You probably know Purple Cubed as a boutique HR consultancy, or perhaps for our award-winning technology. However when we started out (in 2001) we also used to deliver rather good Learning and Development and, for a number of years, e-learning. However, given the changing world, we realised that most traditional learning was no longer effective and so we changed our development business model to one of facilitation, group coaching and enabling people to deliver their own great stuff. Which is how it should be because the majority of today’s workforce want:

  • Bite sized, just-in-time learning
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Easy, direct access to knowledge as and when they need it, using technology as a first port of call
  • Frequent feedback on how they can ‘do it better’
  • Simple, clear information
  • To learn from their colleagues and other experts
  • Visuals – engaging multi-media approaches

Your people are individuals with different experiences, knowledge and expertise. So learning can’t be cookie cutter, standard stuff – make it facilitative and engaging where participants can learn from one another as well as the expert on hand. Keep the skills based stuff for on job and other means; the classroom is for interaction between people to help them think, make decisions, create business improvements and innovation.

There are varying statistics, which put the percentage of people who learn by seeing and reading at 45-65% (they ask a colleague, they YouTube it), 15 – 25% doing (they learn on job), 25 to 35% hearing (podcasts, tutorials). This is why traditional ‘chalk and talk’ methods are no longer effective. Whatever the delivery method, learning should be:

  • Appropriate to the individual, role and circumstances
  • Planned with pre-agreed goals and outcomes
  • Well executed, engaging and enjoyable
  • Reviewed – outcomes checked before and after the learning (and again) to track business benefits
  • Easily accessible via a central portal as and when people need to, without ‘permission’

There are many options for alternative ways to learn for example:

  • Books and journals (virtual or otherwise)
  • Intranet or internal ‘wiki’
  • Video – professional and colleague generated
  • Internet search – so much free stuff out there
  • Podcasts / webcasts / webinars
  • Distance learning
  • Online guides – technical and otherwise
  • In-house guides and other learning resources
  • Job swaps
  • Secondments / work shadowing
  • Business related projects (internal and external)
  • Experiences such as competitor visit / team challenge
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring (a fantastic and definitely under-exploited way to learn)

If you only do three things:

  1. Get creative and contemporise your learning
  2. Make the right content easy to access so people can drive their own development
  3. Digitise what you can, facilitate what you can’t

Next time we’ll explore how to get the best from your people technology…

Want to change the way learning and development is done in your business, though don’t know where to start?

2018-02-08T13:33:02+00:00 February 8th, 2018|