The term ‘Google it’ was officially added to the Oxford English dictionary in 2006 and is used by most people numerous times a day. Before the early 00s, a discussion around a pub table about who invented the lightbulb or how many US presidents have there been could have lasted for hours. Now we have infinite knowledge at our fingertips and no longer need to wonder about… well, anything really.
And it’s not only facts that we can quickly find the answers to. Want to learn how to grow vegetables in your back garden? How to change a tyre? How to cook the perfect steak? Google it. Google it. Google it. Tutorials, step-by-step instructions, podcasts – they’re all available whenever and wherever we are.
So why are things so different when it comes to learning at work?
It’s been ingrained into us for a long time that learning and development at work is a chore, a mandatory part of training on the job that employees must begrudgingly sit through so that managers can tick a box and HR can have it on record that everyone is up to date with all learning materials. L&D got a bad reputation from years of low budget training videos and PPTs of cringeworthy team building exercises, and bad reps can be difficult to shake.
It seems we still can’t transfer the skill we all possess of efficiently finding answers to questions outside of the office into our workplace learning, but it’s not too late to change the way employers and employees feel about L&D and soon, acquiring new skills and information at work will become as instinctive as Googling how to make the perfect banana bread.
Are attitudes about workplace learning changing?
The good news here is that outlooks are beginning to change in the L&D sphere. We know from past blogs that employees now actually want to learn and upskill at work. The pandemic gave people a fresh outlook on their work and career options and most employees want to grow and to develop professionally in order to climb the career ladder. This puts employers looking to up their L&D game in a great position as employees are generally in a good frame of mind to embark on a beneficial learning journey.
The next hurdle is finding the best ways to deliver learning to your workforce.
Remember, everyone learns differently
There’s no right or wrong answer in terms of the most effective way to deliver learning materials or content to your team. Everyone consumes information differently, and you know your workforce better than anyone. You might have a whole team of people who learn best whilst standing on their heads or doing yoga – whatever gets your team consuming information that they can apply to their roles and use for their current and future positions should be greatly encouraged.
The main thing here is to work hard to instil a learning culture that drives your employees to want to find the answers or gain new information. If they don’t know how to do something, or have no idea what something means, allow them access to a place where they can easily find the answer. Giving your workforce the tools to take it upon themselves to obtain more knowledge and learn new skills whilst being able to track their own progress and demonstrate to you, their employer, that they are increasing their skillset and growing professionally, will totally transform L&D across your organisation.
Gone are the days of sitting in a stuffy room listening to a stranger talk about how ‘team work makes the dream work’ – we’re living in a time where people can take real accountability for their success and progression within your business.
How thirst can help
thirst is an intuitive learning platform that encourages employees to create and craft their own learning journey. Content will quickly become tailored to each individual based on what they are learning and plan to learn, and how they prefer to consume information.
Employee dashboards will show them their progress which will help keep them on track and motivated, and our interactive social features allow team members to share interesting and beneficial content with their colleagues and comment their knowledge and opinion. Following other team members and individuals within the business means users will begin to see the content which has been commented on or shared by those they are following surfaced more frequently on their dashboards so they can be inspired and motivated by what their teammates are up to and interested in.
By creating a learning community within your organisation, you are giving yourself and your team members the best chance of L&D success, and not only will your team be consistently adding to their skillset, but you’ll be able to start closing any skills gaps within your organisation.
Implementing an online learning platform that offers intuitive reporting and machine learning will give you a great insight into how each of your employees prefer to digest learning content. This is especially useful for any internal L&D you might need to deliver as thirst will tell you the most effective and beneficial way to do so based on the preferences of your employees. Say goodbye to the days of your employees dragging their feet along the corridors to a conference room only to nod off or look totally disengaged with what they’re being ‘taught.’ You can make big changes based on the new found knowledge you have about your workforce.
So, what now?
Firstly, giving your employees the ability to take the driving seat on their own development journey is a sure-fire way to get them excited about the road ahead. Allowing them access to a platform that has everything they need to progress within your organisation gives them the motivation to succeed and the knowledge and power to do so.
Creating and instilling a learning culture within your organisation will mean support and encouragement for each and every team member, and if you manage to accomplish a real L&D ethos, your employees and your business will change in ways you might never have imagined.