarily as complex as you might think.

In this series we will be exploring the key aspects of a successful learning proposition and the wider benefits for Firms.  You’ll notice that like any decent film series, the order isn’t linear and this introductory prequel follows our previous piece on gamification (Getting in the Game).

Having worked with both the banking and consultancy industries, one thing that has struck us recently is how highly educated and talented millennials are becoming disengaged within the workforce.  It’s sad to watch the relatively speedy demise from bright eyed and bushy tailed new joiner, to downtrodden employee as their spirit is slowly crushed.  Unsurprisingly, a study by Accenture of those who graduated from 2014-16 found that as many as 69% felt underemployed in their current role, a 9% rise on the previous year, and that 89% of those said they planned to quit within five years (ready to quit).

That is worrying for employers and has to be a priority issue, as it is unlikely to get better any time soon.  Millennials are increasing as a percentage of the global workforce and will make up 75% of it by 2025.

But enough of the bad news.  What’s more uplifting is that a key way of winning back the workforce is through investing in your learning proposition.  It was interesting to see that a PWC study showed that above all, millennials value training and development as a career benefit, even over cash bonuses, greater holiday allowance and better wages!

The last decade has seen fundamental, technology-driven changes to the way we interact, work and travel.  However, the way we learn at work has remained largely unchanged in most organisations.  Now is the time to make the change.  In our view, here are some of the key things Firms need to consider to reboot their learning proposition:

  1. On the Go – We are glued to our mobiles most of the time, meaning that this channel presents by far the most valuable opportunity to interact with users.  What’s more is that we are now so used to having the answer to almost anything in the palm of our hands, we rarely commit new information to memory.  We learn as and when we have to (because we can).  Training needs to be mobile compatible in order to enable this ‘on the go’ access and ‘just in time’ learning.
  2. Micro learning – In a world packed full of technology-based distractions, our time is at a premium.  The result is that human attention spans have decreased from 12 to 8 seconds since 2000.  That’s shorter than a goldfish!  Users are more accustomed to 160 character tweets than long broadsheet articles.  Learning content has to be focused and bite-sized.
  3. Gamification – Employing game-based learning elements can make training more engaging and keep users in an active mind set, increasing knowledge retention.  Gamification also includes ‘social learning’ which drives re-engagement by getting the competitiveness juices flowing through badges, leader boards and points.
  4. Tailored – One size doesn’t fit all and in a world where users receive personalised recommendations for everything from their next box set to their weekly food shop.  They expect more from their learning proposition.  Content needs to be flexed to accommodate different roles, countries and abilities.
  5. Data Analytics – Develop the quantity of data points captured as part of the learning proposition.  This provides a more meaningful insight into how users are interacting with content.  Basic metrics such as attendance, average pass mark or completion rates just aren’t good enough.  Frankly, who cares how often your content is viewed?  What matters is that it is being understood, remembered and applied.

These may seem ambitious at first reading, but the reality is that Firms who are not prepared to progress these are likely to see increasing attrition and falling productivity.  Firms need to challenge themselves on what their training proposition is trying to achieve.  If it’s simply a tick box attendance exercise, then the ideas in this blog series aren’t relevant.  However, if training is expected to develop employees, drive them to improve and keep them engaged – then Firms need to incorporate these key concepts into rebooting their learning proposition.

To find out more about why rebooting your learning proposition is key to engaging your workforce, please contact us at info@hyin.com.