6 Ways to Develop a Learning Organisation ways to develop a learning organisation

Our Information Age has created a knowledge economy. Some prefer to call it a learning economy because knowledge is useless unless we know it and can apply it. So you’d think that training would be the major service of our time. Sadly, that isn’t the case.

The paradox of training is this: the more an organisation needs it, the less time that organisation usually has for it.

So, beyond throwing more workshops at the problem, what can organisations do?

Properly Train the Trainers

There is a growing trend for organisations to use their own HR staff as trainers in the absence of a budget for external consultants. First, find a budget, if you correctly view your own staff as your greatest resource. But, if not, at least ensure that your internal trainers are properly trained to do their job. Training is NOT “giving a wee talk”! And you have no idea how hard it is…

Link Training to Needs

Before training commences, a full Training Needs Analysis must be carried out, and by someone who knows what they ‘re doing. It is not a Training Preferences Analysis or a Training Vague Assumptions Analysis or a Training Let-Me-Pretend-I’m-Telepathic Needs Analysis. Unless staff see training as solving a real problem for them, it ‘s a waste of time.

Use Your Own Experts

Organisations possess many intellectual assets of which they are unaware or for some reason reticent to use. The larger the organisation, the higher the probability that some member of staff possesses expertise that with the right facilitation could form the basis for at least a single training event.

Employ Different Settings

There are multiple options for training methods beyond regular workshops. Book clubs or planned readings. Knowledge Cafés. Online or elearning. CBT. Debates and quizzes. Internal mentors. External coaches. Q&A sessions. Live demos. Role-playing. Management games. Outdoor activities. Videos and films. Guest speakers. Apps. The possibilities are endless.

Provide Meaningful Rewards

Little certificates of attendance are without much value. For many, a training day is viewed as little more than a day away from work. Provide stronger motivation. Link training to professional, managerial or even academic certification. Allow extra time off, either as a reward for attendance or a reward for attainment. Provide gifts of vouchers for meals and holidays. Fit training in as a measurable step towards promotion or a pay rise. These are what people care about.

Use Teachable Moments

Instead of one-off training events, fit training into the natural currents of organisation life. Such as? Crises. Reviews. The start or end of projects. The arrival of new staff or the exit of current staff. Promotions. The introduction of new systems. Major shifts in your industry or company. Any organisational changes. For what is learning, but a change from ignorance to knowledge?

As experienced training consultants, we are able to help you incorporate these learning strategies into your organisation. We particularly specialise in delivering Train the Trainer workshops, conducting organisational Training Needs Analyses, and designing innovation training experiences. Get in touch today.