10 Ideas to Inspire Learning at Work

I don’t know about you but mandated workplace learning fails to inspire me anymore.

Whether it’s completing annual compliance e-learning programs on a Learning Management System or being told to attend a training course to learn a new skill, service or product that is not directly or immediately relevant to my work, I’m really not interested.

I know I’m not alone here.

In the workplace, the words ‘mandated’ and ‘learning’ must never be in the same sentence together because they cancel each other out.

One is determined through control and direction, while the other favors autonomy, engagement and openness.

I know which I’d rather have.

It’s a pity that some organisational teams responsible for employee learning continue to create and then roll out programs from the position of control, rather than consider collaborative practices that allow for employees to share their own knowledge and experiences with each other.

What can you do to prevent the default from developing yet another boring course for your employees?

Here are 10 ideas for how you can inspire your employees to learn from each other and with each other in the workplace:

Banish the word ‘mandatory’ from your vocabulary when speaking about any workplace learning programs.

Explore creative solutions that you may not have otherwise considered for employee development. We know that sometimes it’s easier to develop courses that ‘tick a box’ but we don’t have to deploy the same when it comes to our thinking.

Think back the best learning experience in your life and consider why it worked for you. Incorporate the elements of these into your solution so that you can engender similar emotions.

Come up with something “left-field” that hasn’t been done before. Wow your employees with something bold, exciting and memorable that get them talking and relating with each other.

Change your thinking about how you design your learning program. It does not need to fit your Learning Management System (LMS). Design to connect people not technology.

Incorporate an experience into your program that allows for practical, engaging interactions with people both online and offline to make learning memorable and transformative.

Find ways for people to share their stories and experiences together.

Make learning part of their daily workflow and not separate or additional to it. It must be seamless.

Allow for self-discovery and self-direction by encouraging your employees to express themselves in their own unique ways.

Respect your employees. Don’t waste their time. Make it worth their effort.

What do you think? What other ideas do you have to inspire learning from each other and with each other at work?

About the author – Helen Blunden:

Helen is the founder of Activate Learning Solutions and Third Place a social networking and co-working group for Australian Learning and Development professionals).

She has over 24 years experience in learning and development across private, public and not-for-profit organisations. With a specialty in performance consulting and social learning, Helen believes that workplace learning is integral to business success. She has a passion for enabling people to learn beyond the classroom through networks and communities that drive collaboration, co-operation and meaning within their organisation. She uses social and informal learning through effective use of enterprise social networking and collaboration tools and platforms and is an advocate of “working out loud” on her blog.

Follow Helen on Twitter @ActivateLearn

Check out Active Learning Solutions

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