There’s a lot of reasons to update your learning. Maybe you have a new brand. Or your learning is ten years outdated (does your onboarding still teach old policies?). New technology is also an important reason to update — especially with Adobe Flash on its way out. Increasing compatibility issues between old and new tech makes it even more important to keep all your employees up to date.
Often, it’s tempting to push off learning updates as long as possible because of reasons ranging from budgeting concerns to a simple lack of time. But the core reason? Reworking learning is overwhelming, and it’s often hard to know where to begin.
The good news is that your learning update doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, it is possible to update your learning quickly and efficiently — and feel confident along the way. Here are five ways to gain control over your learning and bring value to your business and your people.
1. Listen to your people
Employees often have a rich perspective on how your business works. And (of course), they have a close-up view on their own satisfaction and needs. While it’s critical to look at hard data and crunch the numbers (we’ll get to that), never underestimate the power of listening to your own people.
In fact, listening to your people is one of the most important leadership habits you can develop. Ask your people where they lack confidence. Ask where they see gaps in their training. Talk in-depth about personal satisfaction. If your numbers are falling short, this often means your employees lack motivation. And what kills motivation more than anything? A lack of confidence.
To build confidence, build knowledge and trust. People who understand and are given ownership of their roles, positions, and responsibilities are much more likely to perform satisfactorily than those who aren’t.
2. Do research and study the data
This is pretty straightforward. This is where you can design surveys and questionnaires that will get you the most valuable responses. You’ll want to talk to both your people and your customers here in order to get a well-rounded idea of where you need to shore up the gaps.
Also, take a look at background information. What’s your employee turnover look like? Do you know why people are leaving? What are your most common employee complaints? Do more than keep an eye on Glassdoor, study every review that comes in. Mine these reviews for data on how to improve your learning.
Keep transparency in focus and stay alert to symptoms of dissatisfaction. Internal dissatisfaction can come from many sources, but one of the largest reasons behind Millennials and Gen Z turnover is a lack of learning and growth opportunity. Try not to react to any negative feedback and instead view it as a great way to improve both your learning and your business.
3. Identify the learning gaps
Once you’ve collected the questionnaires, taken a close look at the surveys, talked to your customers, and opened your door to employee feedback and concerns, it’s time to identify all your learning gaps.
Those feelings of being overwhelmed that you felt before starting this process? Often, they’re born from the thought of this step: studying this data and turning it into a comprehensive learning plan. This is why collaborating with a learning partner from the beginning is so critical. You’ll be able to focus on collecting the data that matters, leaving less to sort through at this stage.
Together, you can find where the data’s talking loudest and begin turning it into actionable solutions.
4. Brainstorm possibilities
At this point, things often start to feel less overwhelming. In fact, here’s where you could really have some fun (and do good work at the same time). After all, you have the information. You just need to decide what learning format works best for you and your people.
Bring together a group of people — both from your business and from your learning partner, if you’re working with one — and begin to brainstorm solutions.
While it’s important to think about scope and budget, try to think about budget later, not during the initial brainstorm. This is where you dream. Look for ways you can develop learning solutions that not only bring value to your company, but that also bring value to the lives of your people.
5. Build a learning roadmap
Once you’ve found a list of the best possible solutions, it’s time to create a strategy to make those solutions actionable, valuable, and effective for your learners. This is roadmap is also where you can start outlining the content, envisioning design concepts, and creating timelines.
The most important step here? Just getting started.
It’s time to start building learning that matters
Deciding to redo or revamp training isn’t an easy choice. Updating learning gives you a lot of boxes to check, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed at first. You’ll have to roll up your sleeves and get elbow deep in the data. It takes careful thought and even more careful investments.
One step at a time
Building a learning roadmap is the most important groundwork for your learning update. It’s critical to spend time finding any learning gaps and developing strategies to make your learning the best you can be. This aims your updated content the right direction, moving you forward quickly and efficiently.
Are two heads better than one?
If you’re not feeling confident that your team can handle all these steps — or if you just don’t have the bandwidth right now — it can help to bring in a learning partner. Pulling in a learning partner can happen at any point of the process. But if you bring in a learning partner at the start, you can be intentional about each step of the process, from beginning to end. Your learning partner can help you build a beautiful solution that’s on brand, up-to-date, and customized to best help you and your people.
Updating your learning takes hard work — and sometimes good partnerships. But if you build these five steps into a solid learning plan, you can bring value to your people and move forward with confidence.
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