Updated: Jun 2
Do any of the following statements resonate with you?
Lack of Opportunities for Personal Development for employees: Are your employees unable to prioritize their own personal development because of limited time, resulting in stagnation and a lack of skill growth?
Hindered Adaptability to Change: Are you facing challenges in preparing your workforce for technological advancements, market shifts, or changing job requirements due to the lack of time for learning?
Inability to Keep Up with Industry Changes: Are your employees falling behind in acquiring new knowledge and skills because they lack the time to stay updated with industry trends and advancements?
Employees Struggling to Find Time for Learning: Are your employees finding it challenging to dedicate time for learning due to their busy work schedules and pressing deadlines?
If you are nodding in agreement, this article is for you. Read on to understand what you can do to solve these challenges and create a more conducive learning environment within your organization.
What is the problem?
The time crunch faced by professionals is not imaginary but backed by research. Studies reveal that, on average, employees have a mere 24 minutes of available time for learning within a 40-hour workweek. The demands of deadlines and pressing work matters often overshadow the priority of learning.
Nevertheless, employees have a genuine desire to grow and develop in their roles. They yearn for more frequent learning opportunities and the acquisition of skills that will safeguard their careers in an ever-evolving landscape.
If learning and development managers were granted three wishes, they might ask for more time, enhanced learning opportunities, and the ability to future-proof their employees' careers. Time management is a significant pain point in the industry, as finding dedicated moments for employee learning can be challenging.
One effective solution is to invest in customized elearning content development. By tailoring learning materials to the specific needs of your employees and organization, you can maximize engagement and efficiency. Customized elearning allows for flexibility, enabling employees to learn at their own pace and fit learning into their schedules.
Additionally, consider implementing dedicated learning time for employees. Set aside regular periods where employees can focus solely on their learning and skill development. This dedicated time shows your commitment to their growth and provides them with the necessary space to invest in their personal and professional development.
Why does Time matter?
Did you know that opportunities to learn and grow are the ultimate fuel for an extraordinary work culture? Employees themselves have spoken, and they declare that learning is the No. 1 driver of creating a fantastic workplace.
In today's rapidly evolving world, skills are changing at lightning speed. Here's a jaw-dropping fact: employees who feel their skills aren't utilized effectively in their current job are a whopping 10 times more likely to embark on a job hunt!
But hold on, there's a game-changer: when they're provided with the chance to learn the skills needed to stay relevant, they become more inclined to stay put. It's a win-win! What's even more mind-blowing is that companies offering continuous skill development are a staggering 7.2 times more likely to engage and retain their prized employees.
Here's the icing on the cake: employees who dedicate time to learning at work experience a remarkable shift. They feel less stressed and more accomplished, productive, and successful. It's like unlocking a secret recipe for a happy and thriving workforce.
Two types of Workplace Learning
Did you know that a recent LinkedIn study revealed the number one challenge in workplace learning? It's the notorious lack of time!
So, how can organizations tackle this time crunch and make learning a blast? The answer lies in offering flexible self-paced learning adventures and weaving learning seamlessly into the flow of work. By embracing these exciting approaches, organizations can cater to learners' preferences, boost engagement, and unleash the power of effective learning. It's time to turn workplace learning into a thrilling and productive journey! In the workplace, two primary forms of learning emerge:
Scheduled Learning Time
Scheduled learning time refers to a designated period within employees' work schedules that is specifically allocated for engaging in learning activities, including those facilitated through eLearning content development. It is a structured approach where employees are encouraged to set aside dedicated time for acquiring new knowledge, honing skills, and enhancing their professional growth.
During these scheduled learning sessions, employees may engage with various learning resources, such as eLearning courses, online modules, or interactive digital content, tailored to their specific learning objectives.
By integrating scheduled learning time and incorporating eLearning content development, organizations can effectively prioritize employee development, foster a culture of continuous learning, and provide accessible and engaging learning experiences for their workforce.
Example: A software development company invests in eLearning content development to offer a monthly scheduled eLearning course called "Tech Talk Academy." This engaging online program provides employees with a dedicated time slot to participate in virtual learning sessions where they can explore the latest technologies and industry trends.
Led by expert instructors, the eLearning content is carefully crafted to deliver interactive modules, practical examples, and opportunities for collaborative discussions. Through the scheduled sessions of "Tech Talk Academy," employees have the chance to expand their knowledge, enhance their skills, and stay up-to-date in their field, all while fostering a culture of continuous learning within the company.
Learning in the flow of work
Learning in the flow is a more flexible and dynamic approach to workplace learning. It involves integrating learning activities seamlessly into employees' daily work routines and tasks, by providing them with access to relevant resources, tools like a microlearning solution, and knowledge exactly when and where they need it, enabling continuous learning and skill development as part of their regular workflow.
Curious to see if this concept had legs, Thinkdom decided to conduct a poll among a community of learning professionals. And guess what? The results were not so surprising!
A whopping 33% of the voters enthusiastically chose the option of Integrating L&D into daily work. It's clear that the concept struck a chord, showcasing the growing recognition for seamlessly blending learning with everyday tasks.
By embedding learning opportunities within work tasks, employees can acquire new information, improve skills, and solve problems in real-time, enhancing their performance and productivity. This approach recognizes that learning should not be a separate event but an ongoing process integrated into the natural flow of work activities.
Example: A retail organization revolutionizes the induction and onboarding process for new hires by implementing a customized onboarding programme. This programme offers a series of short, interactive modules focused on product knowledge, customer service skills, and effective selling techniques. During their breaks or downtime on the shop floor, new sales associates can easily access the app on their mobile devices, enabling them to learn and immediately apply new strategies while interacting with customers.
This seamless integration of learning into their daily work routine not only enhances their skills but also keeps them engaged in a fun and practical manner. By utilizing eLearning content development and mobile learning solutions, the retail organization empowers new hires to learn at their own pace, ensuring a smooth onboarding process and setting them up for success in their roles.
We would love to know how you would like to support your employees in dedicating more time for learning!
Tips & Tricks to creating Dedicated Learning Time for your employees
Get managers on board
To foster a culture of learning, managers play a crucial role. When managers prioritize learning and actively support their employees' development, it sends a powerful message. They can have regular conversations about career goals, recommend relevant training, and set an example by dedicating time to their own learning.
Align learning with career goals
Help employees see the direct relevance of learning to their career growth. Connect learning opportunities to their career goals and personal interests. When employees understand the benefits and impact on their professional development, they are more likely to prioritize and make time for learning. Schedule a fixed learning time according to their goals, so employees can proactively engage in learning activities that directly contribute to their career advancement.
Make it official with scheduled learning time
Which leads us to scheduling learning time. It’s important that you block out dedicated learning time on employees' calendars, just like any other meeting. By incorporating learning sessions into the company calendar, it becomes an official commitment that employees can't miss. Whether it's an hour a month or a quarterly session, scheduling reinforces the importance of learning.
Harness the competitive spirit of your workforce and transform learning into an exciting game-like experience. Implement eLearning gamification by organizing an office-wide competition where employees earn learning credits, unlock achievement badges, and track their hours of dedicated learning. Celebrate the achievements of top learners with special recognition, enticing monetary incentives, or well-deserved time off. By infusing gamification elements, you'll ignite engagement, motivation, and a vibrant learning culture within your organization.
Streamline meetings and limit interruptions
Respect employees' time by optimizing meetings and minimizing interruptions. Shorten meetings whenever possible, even by just a few minutes, to free up valuable time for focused work and learning. Encourage a culture of mindful communication and reduce unnecessary emails that distract employees from their core responsibilities.
Foster community-based learning
Encourage collaborative learning experiences by creating opportunities for employees to learn together. This can involve scheduling learning time for group training sessions followed by discussions, asynchronous learning with subsequent online chats, or participation in online learning communities. The sense of shared learning and collective growth enhances engagement and success within teams.
How employees can schedule time for learning
From effective time management techniques to fostering a learning-centric mindset, here are approaches that can empower individuals to make learning a priority and dedicate time to it: -
Encourage metacognition and mindfulness
Promote the practice of staying present on the job, provide opportunities to learn from experts, encourage employees to inquire about product features, solicit feedback, and create a supportive environment for learning experiences during work interactions.
Facilitate the creation of a to-learn list
Encourage employees to maintain a list of concepts, thoughts, practices, and vocabulary they want to explore. Support them in revisiting the list during spare moments to reflect and delve into learning opportunities.
Leverage tech-enabled tools and resources
Introduce and promote the use of tech-enabled tools like Google's Explore that provide context-relevant suggestions. Help employees understand the value of these tips and how they can enhance their learning experiences.
Curate high-quality newsletters and resources
Provide recommendations and curate a list of high-quality newsletters and resources that are relevant to employees' learning goals and professional development. Regularly share these resources with the team and encourage them to subscribe to relevant newsletters and unsubscribe from irrelevant ones.
Foster a collaborative learning culture
Create and nurture learning channels within platforms like SharePoint or Slack, where employees can actively participate and share relevant content. Encourage L&D managers and subject matter experts to contribute valuable insights, provide context, and tag relevant individuals to foster engagement and collaborative learning experiences.
Tips to Create More Learning Time at Work, with a focus on eLearning content development
Back in 2018, Josh Bersin coined the term "Learning in the flow of work," revolutionizing how we approach workplace learning. This concept embodies the idea that employees should have seamless access to the right knowledge at the right time, effortlessly supporting their learning goals and needs without disrupting their daily workflow.
Step 1: Start with elearning content development & design
To enable the powerful concept of Learning in the Flow of Work (LIFOW), traditional "push" approaches won't cut it. L&D teams must let go of dictating where, what, and how employees should learn. Instead, embrace these essential pillars in your LIFOW elearning content development:
On-demand: Revamp your course structures with responsive designs, allowing learners to access elearning content anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Flexibility is the name of the game!
Accessible: When it comes to eLearning content development, prioritizing high accessibility is key. It's important to ensure that all employees can effortlessly access and consume the content, regardless of their location or device. By keeping accessibility at the forefront of the development process, you can guarantee that your eLearning materials are readily available and easily digestible for every learner, fostering a seamless and inclusive learning experience.
Carefully curated: Infuse your elearning content development with thoughtfully curated content, tailored to meet learner objectives. By providing unique and relevant materials, you enhance engagement and relevance.
Customized learning paths: Empower learners to embark on personalized elearning journeys. Enable learner autonomy in eLearning content development by designing courses that accommodate individual preferences and objectives, allowing learners to craft their unique paths.
Remember, the glue that binds these design considerations together is learner support. Ensure your design includes robust support structures to assist hybrid workforce learners whenever and wherever they need it.
By adopting these design considerations, you'll pave the way for a seamless and effective LIFOW experience. Embrace the power of accessibility, customization, and curated elearning content development, all while providing unwavering learner support. Get ready to witness the transformative impact of LIFOW on your organization's learning journey!
Step 2: Use these ideas to implement LIFOW
To create a comprehensive Learning in the Flow of Work (LIFOW) program, it's time to implement these game-changing strategies:
Mobile Learning Solutions: Harness the power of mLearning, where learning becomes accessible anytime, anywhere. Leverage small footprint content that is optimized for mobile devices, ensuring learners can engage with it seamlessly.
Microlearning Solution: Embrace bite-sized learning content that caters to the moment of need. Short and focused learning nuggets provide just the right knowledge at the right time.
Video-based learning: Enter the world of video based learning (VBL) and interactive video-based learning (IVBL). These engaging formats act as performance support tools (PSTs), enabling on-the-job learning and serving as microlearning resources within the broader LIFOW strategy.
Performance Support Tools and Job Aids: In busy hybrid workplaces, pausing work for dedicated learning time may not be feasible. Embrace performance support tools (PSTs) and other job aids like PDF documents, "how-to" videos, cheat sheets, and templates. These resources provide quick access to the information needed to tackle tasks effectively.
Curated elearning content library: Curate a treasure trove of well-organized, indexed, and intuitively collated content. This ensures employees have easy access to the right learning materials precisely when they need them, amplifying the effectiveness of your LIFOW strategy.
User-Generated Content: Leverage the magic of user-generated content (UGC). Enable employees to tap into the wealth of experiences and knowledge shared by colleagues and peers. UGC serves as a valuable resource for learning and further enhances the LIFOW journey.
By implementing these dynamic strategies, you'll unlock the true potential of LIFOW and create an environment where learning seamlessly integrates into the flow of work. Get ready to revolutionize learning and empower your workforce like never before!
Practical Examples of In-Flow Learning Support
These relatable examples demonstrate how in-flow learning support can be applied in real-life scenarios, enabling learners to access relevant information and resources seamlessly within their work context.
Build a culture of learning
Building a strong corporate learning culture extends beyond the mere provision of content formats and technology for continuous learning or learning in the flow of work. While these elements are crucial, employees and the organizational culture they create play a vital role as well.
To cultivate a thriving learning culture, it's essential to empower employees to actively share knowledge and expertise while leveraging effective eLearning content development. Consider the following pointers:
Encourage Knowledge Sharing: Create a supportive environment where employees feel empowered to actively share their knowledge and insights through eLearning content development. Encourage contributions to online platforms, discussion forums, and collaborative spaces where employees can exchange valuable information.
Communicate the C-suite's buy-in: Share internal communications that highlight the commitment of the executive leadership team to employee learning and development. This helps reinforce the importance of learning within the organization and showcases the support employees have from top-level management.
Think like a marketer: Align the messaging around learning initiatives with the values and mission of the company. Emphasize how investing in employee learning aligns with the company's commitment to excellence, innovation, and growth. By framing learning as an integral part of the company culture, employees will be more motivated to actively participate in eLearning content development and embrace continuous learning.
Establish Internal Networks: Foster the creation of internal networks that complement eLearning content development. These networks provide opportunities for employees to connect, collaborate, and share their experiences, ideas, and best practices, enhancing the overall learning culture.
Implement Mentorship Programs: Integrate mentorship programs into your eLearning content development strategy. Pair experienced employees with learners seeking guidance, creating a space for knowledge transfer, personalized support, and professional growth.
Leverage Digital Platforms: Utilize LMS and other digital platforms and tools as part of your eLearning content development approach. These platforms can facilitate seamless knowledge exchange, encourage discussions, and provide access to curated eLearning resources, fostering an environment of continuous learning.
Foster a Collaborative Environment: Promote a culture of collaboration, where employees feel comfortable engaging with eLearning content development initiatives. Encourage collaborative projects, peer feedback, and interactive discussions to maximize engagement and create a sense of community.
With a robust learning culture in place, the impact of eLearning content development becomes even more powerful. Employees are not only consumers but also contributors, adding value to the collective knowledge pool and inspiring their peers. This interactive and dynamic approach to learning fuels innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement across the organization.
By placing equal emphasis on eLearning content development and cultivating a supportive learning culture, organizations can create an ecosystem where employees thrive, knowledge flows effortlessly, and collective intelligence propels the entire workforce forward.
In conclusion, learning time matters significantly as it plays a pivotal role in driving a positive work culture. Learning time is not just a mere allocation of hours for skill development; it holds the key to building a positive work culture that thrives on growth, engagement, and employee satisfaction. Let's sum up with details of how learning time contributes to fostering a positive work culture:
Continuous Improvement Mindset: When employees have dedicated time for learning, it cultivates a mindset of continuous improvement. They become more motivated to enhance their skills, knowledge, and capabilities, leading to personal and professional growth. This mindset extends beyond individual development and permeates the work culture, creating a collective commitment to constant learning and advancement
Engagement and Empowerment: Providing learning time demonstrates that organizations value their employees' growth and development. It empowers individuals by giving them the autonomy to explore new areas, acquire new skills, and take charge of their career progression. This sense of empowerment fosters higher levels of engagement, as employees feel invested in their own success and contribute more effectively to the organization's goals.
Adaptive and Agile Workforce: Learning time allows employees to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices. This continuous learning equips employees with the agility to adapt to evolving work environments, embrace change, and contribute to organizational success. eLearning content development ensures that employees have access to up-to-date, relevant, and on-demand learning resources, enabling them to enhance their knowledge and skills in real-time.