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The New Business Mantra: 'Always Learning'

Why learn continuously? Experts estimate that 400-800 million jobs will disappear by 2030 because automation technology and artificial intelligence will make their jobs obsolete. Instead, people will be taking on jobs requiring uniquely human skills like creativity and collaboration. To adapt to these roles, we're all going to have to take on an always-learning mindset.

A continuous learning mindset means that you view human intelligence as infinite and believe that you're always able to learn new skills.

As an L&D professional, you need to setup a plan to install and promote a nonstop learning culture. Employees that are provided with multiple learning opportunities in the company are naturally motivated to take their growth and development into their own hands.

In the end, today’s employee craves growth and development. However, according to Forbes, only 42% of workers are always or frequently learning on the job, while a big portion of 39% say that they are NEVER or rarely learning.

Here’re some small action steps you can start taking TODAY to mover closer to becoming an Always-Learning organization:


1) Reinforce a culture of learning through leadership

The behavior of company leaders has a huge influence on the behavior of employees. When they dialogue with their workers, people feel heard and are therefore more encouraged to learn about new ideas to share. 

Set up a learning-friendly culture and acknowledge the personal and career benefits of additional training and your employees will be ready to go.

Also, change the way your company talks about training! Melissa Lamson, President and CEO, Lamson Consulting suggests you can start to use words like learning, growing, or mentoring, so people change their mindset about training and coaching - they should see it as a gift or privilege, not something mandatory!

2) Make learning convenient

Each year, fewer companies are opting for the traditional offsite/in-person training. Truth is, this type of training involves a huge time with no tangible data around the long-term impact on the job. To move towards an “always-learning” culture, L&D departments should offer eLearning courses, online videos and multiple on-demand resources so employees can learn at the moment of need.

Corporate learning is changing to offer on-demand, all -time, access. Modern employees expect to be able to source out training when and where they need it. Having mobile learning courses accessible 24/7 on their phones creates the most optimal conditions for application and integration of learning to occur. This allows employees to seek and find answers when they need them, which according to neuroscientists is a more effective way to learn and a better way to retain knowledge! 

On-the-Job Training: Why and How to Support Modern Learners On The Job

3) Promote social learning

Learning doesn't end when we leave training-- it's still happening when we share our knowledge and apply best practices.

Your learners learn best by asking questions, discussing issues, sharing ideas, and teaching what they know. When they actively engage in the process of interacting with others to explore an area of learning, their critical thinking skills are stimulated.

To put humanity's natural social bent to work, encourage using social media after online events to explore a variety of perspectives on the topic. Link to videos and blog posts that provide valuable insight.

You may also want to take the mentor approach and connect trainees with experts who can provide them with hands-on learning experiences.

And Provide online social resources.

Forums created before, during, and after the training create strong momentum and keep the conversation alive on topics like unconscious bias. When employees share their perspective or what they’ve just experienced with their peers, this creates a platform for discussion and social learning. Internal social media platforms for teams to connect and collaborate can also help employees work and learn out loud. Word of mouth and sharing knowledge they’ve learned or interesting articles by peers is another avenue for social learning.

4) Think like a game designer and make sure courses are learner-centric

Games Turns "Have to" Training Into "Want to" Training

Games do more than just make training more pleasant. It also encourages employees to want to learn more, increase concentration, and increase effort and determination to learn. Rewards, points, and leaderboards are all brilliant ways to drive engagement with the learning platform. 

Levels are also a useful gamification tool that motivate learners to keep learning throughout their entire lifecycle in the company. Levels are used to direct learners towards the right training content to meet their needs and skill level. All you have to do is group content together into levels and then set objectives that allow the learner to level up. 

Simulations based on modules also help keep the learner engaged and therefore more likely to retain the information. Other popular strategies include showing high scores on a leaderboard after students win points for right answers as well as simple progress.

The more employees are involved in their own learning and training outcomes, the more energy and excitement they'll put into training.

How to Make it Work

Poorly executed gamification results in cost-intensive learning activities that not only disengage learners but also disenchant them about the effectiveness of gamified learning. 

To make it work, your gamified eLearning courses must be:

  • Learner-centered: — Gamification should help your learners achieve their learning objectives.
  • Useful: The content should be relevant and focused on real-life scenarios. 
  • Focused on content and design, not technology: As Karl Kapp says: "Gamification is not bounded by technology or the need to be delivered online; it doesn’t have to be digital. Instead, gamification is a design sensibility".

Read more: The Remarkable Benefits of Using Gamification in eLearning

How do you keep up your organization's enthusiasm for learning? Let us know in the comments below!

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