Applying and reinforcing knowledge: Keys to effective employee learning strategies
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Applying and reinforcing knowledge: Keys to effective employee learning strategies

Organizations with effective employee learning strategies do it by prioritizing the practical application and reinforcement of knowledge, according to research group Brandon Hall.

In its Learner Experience Survey, Brandon Hall stacked up the results and priorities of organizations that report achieving high business impact through learning against those that reported low impact. And the data is illuminating.

Fully 82% of the high-impact organizations said their learning strategies emphasize opportunities for employees to practice and/or apply knowledge gained. By contrast, only 54% of the low-impact organizations had that emphasis. Additionally, some 71% of high-impact organizations prioritized methods of reinforcing learning concepts; just 35% of low-impact organizations did so.

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst at Brandon Hall, says the business impact achieved through effective learning includes improvements in employee engagement, individual performance and productivity.

In the mix

Other important elements in the learning strategy mix included:

  • Employee freedom to search for and discover learning opportunities (71% of high-impact organizations, 58% of low-impact)
  • Contextualization of learning based on learner requirements (68% vs. 31%)
  • Personalized learning plans allowing employees to track their progress (61% vs. 31)
  • Learning recommendations based on information from learners (57% vs. 15%)

Wentworth says that to achieve top-class learning, organizations need to deploy both digital and — as the pandemic finally eases — in-person learning. “This unique kind of learning experience can’t be done by one format alone,” he says. “It requires a stronger blend in order to be able to meet all of these needs.”

Methods and means

As far as specific types of learning experiences and technologies are concerned, 79% of high-impact organizations report using video learning against 21% of their low-impact counterparts.

Other types commonly used, according to the Brandon Hall survey, include:

  • Coaching/mentoring (71% of high-impact organizations, 12% of low impact)
  • Microlearning (54% vs. 12%)
  • On-the-job exercises (50% vs. 15%)
  • Social/collaboration tools (44% vs. 12%)

Of course, no set of data — no matter how reliable — can or should dictate how your organization crafts its employee learning strategy. But by considering what successful organizations do, you may be able to pick up benchmarks that will help you in your particular circumstances.

Based on the Brandon Hall/Rapid Learning webinar “Post-COVID: Could ILT Be the Secret to Help Digital Learning Reach its Potential?” Click here to watch the webinar recording.

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