Who are the constituents of your learning ecosystem? Your employees. In today’s world, most employees have overloaded schedules and fatigued brains. Nearly half of the employees surveyed report they “always/often” feel exhausted and stressed, according to a recent survey by Deloitte. Unfortunately, during busy and stressful times, personal and professional development is often neglected. If a company effectively nurtures its workforce’s desire to learn, they are at least 30% more likely to be a market industry leader over time.
How does a people-first learning ecosystem boost engagement?
Employees are eager to learn and are looking for support from their employers. Today’s workforce ranks professional development as crucial to employee experience. They will seek employment elsewhere if training and growth opportunities are not available. Only 52% of employees think their employer provides the right amount of training, according to SurveyMonkey. Statistics like these highlight the critical importance of investing in growth-centric learning programs to retain your talent.
How are some companies more innovative, resilient, and profitable than others? These companies have created a people-first ecosystem, which values employees over profits. They offer employees opportunities for well-being, connection, and fulfillment. Understanding that a people-first ecosystem boosts engagement and feelings of belonging is key to improving the employee experience. Here are several more advantages of a people-first ecosystem:
- When leaders not only praise and promote employees but also reward critical thinking and reinforce learning, a growth mindset becomes part of the company’s culture.
- Learning connects to the company’s values and mission. When employees see the link between their learning and company goals and objectives, they feel connected to the mission and are more likely to buy in and engage with the content.
- Engaged employees commit to their employer. Committed employees focus on advancing in their careers internally and are more likely to seek out mentors and professional development opportunities.
What makes up an effective learning ecosystem?
Companies can spend a considerable amount of time and money on learning initiatives, but their effectiveness is not guaranteed. An effective learning ecosystem will likely result in a return on investment with a well-thought-out strategy. Several critical things to consider:
- Provide a learning experience that is easy to navigate and visually pleasing. Take, for instance, Netflix. Its easy-to-navigate interface allows you to easily find what you’re most interested in and over time, begins to provide recommendations based on what you’ve watched. Your learning ecosystem should be just as accessible. Learners should have a range of on-demand learning opportunities with an organized, user-friendly platform that allows them to find just-in-time learning on the topics most important to them and your organization.
- Be easily accessible. Give learners control over when, how, and where they want to learn. Are your learners more comfortable using their phones vs. a computer? Would employees have challenges attending scheduled learning activities? Research shows that self-paced learning has the largest influence on the training performance of learners over 40 years of age.
- Use a variety of modalities to keep learning fresh. Typically, training providers use three to six modalities for their training programs. Modalities include on-the-job training, e-learning, instructor-led training, mobile learning, and mentorship to name a few. When choosing modalities, consider your target audience and learning objective.
- Offer relevant and current training regularly to keep learning fresh and appealing. Training should help refine decision-making skills, inspire creativity, emphasize inclusion and well-being, and encourage big-picture thinking. Listen to what employees' training needs are and respond accordingly.
Always keep in mind the strategic people-first learning ecosystem plan end goal—higher employer retention, increased productivity, and an overall better employee experience. Supporting the learners’ development journey is paramount for success. Learners will need time set aside for learning, feedback, and recognition for their efforts.
How can Blue Ocean Brain plug into your learning ecosystem?
“Blue Ocean Brain creates new content daily that is modern, relevant, and just short enough to keep the attention spans of busy professionals. It allows your users to search for relevant topics to them and helps your L&D team provide quality development solutions to their employees.” - Lael Garner-Weadock, Director of Training & Development at Marcus
With Blue Ocean Brain’s accessible, multi-modal, and on-demand learning platform, companies can solidify a sound strategic learning plan. When planning your organization’s people-first learning ecosystem, keep these insights top of mind:
- Content should feel approachable and actionable, not punitive, and irrelevant to the workplace. Otherwise, the learning strategy will fail. In addition to professional development, employees desire courses including mental health and well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Blue Ocean Brain’s experts create content in-house and deliver fresh new lessons every business day. We’re continually developing lessons around current events, pop culture, changemakers, and innovators.
- Use push learning like emails or links with teasers in communication channels like Microsoft Teams. Employees need frictionless learning opportunities, or they won’t make time for the content. Employers can use Blue Ocean Brain’s learning platform to promote valuable learning offerings.
- Embrace microlearning. The Ebbinghaus forgetting curve suggests learners will forget 90% of what they’ve learned within a month without any reinforcement. Microlearning breaks down concepts into smaller, more digestible pieces. This enables learners to better retain what they learn. In addition to combatting the forgetting curve, it provides a more engaging and meaningful learning experience for employees. It allows them to learn at a time and place that works best for them. They can take a lesson in bite-size chunks rather than attend an all-day training session, allowing learning to fit into their flow of work.
Blue Ocean Brain drips out engaging, relevant, and actionable lessons that help organizations build cultures of belonging. Our content spans essential areas, including leadership development, mental health and well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. See for yourself how Blue Ocean Brain microlearning helps guide learners on a journey of awareness to action around today's most important workplace topics.