Creating a learning vision
A lot of the companies that contact us are currently implementing a learning strategy. Often this implementation of a learning strategy goes hand in hand with implementing a certain level of digitalisation. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, all those companies have already taken some steps toward the digitalisation of learning. The pandemic created specific problems which needed a swift response in order to make sure employees were able to do their jobs. This led to an abundance of digitalisation initiatives, and sometimes even the purchase of tools which are not connected to each other. Often, the oversight of the initiatives taken, was lost, and different solutions for the same problem were almost simultaneously implemented by different people or departments. Relevant information is often lost in this maze of well-meant initiatives and solutions.
To create and implement a good learning strategy, you need more than some standalone initiatives. One of the first and most important steps in creating a good learning strategy is creating a vision. You need to determine your company’s view on learning and most importantly what you want to achieve with learning. This vision is an ideal situation you hope to achieve in the distant future. Think of it as the destination on a journey.
From vision to strategy
In this fast-paced world, stagnation often implies regression. So, to reach that destination, you’ll need to move around. Now, think about an actual journey. How are you going to travel towards your destination? Will you go by bike, car, train …? Maybe you choose different roads for each mode of transportation?
You need to learn to think about learning in the same way. How do you want to reach your vision, your ideal situation? Will you emphasize synchronous or asynchronous learning, formal or informal learning, individual learning or learning with peers…? Ofcourse, there is no such thing as ‘one correct way’. All decisions are good if they’re clear and well thought out and fit your organisation. You’ll need to think of how you want to implement each form of learning in your organisation and how you’ll organise them.
Acting on your learning strategy
By now, you know a lot about your learning strategies. You know what your ideal situation is and how you want to get there. However, there’s more you need to do. You want everybody on those roads to arrive safely at their destination. That’s why we need to add some measures. On the roads we’ll need some safe entrances and exits, traffic lights, police checkpoints … The same will be true in your learning strategy. You want all employees to find their way in the wide selection of learning trajectories, trainings, learning materials … To accomplish this, you need to implement processes and agreements. Processes describe the steps people must take to accomplish a certain goal.
For example, think of the process of enrolment:
- Is everybody allowed to enrol for each training?
- In which tool do employees enrol? Or is this done via email?
- Are there any approval workflows?
- How do employees get confirmation of their enrolment?
Agreements are simple rules that give clarity about learning and how to handle it in the organization.
Below are some examples:
- Do employees need to register their learning time? If so, where do they do that? What is considered as learning time? Do they register both their formal and informal learning time?
- In a production environment: are there any rules about smartphone use on the production floor? What if employees need their phones for learning?
A vision, a strategy and processes are three important elements to think about learning in a structured way in your organisation. Know where you want to go, how you want to reach that destination and how everyone involved finds their way. This should be clear before you start implementing tools or quick ways to handle pressing issues.
To emphasize the importance of a vision, a goal, here are two quotes that we would like you to take home.
- Vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare – Japanese proverb
- Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. – Joel Arthur Barker
Interested in how we can support your organization with creating your vision and implementing your learning strategy? Let’s grab a coffee!