Research in human capital management has established that personal and career development are important motivators in attracting and retaining talented people. Building a culture of learning is now a competitive necessity in most industries as companies vie for a shrinking pool of skilled and talented workers.
What Employees Want
A seismic shift is underway in corporate learning. Companies are scrambling to catch up with employee expectations, which include an always-on, continuous learning experience embedded in daily work. Employees now expect an experience that mirrors the way they absorb information in their everyday lives – a self-directed approach that allows them to pursue their interests and needs.
Savvy employees understand the connectivity between learning and income, and will pursue learning environments that support their growth. If they don’t find development opportunities in your organization, they will move on.
Companies stuck in a compliance-oriented formal training mode will find themselves at a disadvantage in the war for talent.
New Learning Platforms
Modern, cloud-based learning management systems provide all the technology necessary to meet the challenge. Mobile technology, e-learning, and interactive video give you the capability to create learning that is many times more effective than traditional training and deliver it anytime and anywhere. The way we source and conduct learning has changed.
- The growth of MOOCs and online learning providers has made it possible to learn just about anything online at little or no cost.
- Innovations in creative tools for learning content has made dynamic, active learning universally available and more affordable.
- New frameworks like xAPI create new possibilities for tracking and analyzing learning activities. Coupled with predictive analytics, xAPI can anticipate and suggest potential learning paths based on learner behavior.
- Content curation and social media tools make it easy for people in your organization and your extended enterprise to acquire and share learning.
- Advanced analytics make it easier than ever to evaluate the financial impact of learning on the organization.
If you want to build a robust company culture, you will need to communicate your purpose, principles, and values across your organization, in everything you do – including your learning management system.
Without that branding, your LMS will be just another boring business software program. Develop the concept that you value people and support their development. Embed that message into your learning platform to create the foundation for a learning culture.
Effective branding requires more than a logo and corporate colors. It requires careful consideration of every message, every page, and every user action. Let us offer a few things to consider in your branding effort.
Take a lesson from marketing: colors affect our moods, and can accentuate or block certain feelings. Learn about the psychology of color and how to use it to create a user environment. For a quick introduction, try Your True Colors: A Practical Guide to Color Psychology by Catherine Shovlin.
Make your color schemes culturally appropriate. If in doubt, get the input of your local users.
Make every page and message about the learner, not the company. Another lesson from marketing: show, don’t tell. Which message do you think will resonate with your employees?
“We strive to design learning activities specific to your needs. Here is your list of suggested activities.” or
“Based on what you have done so far, we think you might like these activities. If not, click here to search for what you really want.”
Every label is an opportunity to engage learners. For example, instead of “Completed Lessons,” try “My Accomplishments,” or “My Achievements.”
Use gamification to engage users. Progress bars and achievement badges may seem silly, but they work. Audio reinforcement works, too. Try a pleasant chime at the completion of a successful assessment. These simple techniques bypass our rational brains and connect directly to our emotions.
Above all, be authentic. Culture isn’t what you say it is – it is what you do. Make sure your branding isn’t just slogans, but reflects real values.
Test your ideas on people. If they don’t work, try a different idea.
Don’t let your branding go stale. Update it periodically to maintain interest and let your people know you pay attention.
Let’s leave stuffy slogans and corporate speak behind. Give yourself and your learners flexibility to have a little fun.
1. Global Human Capital Trends 2016. Deloitte University Press.
Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.