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July 7, 2020

6 Building Blocks of a Modern Learning Culture

Workforce readiness—the state of being fully prepared—is now a mandate for all organizations in this swiftly evolving economy. According to PwC’s “Talent Trends 2019” report, “79 percent of CEOs worldwide are concerned that a lack of essential skills in their workforce is threatening the future growth of their organization.”

Today’s CLOs have a strategic responsibility to reshape the role and nature of learning to impact business success directly.

While many Chief Learning Officers (CLOs) may believe their current approach to workforce readiness addresses these changing demands, most efforts only begin to lay the foundation for a transformation that will directly impact the growth and strength of your business and your employees.

Today’s CLOs have a strategic responsibility to reshape the role and nature of learning to impact business success directly. To achieve this, leaders must focus on six building blocks that are the foundation of a modern learning approach.

Building Block 1: Moment of Need

Modern learning initiatives are designed with the end in mind: How does the initial learning experience tie directly to the moment-of-need? In this model, learning is embedded in the daily lives of your employees, who transition from consumers of learning content to active participants. For example, a salesperson who can find out the best ways to handle prospect objections just before a meeting and follow up by sharing a “win” story after the sale. CLOs must embed learning before, during, and after each employee’s moment of need to build a culture of learning, expand learning across the workforce, and impact business results.

Building Block 2: Accessibility

Whether it is delivered through a mobile device, CRM or call center system, email, or other platform, learning must be pervasive, continuous, and easily accessible. As consumers, we expect to find whatever we need, whenever we need it. We watch videos on YouTube to make a new recipe, find the fastest route from A to B using Waze, and see in real time when our favorite TV show drops a new episode on Netflix. The way you support your employees’ learning experience should mirror this same level of accessibility.

Building Block 3: Agility

Using traditional methods, the design and development of learning content and programs takes time. But as the pace of business accelerates and the expectations of your workforce increase, relevance and timeliness become more pressing. Modern learning initiatives accelerate content and program roll out with agile development and deployment tools. CLOs must reduce the complexity of your learning content, eliminate barriers to user engagement and absorption, and enhance learning experiences with timely, relevant, user-generated content.

Building Block 4: Collaboration

Ask any professional what they value about classroom learning and in-person meetings, and most will say engaging with their peers, learning from others, and sharing challenges and experiences. Research shows that experiences that are active, social, contextual, and learner-owned lead to deeper engagement. When CLOs offer efficient, convenient, and engaging learning, they create a community that thrives on solving problems together. In a collaborative environment, employees share best practices, solicit and provide feedback, and become active contributors to the learning initiative.

Building Block 5: Personalization

Every professional’s experience with learning should be relevant, targeted, and add value to the business. Modern CLOs understand that data-driven personalization results in more impactful learning experiences. Both learner profile data and learning experience data can be used to refine and improve ongoing learning and associated outcomes. With an increased focus on data-driven learning, organizations can leverage automation and AI to improve the learners’ experience, ensure adoption and engagement, and achieve meaningful business results that can be tied to learning initiatives.

Building Block 6: Learning Champions

To build a culture of learning, managers across the organization—and company leadership—should think of learning as a fundamental part of their tool box, one that is critical to supporting business initiatives and driving performance improvements. Experiential learning and sharing best practices, collaborative learning, reinforcement learning, skill development, and team learning are critical capabilities, not just for L&D, but for long-term company growth. CLO can build momentum and support for initiatives by providing ways for leaders across the organization to own, create, and facilitate learning experiences for their individual teams.

Fostering a Modern Culture of Learning

In a world of near constant business disruption, organizations must foster an unprecedented level of agility to remain competitive long-term. Forward-looking CLOs are moving beyond legacy learning models to ensure employees are able to access critical content, share information, facilitate more efficient collaboration, and improve productivity. They’re enabling true readiness with learning experiences that help employees get what they need, when they need it, wherever they are.

Learn More

To learn more about building a culture of learning, download our new eBook: 6 Priorities of a Modern CLO.


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