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The PeopleFluent Guide to Creating a Continuous Learning Program

Interested in building a next-generation learning program? 75.6% of respondents to PeopleFluent’s State of Continuous Learning survey are too. This Guide presents 4-steps to help your business move away from dated, event-based learning and shift to a more strategic, modern approach. Download now!

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The PeopleFluent Guide to Creating a Continuous Learning Program

Organizations are grappling with how to best create learning programs that support their employees and drive business success. In order to accomplish these goals and gain maximum value from learning programs, businesses must move away from archaic, event-based learning models and shift to a more strategic, modern approach.

Many organizations believe that continuous learning is the answer to their corporate learning challenges. In fact, 75.6% of the respondents to PeopleFluent’s State of Continuous Learning survey indicated that they are implementing continuous learning in some way in their organizations. This model, when powered by the right strategy and technology, enables employees to develop and improve their skills and knowledge, and allows leaders to align employee learning and performance to overarching business goals. Continuous learning empowers employees to perform effectively and adapt to changes in the workplace. Interested in building a next-generation learning program? We’ve leveraged data from our exclusive research report, “The Future of Workplace Learning is Now: Insights Into Continuous Learning in the Workplace” to help you get started. Here is what we found:

DEFINE THE GOALS OF YOUR LEARNING PROGRAM

Do you want to help employees be more successful in their current roles? Do you have specific compliancebased skills or activities you need certain job roles to complete? Can your program support leadership development? Begin building a program that will encourage and reinforce the behaviors you want employees to learn and exhibit in order to reach the goals your organization is most interested in. Also, remember that your learning program can support multiple goals; it’s just as important for you to prioritize them. For example, 45% of our survey respondents cite helping employees improve performance in their current positions as a goal, while 42% consider helping employees develop or grow into a new role, such as a promotion, as a goal. There is no reason that a continuous learning program can’t accomplish both things; first, tie learning to employee performance data to help identify and offer opportunities for workers to acquire or sharpen skills that help them in their short term, then create more talent-development-focused content for identified future leaders and for employees who are poised for promotion. Your continuous learning program can help your workforce accomplish many things; go into the strategy and creation process knowing exactly what you want your program to accomplish for both the employees who participate and the organization itself.

CREATE A PROGRAM STRUCTURE THAT SUPPORTS YOUR GOALS

We all know how much managers matter to employee engagement and success. Yet, a Harris Interactive poll found that an alarmingly high percentage (58%) of new managers never receive any management training. The fact is, not every manager innately understands how to be a good coach. Video capability in your performance management solution can help here. With targeted video and group experiences, you can upload important lessons and make them accessible for busy leaders at key moments.A final thought on structure: if you’re using learning to help shape employee skillsets and behaviors to drive organizational success (which you should be doing), then you need to make sure that your learning program and goals align with business goals for teams or departments, as well as the business as a whole. Just over half of our survey respondents (51.2%) structured their continuous learning with this alignment in mind, so organizations are struggling to make this concept a reality.

USE YOUR PEOPLE RESOURCES

Continuous learning is successful in part because it utilizes the experience and expertise of your highperforming employees – if you have the right tools in place to take advantage of these people resources. Our survey showed that organizations recognize the value of employee experience and expertise. While live courses, seminars, and conferences are still popular learning techniques, next-generation learning programs aim to bolster these learning events with more frequent and informal learning opportunities that utilize the skillsets of their own leaders. In particular, on the job training (used by 60.5% of our survey respondents), and on the job mentoring and coaching (used by 51.7% of our job respondents) are useful ways to continue instilling skills and lessons. There are more ways to utilize these people resources. Digital Learning – using video, social networks, podcasts, and next-generation technologies to connect employees to their entire workforce – can empower your workforce to access a wealth of experience and information that they might not have available to them regularly. For example, remote workers who might not be in the office every day, but who have decades of experience, can be available to other workers through social networks for quick, informal instruction. Employees can also create and share instructional videos that viewers can access on demand as needed. Digital learning is the tool that enables organizations to better leverage their people to facilitate true informal, continuous learning. Investing in a learning management system that offers digital learning tools is a great way to maximize the value of your people resources and train your younger workers in ways that they will best respond to. More than 40% of our respondents are implementing digital learning tools to connect and empower employees. Be at the forefront of this important trend. Use your most valuable people to your advantage; record them performing certain tasks or demonstrating a particular skill; connect employees through social networks or other digital communication mediums; develop mentorship and other collaborative opportunities to better disseminate the information and behaviors you value.

INVEST IN A NEXT-GENERATION LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Not all learning management solutions are created equal. In order to create a successful continuous learning program, your learning solution should not only support digital learning, including online courses, on-demand content, video, social networking and more, but it should also empower you to connect performance and business data and better align the program to goals. It should also enable you to measure the progress of those goals. PeopleFluent believes that the future of corporate learning is collaborative and continuous – and we’ve built a learning management system that reflects that belief and empowers our clients to build next-generation learning programs.