Crowd-source learning

by Cameron Edmond17 Jul 2013

Despite their best efforts, many L&D professionals are failing to integrate learning into the workplace – an important factor in improving productivity, eLearning provider IMC stated.

An IMC-supported report from Towards Maturity found that 94% of L&D professionals wish to speed-up the integration of learning into the workplace, but only 23% achieve this. In addition, 95% are attempting to improve the sharing of good practice, with just 25% achieving it.

Ninety-two per cent wish to increase their ability to adapt and react to business change, but only 25% achieve this. The implementation of new products and processes through technology is sought after by 90%, with 45% achieving.

In order to integrate more learning initiatives into the workflow of businesses, Towards Maturity have outlined areas that can be focused on to reap the benefits of a learning workforce.

The use of job aids – repositories of information that can be referred back to by confused or unsure employees  is recognised as a key method of L&D, but it goes beyond an employee handbook.

Videos, podcasts, intranet pages or anything else you can think of are all potential avenues for distributing key information to employees. The important thing is that the information is concise and easy to access at all times.

The study found that organisations with mobile strategies were more likely to utilise job aids. Information these job aids may include can range from process flow and diagnostics, to reminders and general hints and tips.

Managers need to consider the readability of their job aids, and also exactly what employees may need – the aids must be concise to ensure employees can quickly find the information they are looking for.

Of greater interest is the integration of a “Web 2.0” line of thinking into the development of job aids.

Web 2.0 refers to the paradigm shift that occurred online in which consumers became creators of content as well. Wikipedia, Youtube and even message boards are all examples of this process.

Allowing employees to generate their own blogs, videos or any other didactic pieces about their experiences in the workplace is invaluable. No one knows the problems your employees face better than they do, and allowing for a certain degree of the teaching content in the workplace to be developed by them can give a new perspective, and stop employees from making the same mistakes as their colleagues.

Another avenue is a wiki on your company, built by your employees. Not only does this foster team work and community engagement, it also provides a strong basis of information for those coming into the organisation.

Whatever your method of distribution or creation, make sure your employees are aware of it and encourage them to use it. Not only will this boost your employer brand, it also means the time and effort put into generating these aids is not wasted.

Prepare managers for the culture that will spring out of an informed workplace, as their duties will likely evolve with it.

Further tips on learning transfer best practice can be found in this opinion article.

What do you think of a culture of learning, and how much reign should employees be given to it? How do you ensure your employees are always learning and developing in the workplace?



  • by Alison Hucks 17/07/2013 5:32:50 PM

    Great article! Learning and development plays such a critical role in any business. The power of innovation, social media and technology is driving the collaborative process of L&D to new levels; and indeed will continue to do so. Naturally, it's important that business ensures that supporting policies keep pace with these initiatives.

  • by Ayesha Shroff 19/07/2013 12:03:19 AM

    It is so important that learning and development is peppered through the everyday experience of employees. It's not just a formal sit down or play of a video. Fostering a culture of sharing and learning is invaluable!

Most Read