Let your people be the compass
Shaping the future of learning
I love attending the AHRI National Convention. It’s a wonderful few days of conversations, insights, and figuring out who we are as an industry, what really matters to us and where we need to turn our attention in the year to come.
As a non-profit organisation, we are driven by the impact that learning can create – for both an individual and the businesses they work for. This year we felt a real strong shift from thinking of employees as a ‘workforce’ to the whole ‘human’.
It’s not rocket science, but it forces us to think about all aspects of our lives and the way we as individuals value and then prioritise our time across work, family, our eco-systems and self. Doing that for not just ourselves, but also our people means we can bring the whole person into focus.
And that goes for how we design our workplace learning. Whether it’s helping a new starter understand their workplace, helping others already in role to develop new skills or supporting the eco-systems that an organisation needs to keep meeting the changes of their workforce and marketplace.
The 5 program themes of AHRI 2019 - lead, explore, uncover, share and grow stimulated both thought and conversation – reminded us all that we are social, behavioural and emotional animals – it is ok to be human. Even in today’s technologically driven world.
And as humans, the quality of our conversations and relationships – in and out of the work place - can have a profound effect on how we engage and perform. Let’s not underestimate the value of building a relationship to really impact the performance of our businesses.
In our latest learning insights report, we explore the idea of “micro personal networks”. In short, this is the way that people all over the world told us they wanted to learn: in short, sharp, personalised and social bursts. More of a mindset than a prescriptive approach, it demands that as organisations we need to know, respect and understand our employees expectations. Technology doesn’t even factor - at least, not at first. Only once we’re clear on goals and what will help employees meet their personal career objectives – as well as what the business needs for the future - should we introduce technology as a tool to help us creates those environments where they can thrive.
Adopting a micro personal networking approach will challenge our thinking on how we can deliver learning experiences that work for both us and our organisations. We need to make sure we have a clear set of goals and outcomes that let’s us measure success of the learning – and then we need to make sure we keep an eye on those metrics to make sure that what we have put in place is actually being used and delivering what we expected.
As we start to explore this with the organisations we work with, we are taking lessons from the technologies that are used to personalise social media and shopping. For example, scoping out the impact a personalised recommendation or nudge from a colleague can have on what we access and learn – and therefore ultimately influencing our careers and whole lives.
As part of the City and Guilds Group – a global charity, specialising in all kinds of skills development from corporate learning, qualifications and assessment to resources and technical training, we operate in over 100 countries. Our collective purpose ever since we were established 140 years ago is to help people get into their first job, helping them develop on the job, or helping them progress onto the next job. It’s through our unerring commitment to people, and what it means to be human in and outside of work that we’ve been around this long. Taking a micro, personal, network approach to how we develop and deliver learning experiences for the future will enable us to leverage the phenomenal and ever-increasing opportunity of technology, without losing what is most important.
- Lara Stewart