One of the major L&D trends for the year is the shift from thinking of learning as made up of individual learning events to learning becoming part of the lifestyle that employees partake in within the organisation.
Learning as a lifestyle is about daily continuous learning. It represents a workplace culture that provides opportunities for employees to learn formally (e.g. classes) as well as informally (e.g. conversations). A culture where learning is integrated into the workflow so people don’t have to leave their work to access the knowledge and expertise that they seek to complete tasks, solve problems or achieve goals. And perhaps most of all, it represents a culture that embraces innovation.
We have a culture of sharing. I believe we’ve all been taught to share since we were young… and some of us probably started first with sharing our toys, then maybe our clothes, a little gossip here and there, and perhaps even test answers (oops). And today, we can look no further than our social media feeds to behold this thriving culture of sharing, in some cases – TMI!
The hallmark of a highly engaged employee is one who is continuously learning. According to Timothy Clark in his book, The Employee Engagement Mindset, when an employee is engaged: “They never graduate, and they don’t want to.”
And the most successful companies get this. To keep employees engaged, we have to keep them engaged to their learning. For this is vital to their growth and ability to create value for themselves and the organisation.
In an ever-changing climate where the only certainty is uncertainty, knowledge provides the constant source of competitive advantage. Successful companies know this, and continuously strive to tap into the collective wisdom of its people to fuel innovation.
Now with the new technologies available, it has become far easier for businesses to identify, capture, collect, store, categorize, share and use information to its advantage. And many companies have leveraged on them with the aim of creating robust knowledge banks that support employee performance.
One key success factor to a strong knowledge bank is inevitably content. For content to be engaging it has to be highly relevant to employees – you don’t want your knowledge bank to turn into a knowledge dump littered with information that will overload them.
Much of collaboration occurs face-to-face, in both formal and informal spaces. But technology has heralded a new form of collaboration too, those that take place in virtual places – on social networks, online forums, intranets, wikis and numerous other social platforms. Technology has made it much easier to work with people across geographies, connect to subject experts, and form communities.
In our personal lives, social collaboration is a blast. We develop art projects together on Pinterest, form our interest groups on Facebook, Facetime our friends to plan our next adventure, and share abundantly across Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.