How collaborative learning can change your business for the better

Collaborative learning is nothing new. We all know that people spend time looking for, reading and watching content to help them do their work. In most cases, this informal learning is in reaction to an immediate need and the source of the information is an online search.

Imagine if all the informal learning achieved in this way was captured and available to everybody in your business. If one person needs to fill a gap in skill or knowledge to perform their work, it is likely others in your business share the need.

Is the knowledge already held by people in your business available to others? Does your business have a collective knowledge base that is aligned with the work your business performs? Collective, accessible knowledge and information that is created, curated and shared is one of the powerful contributors to engagement and culture in a business. Collaborative learning is also an effective means of providing recognition to people that contribute to the collective knowledge.

Our clients are using training and information created by people in their business to deliver effective onboarding to people joining the business. This has standardised the onboarding  experience for every person. Using collaborative learning also assists people to identify subject matter experts in the business and get a feel for the work other people perform in the business.

Here are some ideas to consider.

  • Ideally every person in your business has some knowledge of your strategy and how their work contributes to achieving it. If not, this is where I would suggest you start. I would suggest taking it a step or two further by breaking your strategy into supporting goals and team objectives. If your business is small and does not have teams, consider assigning objectives to functional areas of responsibility in the business and this could be one I recommend the strategy, goals and objectives are documented and communicated regularly.
  • Use the strategy framework to open up a clear line of sight between the work they perform every day in the business to what needs to be completed to achieve the strategy.
  • This process will help guide the types and content of learning, information and ideas developed by everyone to be directly relevant to both the strategy and the work performed everyday. This is a great place to start and it will get collaborative learning embedded in your organisation.
  • Once you have collaborative learning embedded in your business and aligned with strategy, you can take it much further. For example, you may choose to use collaborative learning in your marketing, sales, customer retention, product development and any other aspect of your business.
  • Implementing a cogent collaborative strategy in your business will have a positive impact on the development of intellectual property that will add significant value to your business.

Is your business exploring ways to improve the culture? Boost engagement? Retain your best people? These factors and more will be developed and sustained with a planned collaborative learning strategy and implementation.

If you are interested in learning more about collaborative learning and ideas about how to implement collaborative learning in your business, you are welcome to contact me directly via LinkedIn. You can also request a demo from this page.

Check out our WorkPlan website to learn more about our work in collaborative learning and engagement.

 

Can you really implement ‘grassroots’ social learning?

Social learning is leaving the standard LMS behind.

YouTube is THE social learning platform. The range of learning available on YouTube reflects the growth in informational data being created every minute of every day.

When you are faced with a computer issue, where do you go? If you are seeking to learn a new Excel skill? If you want to learn how to French polish an antique? The same process applies to people in your organization. According to research by Degreed in 2015, respondents to a survey indicated:

  • Almost 85% search online at least once a week for learning they can apply at work.
  • Nearly 70% learn from peers or by reading articles and blogs every week.
  • 53% learn from videos in any given week.

Not much of a mention for the corporate LMS? Social learning is based on speed of access, accuracy of subject matter and easy to apply learning. Does your current LMS and the content offered from it, comply with these parameters?

To address this issue by giving up on the LMS is not necessarily the best way to go. Many LMS platforms have been designed with an emphasis on ‘management’ as opposed to ‘learning.’ Many modern learning management systems include configuration options to support better social learning. It can often mean a change of mindset as opposed to a change in technology to achieve effective social learning outcomes.

You should check out this post by David James of Looop.co that gives an excellent example of how Sanoma Group ‘re-imagined’ L&D and successfully tapped into subject matter experts and created learning content that was easily accessible and improved peoples’ ability to do their work effectively.

If this interests you, get in touch by clicking here.  We will share some insights and a case study based on helping organisations achieve better results with ‘grassroots’ social learning.

How to conduct online sales calls and demonstrations

Our new sales training e-learning toolkit is designed for modern sales managers and sales professionals who leverage technology to be more effective and productive. These e-learning course modules show you how to prepare and conduct effective online sales calls and demonstrations to build better relationships and close more sales. Conducting an online sales demonstration is never easy and our new sales training modules will show you how to plan your demonstrations to reduce the risks of poor delivery and bad impressions from your audience.

This e-learning toolkit focuses on planning and delivering online sales calls and demonstrations. This toolkit is part of our broad suite of e-learning modules for sales professionals and sales managers.

These online courses include video and audio content. The transcript is available to download and additional tips are offered as audio in the learner interface. Worksheets are also included in both Microsoft Word and .PDF formats for download from the learner interface.

These courses are perfect for individuals and teams. We offer an optional  coaching program to help you and your team achieve fast results.

With territories getting larger and travel budgets tighter, conducting virtual sales calls and product demos is becoming more important, yet many people are uncomfortable selling in this environment. However, due to these changing business circumstances, it is critical sales professionals learn how to use technology to achieve the same goals as their face-to-face sales calls.

This sales training toolkit builds the skills sales people need to conduct effective and successful online demos and sales calls.

Course Title Course Result
Introducing Online Sales Demos and Calls Understand the key factors differentiating remote sales demos and calls
Preparing for Online Sales Calls and Demos Know how to prepare for your remote sales demos and calls
Conducting Online Sales Calls and Demos Know how to present your remote sales demos and calls

Best Practices to Achieve 70:20:10

Here is a list of the five best practices e-learning courseware design elements, that when used together, can help your learners make the transition from the formal e-learning space to application on the job—thus moving you closer to achieving 70:20:10 in your learning mix.

Specific Instructions

Rather than rely on simulations or exercises in your courses or workshops, which is still part of the 10%, provide the learner with step by step instructions on how to apply the course on the job.

This will eliminate the issue that David V. Day mentioned in his article about “happenstance and ad hoc at best.” The structure and guidance on how to handle the situation is provided—nothing is left to chance. The learner will know exactly what to do.

Keep Courses Short

Most e-learning courses tackle more than one topic. Here is an example, communication skills training. Communication skills training covers numerous topics ranging from listening skills to non-verbal communication skills to knowing your audience and so on.

Instead of one long communication course, an alternative training method would be to provide short courses also known as micro-learning, chunked learning, or bite sized learning.

They all mean the same thing: learning content that is broken down into small bite sized chunks or one single learning topic or learning objective per course.

This allows the learner to select the exact course to meet individual need at the time of need. When too many topics are addressed at the same time, the learner wastes time getting to the point in the course that applies to their particular need.

Employees and leaders have no patience for wading through information, thus wasting their time. This can lead to low e-learning course utilization.

Job Aids

Provide the learner with job aids they can use on the job in conjunction with the step by step instructions.

Job Aids make it easy for the learner to complete the exercise. Removing barriers to completing the exercise will help your learners start and finish the on-the-job exercise.

Mobile

To help your learner complete the  instructions on the job, in an actual work situation, the learning content needs to be able to be accessed on a hand held device.

Each step that the learner needs to go through to access the information acts as a barrier. Eliminate as many of them as possible.

Self Assessment

Most e-learning courses end with a quiz that measures knowledge acquisition. This is appropriate in formal training.

However, if you are designing courses that provide structure for the 70%, add an assessment that asks the learner to reflect on his/her experience and the skill building activities after the step by step instructions.

As Charles Jennings suggests, this is an important component to learning in the 70%.


David Patterson, a director of Learning Light
, which owns the E-Learning Center and provides advice and help to organizations using e-learning and learning technologies to improve their business performance, explained:

“It’s now well accepted—and research shows—that 70% of development happens on the job, 20% happens through coaching and mentoring, and the last 10% comes through formal learning, including e-learning and instructor-led workshops.”

“Vado’s courses are the only off-the-shelf courseware that helps learners to make the transition from the formal learning environment to applying that learning on the job.”

He continued, “Basically, Vado not only espouses the 70:20:10 model but its e-learning courses embody the model’s principles, using the 10% to deliver the 70% and thus, make the learners and the organizations they work for more productive and profitable.”

Incorporate the Best Practices

Combine these five design elements to create e-learning courseware that will help the learner apply on the job to….

  • Leverage the natural way a person develops
  • Provide structure to the 70%
  • Lower your training and development costs
  • Increase personal performance
  • Increase organizational performance

70:20:10 in Action

To see an employee soft skill development or management development course created using the five design elements listed above, contact us and we will give you a demonstration.

Big ROI for Employee Engagement Strategy

The Interview

Client: Charles Clayton, Learning & Development Consultant

Industry: Healthcare provider

Location: Dallas, TX, USA

Organization: Baylor Scott & White serves North and Central Texas through  46 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6000 affiliated physicians and 36,000 employees.

Current Situation: BSWH was looking to improve employee engagement and purchased Vado’s 85 courses specifically targeted to increase engagement and retention.  BSWH selected five units with high employee turnover and low employee satisfaction to pilot the courses.  BSWH conducted a pre-pilot survey to measure current employee satisfaction.  They analyzed the results and for each unit identified three areas to improve.  To improve in those areas, the managers were directed to the Vado courses mapped to the selected area.  After the managers implemented the courses, they re-surveyed to assess if employee satisfaction improved. One manager in the pilot commented that they liked having resources to address their challenges.

Customer Success: Across the five units, employee satisfaction improved across the three areas on average by 6.56%.However, for the lowest employee satisfaction score in the pre-pilot survey, the average employee satisfaction improvement was 12.65%!

Customer Comment: Charles shared that these employee satisfaction increases are “statistically relevant”.  Due to the success of the pilot, BSWH renewed their Vado license and will be rolling out the courses more broadly.