How can L&D give any results?
Elearning is now getting implemented by every company to upskill the workforce. But is it yielding the results it should? It isn’t.
Well, in a survey done by the Harvard Business Review, which included 1500 managers, 75% were not happy with the learning and development(L&D) provided by their companies.
And a large majority of them didn’t believe that they had the requisite skills for their jobs. So, is eLearning justifying the purpose for which it is getting implemented?
So, the eLearning developers should focus on certain things when trying to develop content for the employees:
- Easy to use technology
The learning must include technology, but it should also focus on learners’ abilities. The learners must not feel that the technology impedes their learning. Instead, the learners must comprehend the technology in the course and use it seamlessly. When they can’t, eLearning is futile for them. If understanding the technical aspects of the course seems cumbersome to the learners, then it’s as tedious for them as attending a course in person. So, they might as well skip the eLearning course just like an in-person synchronous training course.
- Least downtime
Managers in implementing eLearning aim to ensure that downtime is not caused. But when workers are going through eLearning, downtime is caused. So the eLearning department must see that it is as low as possible. Why would a company want downtime when it leads to reduced profits because workers are not contributing anything.
The eLearning department should ensure that the company does not enforce downtime during eLearning activities, and it should reduce the daily work hours for such activities.
- Focus on changing employees’ performance
Although eLearning aims to increase profits, it deviates from that purpose when the employees pursue such courses, but the results don’t speak for themselves. So, apart from the costs incurred in developing such courses, the employee downtime proves to be a waste of time too when they have not changed their work performance. Hence, learning should aim to improve the employees learning at level 3 of the Kirkpatrick taxonomy because it can only determine whether the e-learning has caused any change in employees’ behavior at the workplace. Hence instead of wasting time on including extraneous knowledge in the course, eLearning should only impart essential knowledge. The objective of an eLearning course should be to improve learners’ skills, not just make them gain information.
What is Lean learning?
Lean learning has three dimensions, including the support streamlining and simplification of Learning and Development procedures.
So, the L&D department must ensure that lean learning is there, which implies that there is no wastage in the learning process in choosing the wrong audience, the wrong time, and the wrong quantity. When anything is not apt, it leads to so many unjustified extra costs for the organization.
What are the components of lean learning?
Hence, adequate support must be provided to the learning and development department to provide the correct learning environment. Hence, their equipment must be correct and free from any faults. Furthermore, such departments must abstain from putting any extra burden on the learners because it means introducing variations in the course, which is useless if learners are forced to learn at rates faster than required or possible by their natural tendencies, it’s an overburden for them which ain’t possible without changing the e-learning content.
Streamlining is another practical concept in the learning and development domain. Its because the learners need to experience prioritized learning. They must be given the JIT mode of delivery rather than making them learn all the time. There must be a thought process behind why learners are taught about anything.
Last is the simplification in eLearning, which implies that the L&D department must be conscious of the resources expended to create such courses. Hence, the main objective is to ensure no bottlenecks arise in the e-learning content design and development. When the L&D department tries to include efficiency in all the stages of the eLearning process, it can lead to a faster outcome for the end customer, who can be another department or an external client. So, before starting an e-learning process, it’s essential to go through all the stages and recognize those that can cause delays.
For simplification, it’s reasonably necessary that the end product is shown to the stakeholders after a brief time because changes can be made quickly. Customers also feel appreciated when the end product is given to them within a deadline. On the other hand, if it takes time, the customer will give feedback decisions later. And the product might no longer meet their needs which changed due to a prolonged development time. Hence for better feedback and rectifications, the iterations in product development cycles should be short. Sometimes, elearning is so delayed that it does not fulfill customer expectations.
Moreover, whether these are internal or external learning requirements, the truth is that the companies must assure simplification so that no waste of time occurs during the design or development process, which ensures a swift delivery.
Hence there are the following 7 principles of lean learning as follows:
- Eradicate waste: First of all, the L&D department should detect all those procedures which can’t affect the eLearning outcome. For example, there can be content production, which is not required at all (overproduction). Hence it’s the job of such a department to plan the content needs. There might be some processes in the eLearning design and development that can be done without.
- Strengthen learning: The learning and development should be one in iterative cycles. The end consumers of such learning activities should also be included because the end product is much better. The departments and customers work together, and their combined experience is put to good use.
- Take decisions after facts emerge: The L&D department should take plan learning judiciously. It should not be a rash decision to implement e-learning. The decision about the training topic should be delayed based on facts. Hence when specific changes have happened in the business environment necessitating eLearning, it should only be planned rather than based on assumptions about the future.
- Quicker delivery: The eLearning company must also provide results as swiftly as possible. Its because customer feedback should be received at a particular stage. When the product development does not happen in an iterative cycle, it can cause a slow delivery leading to the inability to implement customer feedback because the entire product has to be modified.
- Allow L&D to gain experience: L&D professionals must also have experience. Its important because that means no disturbance from the management, which implies that the former can do their work at their pace because management trusts them. They also stay motivated because the management has faith in them and can perform the tasks required for the eLearning job. The eLearning department must be encouraged to get a lot of experience to avoid any interference by the management.
- Encourage Integrity: The L&D department must work together with employees/learners because, once this way, they can solve problems in the eLearning content. When they receive information sequentially in batches, it makes sure no stress is caused when information is received in copious amounts by either party.
- See the large picture: Similarly, there must be interactions between different vendors who are included in the L&D department because when there are not, they produce outputs that can’t be used together. Hence there can be defects in the end output. Such communication is essential for large L&D departments where there are so many parties involved in creating the result.
In the end:
The main crux of lean learning is that the L&D department must use common sense and learn swiftly from its mistakes apart from implementing quickly.