Developing a culture where you are helping your learners and your learners are helping you, can create an invaluable cycle of support within your organisation.
We are all pretty good at supporting our learners and organisation but reaching out for support from our learners is a little more unknown. That’s why I have decided to switch things up a little and dedicate two blogs to exploring how your learner can help you.
Last week, I focused on how taking responsibility for our own learning can support L&D in identifying soft skills gaps and creating a smoother and more successful transfer of learning.
This week it’s all about engagement. I will be focusing on how your learners can support you in creating a successful learning culture and tackling low learner engagement.
Ambassadors – promoting from within
Having just a few people in your organisation who are outwardly passionate about learning can really help you create a successful learning culture and improve your learner engagement.
If your learner actively promotes the success they have experienced as a result of L&D, the people around them are likely to want a piece of that success for themselves. This can create a domino effect in your organisation, starting with more learners wanting to get involved and ending with your board being acutely aware of the positive impact your learning is having on their people.
Here a few ways your learner ambassador can support you:
- Success stories – If your learner showcases the impact learning has had in their day-to-day work via a success story (this could be an interview, video, blog or anything else you can think of!) that is shared throughout your organisation, it’s likely more people are going to want to get involved.
- Peer support – they could provide some invaluable support to their peers and team, from helping them identify any relevant learning solutions to aiding the transfer of learning.
- Teams/clubs – creating teams or clubs aimed at developing a specific skill set could encourage more people to get involved. It can also act as a safe space for your learners to facilitate the transfer of learning.
Getting their line managers on board
I am a firm believer that line managers have the potential to become some of our strongest allies in learner engagement. If your managers are on board, they can transform the way their people think about learning and have a large role to play in facilitating a successful learning transfer.
Managers also have a lot to gain from investing in the learning of their people; it’s in their best interest to create a more productive and higher performing team. So, it’s surprising that getting our managers on board with L&D can be a bit of a struggle.
This is where your learner ambassador comes in. The learner ambassador has the ability to create a light bulb moment for your line managers and inspire them to invest in L&D for all of their people.
This is a key part in creating a cycle of support between you, your managers and your learners. Each person is, in some way or another, helping themselves while supporting you and their team.
So, how can your learner help inspire your managers to get on board with L&D?
It’s likely that your learner ambassador has participated in some fantastic learning which they are now applying to their day-to-day work, so all they need to do is showcase its positive impact. Here are a few ways your learners can help get their managers on board:
- Performance reviews – identify their own learning needs in performance reviews or one to ones. This can inspire their manager to do the same with the rest of their team.
- Transfer of learning – keep their manager in the loop with how the transfer of learning is impacting their day-to-day work. This can emphasise the long-term benefits the learning has had for their performance and productivity.
- Feedback – share all levels of feedback, from in class evaluation forms, to how the learning has made their role more rewarding or enjoyable. This can demonstrate how the learning has impacted the learner on a personal level, as well as improving their performance.
By acting as learning ambassadors and getting their line managers on board, your learners can have a significant impact in helping you create a culture of hungry learners and improving low learner engagement. If you are interested in discovering more ways to improve learner engagement, I recommend taking a look at our learner engagement whitepaper which shares some useful tips and approaches.
Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning
Sharing ideas and observations to help improve performance.