London (UK), February 2020 - Although learning has always been important to organisations, the urgency that businesses now feel to maximise the value of their learning strategies has never been more intense. At Learning Technologies 2020, Hemsley Fraser, an international learning and development company, will be talking to visitors about the role creating "buzz" plays in helping to build a learning culture.
As leaders attempt to manage a multi-generational workforce in an era marked by digital transformation, businesses have increasingly turned towards learning in order to ensure success at the desired pace. By creating a learning culture, organisations encourage the constant development of their employees, consistent knowledge transfer, and systems and processes that influence each other. It can transform the organisation into a living and breathing machine, one that is in a state of continuous improvement.
In order to build momentum for change, businesses must give employees something to buy into. They should understand the benefit to them personally, as well as the impact on the organisation as a whole, with a clear alignment of goals. This is where "buzz" comes in.
What do we mean by buzz?
The word buzz triggers connotations of excitement. To buzz someone is to make them take note of what you’re saying, leaving them enthused and motivated. It’s the feeling you get when you’ve achieved a goal, and it is buzz that can make all the difference when it comes to delivering impactful learning.
In the context of learning, buzz means exciting individuals at the right time and in the right way in order to demonstrate the value learning holds, creating a desire for further development. It’s using the available technology to communicate learning in a way that has clear significance to the individual at the time of delivery, sparking curiosity and satisfying the current need, so that the learner is open to the next step in development.
How do we build buzz?
Building buzz starts with creating relevance for employees. They must understand the reason behind the intervention and how it will benefit them: learning must not sit separately from the rest of the business. Instead, it should fit within the rhythm of the organisation and should have clearly defined outcomes that have a positive business impact. This means that learning in the flow of work is of utmost importance, as is building engaging experiences.
Once learners have bought into the process, the reality of their experience must meet with the expectations built by the organisation. These experiences should be delivered through a modern, blended approach combining different modalities to appeal to different audiences, using mixed media to reinforce key messages.
Throughout the process, learning and its effects must also be constantly analysed and adjusted to ensure it meets the goals set. Are learners engaged throughout the process? Do they still have the buzz for learning – and if not, at what point was it lost? Like learning, buzz should be part of a continuous journey, with participants motivated throughout.
How does this lead to a learning culture?
It’s this continuity that can lead to the creation of a learning culture. By using buzz, HR and L&D professionals can ensure the right mix of content, context, and experience that allows learning to have the most impact. Employees are left with a clear understanding of why the learning was necessary and of the experiences that imparted skills, motivated, and inspired. They must also be provided with evidence of the individual benefits.
Through meeting the needs and expectations of learners, organisations leave them wanting more – not because the learning did not deliver all that was intended, but because the experiences were so positive that when the next learning intervention comes, some residual buzz will help to engage employees all over again.
Creating buzz in this way is the first step on the journey towards building an organisation that thrives from a learning culture, and from building new opportunities. It is these organisations that are the most agile and which can move at a pace and scale that outstrips their competition.