Learning – the hard way?

One of the biggest lies peddled in life is that people like change. Most find it extremely uncomfortable.

A common challenge facing many organizations today is balancing the learning preferences of a mixed generation team. Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y employees all have distinctive learning preferences. Many budget holders and responsible line managers are from the former two and many team members the latter two. What is good for you may well not be what I understand or relate to. How are companies coping with this very real and potentially risky period of transition in learning delivery?

The answer is, variably. Traditional classroom learning still constitutes a very large proportion of L&D budget demand however, the explosive growth in other fulfilment methods make careful consideration of the best way forward, imperative.

The root cause of the change cannot be isolated. The generational spread blended with technological advance, budgetary constraint, green travel policies, turbulent economic conditions and increased terror threat is a powerful brew. Marketing- savvy learning enablement companies selling good news stories about innovative delivery mechanisms is the cherry on top. The net result; much hand wringing from both customer and provider perspectives.

Evaluate learning impact – why bother?

An interesting aspect of Generation Y- style learning is an insatiable demand for content married to a reluctance to demonstrate what has been learned. In other words, inform me but don’t challenge me. This means providers ramp up content volume and innovative delivery mechanisms whilst often being worse placed to determine the impact of the learning. Busy programmes with unclear outcomes are becoming more common.

Effective adoption of new skills, processes and behaviours

Experience shows there is no silver bullet to effective adoption of new skills, processes and behaviours. A content rich LMS is no more the answer than a Boot Camp for new sales people. One of the biggest lies peddled in life is that people like change. Most find it extremely uncomfortable.

The secret to creating better performance is no secret at all. It takes good planning, clarity of purpose, a blend of delivery mechanisms, top management engagement and constant reinforcement.

If you face challenges in deciding exactly how best to increase your organization’s chances of maintaining forward momentum in developing its people we’d love to talk with you.