Top 5 Challenges Faced by Learning Development Leaders
Peer-to-peer Learning to Bridge the Gap
Learning Live, hosted by theLPI, attracted some of the world’s best Learning and Development leaders to hear from guest speakers such as Gary Neville, Kelsey Kates, Head of Live Learning Experiences at Google, and Pashini Reddy, Head of Learning at KPMG Academy.
Topics covered ‘neuroscience behind L&D tech’ to ‘Metaverse’s new dimensions and impacts on digital learning’.
Organisers ensured to tailor the agenda to today’s landscape by asking Head of Learning attendees about their current challenges, outlined below.
Top 5 Challenges Faced by Learning Development Leaders:
AI and learning in the flow of work
Building an organisational learning culture
Supporting learning in a hybrid workforce
Improving mental health and wellbeing
Measuring ROI and learning impact
This exclusive event was brimming with take-home messages and actionable next steps. Here are our favourites:
Knowledge is highly personal, so AI must facilitate learning, without removing ownership of the learning process from the individual.
New technology is the solution for businesses to achieve and monitor organisational objectives; short and long-term.
Hybrid workforces require embedded systems that encourage and incentivise human interaction – even virtually!
Businesses need to practise active listening. New technology should give employees a voice and create open discussions to improve well-being, belonging and employee satisfaction.
Learn your baseline. To measure success, businesses need to be sharp in knowing their current stats; retention rates, loss of talent, and demographics across leadership roles.
Peer-to-peer Learning to Bridge the Gap
Self-directed learning enables employees to take charge of their education, avoiding top-down, passive teaching and switching to conversational and constructive goal setting between learner and guide.
Businesses should encourage peer-to-peer learning approaches such as mentoring, coaching and sponsorship to promote meaningful connections, especially in hybrid or remote work environments.
Creating connections based on chosen skills can have an immense personal impact on both mentor and mentee. However, peer learning strategies can and should provide a practical framework to solve over-arching organisational goals.
Guider offers a centralised tool for peer learning with completely customisable programs to align with your L&D and DE&I goals.
If you are looking to learn more about how mentoring can benefit your organisation, speak to an expert today to find the perfect program for you.
Similar to how food and water nourish our body and provide us with means to grow, develop, and perform activities, knowledge and continuous learning do the same for our mind. This is specifically important in workplaces to create an environment of productivity and innovation.
Not only is it important in the workplace, employees expect it too. According to a LinkedIn report, 94% of employees stated they would stay longer with a company if it invested in their career development. To fully understand the importance of continuous learning and how to implement it in your workplace, continue reading!
What is continuous learning?
Continuous learning is precisely what it sounds like—consistently attaining new knowledge and information. However, in professional terms, it is much more than that. By intentionally gaining new knowledge, you expand your current skill set, acquire new skills, and pave the way for personal and organisational development.
Many employers slip up by treating continuous learning as a one-off thing. Your employees will not be able to succeed if they only attend one or two seminars a year. If they don’t get the chance to put the newly acquired information to use or expand on it, they’ll most likely forget all that they’ve learnt. According to studies, in as little as 30 days, 79% of knowledge is forgotten.
To have your employees move up to complex and challenging roles and pass on the knowledge to their peers, you must treat continuous learning as a long-term organisational process.
To plan how to implement continuous learning in your organisation, it’s essential to understand its different types.
Are there different types of continuous learning?
There are three different types of continuous learning:
Structured or formal learning is the traditional form of corporate learning. These activities are usually held in person and help hone hard and soft skills. Examples are instructor-led classes, workshops, lectures, and lunch-and-learn seminars/activities.
However, it’s not always possible for employees to attend physically, so structured learning can also take place online in the form of online classes, online meetings, and pre-recorded lectures with testing afterwards with assignments, projects, or quizzes.
Self-directed learning is one of the most popular forms of continuous learning, as employees can learn at their own pace and whenever convenient. Examples include online courses, reading recommended books, online certifications, etc.
This empowers the employee by allowing them to learn how they see fit while nurturing skills like self-starting, independence, motivation, and commitment. So it’s no surprise that 58% of employees prefer this learning method.
Employees can learn much more about their responsibilities and learn new skills from their coworkers and managers, which is why social learning is one of the, if not the most important, forms of continuous learning. This is why fostering a culture of positivity and support is vital so that employees feel comfortable seeking help and engaging with their peers outside of direct work responsibilities.
A great way to boost social learning is by implementing a mentorship program where employees can engage with one another directly and hold each other accountable for the progress they make.
Not only do the employees benefit from continuous learning, but the organisation does too. Below are some of the benefits of continuous learning to the organisation.
First, in an environment that encourages continuous learning, employees are more likely to retain the knowledge they’ve learnt. When employees are regularly acquiring new knowledge, have the opportunity to revisit what they’ve learnt, and have managers and peers to lean on and learn from, their memory stays sharp, and information retention improves.
To improve on this, utilising micro-learning can help; this is where employees are given bite-sized information, which is easier to grasp, and can increase the long-term retention rate by up to 50%.
Millennials prefer it
By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, so it’s in the organisation’s best interest to take in this generation’s values, needs, and preferences.
It’s also important given the current Great Resignation going on and millennials being known as the ‘job-hopping generation’. However, millennials hold professional development in high regard and expect their employers to invest in their learning and provide growth opportunities, making continuous learning a significant deterrent to churn.
It’s not a secret that engaged and determined employees perform better—they feel a sense of purpose in their work and strive to do their best. Not only that, they come to view their organisation as their own and work to ensure its success.
By investing in their training and providing them with an environment of continuous learning, you are ensuring they remain motivated and can tackle their responsibilities in a smarter way. If you still need convincing, employee engagement leads to a 40% increase in profits.
Having the edge over your competitors
A knowledgeable workforce is an enlightened one. By investing in continuous learning, you’re guaranteeing;
Decrease in existing skill gaps
A culture of innovation and collaboration
Employees that are self-starters and more proactive
Learning opportunities are not missed
How can we implement continuous learning in the workplace?
Now that we’ve covered the importance of continuous learning, the question is, how do you implement a culture of continuous learning in the workplace successfully?
Before you get into booking seminars, launching online courses, and assigning readings to employees, brainstorm a strategy, check whether it meets your organisation’s needs, refine it, and then implement it.
Going into this without a proper strategy could result in the opposite of what you’re expecting, as every workplace has different needs, and one strategy could work for one organisation but could tank for the other.
So let’s go over a few ways to foster a continuous learning culture:
1. Make learning accessible
The learning environment is important to keep in mind when you’re planning learning journeys for your employees. Your workers need to have flexible options as there isn’t a one-fits-all in this case. Ensuring inclusivity and flexibility is the key to success for any learning plan.
For instance, if you offer classes or hold workshops, do it during work hours. This way, employees won’t have to sacrifice their personal time for work-related tasks and would appreciate the opportunity to learn with their peers.
2. Provide support
Providing support and showing the company cares about the growth of its employees is an integral part of any learning program. However, it’s not just about sending flowery words of support to your employees through newsletters or emails; you have to show them with actions.
If an employee needs time off to attend a seminar, help them adjust their schedule or make arrangements in the work calendar. If an employee needs to be reimbursed for any payments they made for material that went into their learning, compensate them. This, of course, means you’ll sometimes have to shift deadlines or make adjustments; however, it will be worth it in the long run.
3. Facilitate mentoring
Mentoring is one of the best ways to support structured and unstructured learning, and it’s easy to boot. Most mentorship programs pair employees with senior co-workers or their peers, depending on the performance of both employees.
With this, mentees get the chance to learn from a more experienced mentor, get feedback, and feel a sense of responsibility to commit to their jobs and improve their performance. In contrast, mentors become invested in the success of their mentees and strive to impart knowledge that supports the mentees.
The advantages of continuous learning are clear. Employees become invested in the company’s success and aim to outperform themselves, while the company provides resources and opportunities to learn, grow, and move up in their career path. Not only does this improve productivity and foster a culture of innovation, but it also reduces churn rate and increases profits and revenue.
If you’re searching for a practical, easy-to-use and scalable continuous learning solution, book a call with our expert team today!
This is why more and more organisations are turning to peer learning over traditional learning and development. It offers a cost-effective solution for continuous, collaborative learning that gets results. Best of all, your people may already be doing it.
So, what is peer learning and why is it so effective?
What is peer learning?
You may have heard the term already. With roots in the education sector, peer learning is a tool where colleagues, peers or, in education, students, come together to teach one another. Peer learning is essentially the act of learning with and from your colleagues. The concept isn’t new but is becoming increasingly common in the workplace as organisations seek new, innovative ways to upskill and develop their people.
When we bring people together through peer learning everyone participating learns and develops their skills. Peer learning includes mentoring, shadowing and lunch and learn programs to name just a few examples.
How is peer learning revolutionary?
Peer learning puts learning in the hands of people first. It draws on the expertise already in your business, creating pathways for knowledge sharing that don’t rely on external trainers or formal learning programs.
Tap into the experts that are already working in your organisation to share knowledge and upskill others. This not only means you don’t need to spend on external trainers but helps prevent knowledge from being lost when people leave the business.
Improve knowledge retention
One of the reasons peer learning is so powerful is that when we teach others what we know, it helps that knowledge to stick. It also develops social and emotional learning at the same time. By bringing peers together to teach one another, you’re reinforcing learning for all.
Create a learning loop
The ‘learning loop’ is a concept that describes the 4 continuous stages of learning. These are; gaining knowledge, applying it, getting feedback and reflecting on what’s been learned. Peer learning encompasses all of these, meaning it creates a loop that provides continuous learning and growth to participants.
Through peer learning, your people can practice the communication, organisation and support skills needed by good leaders and managers. What better way to gain experience helping to develop people than working with them through peer to peer learning?
The advantages of peer learning are clear. It’s a cost-effective way to create collaborative and social learning across your organisation. With benefits to the long-term knowledge retention and development of your team, it’s no wonder so many organisations are turning to peer learning to revolutionise their learning and development strategy.
Ready to find out more? Book a call with our expert team today.
The future of your workplace depends on the people within it. That’s why investing in your employee’s learning and development is essential for business growth.
We’re sure you know that mentoring is an effective way to develop your people. If not here’s a refresher.
But have you heard about the benefits of peer mentoring?
Peer mentoring is effective at not only developing your people’s skills but at creating better communication, connections and culture that has lasting effects on your bottom line.
What is peer mentoring?
Put simply, peer mentoring is when individuals of a similar age or experience level mentor one another. Many people may already be benefiting from an informal version of this type of mentoring.
Whether it’s a colleague who can troubleshoot problems or someone who can advise on specific topics, there is so much valuable learning to be gained from your peers.
Peer mentoring is about formalising this learning. With peers teaching each other valuable skills and supporting development.
How is peer mentoring different to other types of mentoring?
Unlike traditional mentoring, where a more senior mentor sits with a junior mentee and provides advice and guidance, peer mentoring is more fluid. Participants can take turns acting as mentor or mentee, giving them the opportunity to practice leading sessions.
The main difference to other types of mentoring is the power dynamic. Sitting down with someone on your level is different to sitting down with a senior leader. The equal nature of peer mentoring means participants can connect and share more openly, practising essential skills for their development.
There are wide-ranging benefits to starting or joining a peer mentoring program. These include:
By introducing peer mentoring in your onboarding program, you can improve the experience.
From the get-go, new employees have a support network within their organisation. Similar to a buddy system, the peer mentor will show your new hire the ropes and get them up to speed on company culture.
Given the peer relationship, it’s a more relaxed and inclusive way of mentoring new hires.
Fostering a positive culture
Creating a positive working culture in which everyone can feel seen, heard and accepted is not always easy.
Connecting people through peer mentorship is a great way to help. When people develop strong, trusting connections with their peers, it can vastly improve the way they feel at work.
A major factor in supporting good mental health and avoiding burnout is strong connections. When we talk to peers, we’re more likely to feel comfortable sharing our worries and can find a valuable source of support.
Preventing burnout and poor mental health in your organisation has lasting benefits for employee retention, productivity and happiness. So, why not connect people through peer mentoring and support better mental health for all?
Upskilling from within
There are many ways to upskill. The benefit of upskilling through mentoring is that the expertise is already in your business.
No more expensive external trainers. You have the knowledge you need already that’s specific to your business and ways of working. This means you can save time and money by sharing skills internally through mentoring.
Developing future leaders
In peer mentoring, you can practice acting as a mentor and develop the skills you need to become an effective manager and leader. This is a great way to get ahead of the curve and start developing the leaders of the future.
You may find in a workplace with a young workforce or a flat management structure that it’s more difficult to identify good mentors. Or you may have senior staff but struggle to get them to sign-up for a program.
In any of these examples peer mentoring can be used. It allows people of all ages to benefit from receiving mentorship while practising acting as a mentor too. This develops their leadership and communication skills, as well as encourages skill-sharing across peer groups.
You don’t need to wait until you have a large pool of senior mentors to get started. Peer mentoring is an easy way of connecting and empowering your people. Knowing that you have something to give and someone to learn from is an amazing feeling.
2. Onboard with ease
Much like a ‘buddy’ system, peer mentoring can be used in employee onboarding by matching up new starters with a mentor with a similar experience level to them. It’s an excellent way for new colleagues to build relationships from the get-go and lessen the pressure on managers running inductions by sharing responsibility.
The peer mentor relationship can also help induct employees into your workplace culture, provide support learning key processes and software, and provide pastoral support. Knowing that you have the support of your peers fosters a culture of community and shared learning. It also gives mentors the opportunity to practice their leadership skills.
Onboarding is a key area to get right. The more you can ease the transition of new starters and get them up to speed with your company culture, the faster they will find their feet and start delivering results.
Many companies struggle to foster allyship. Whether you have departmental silos that you are trying to tackle or you want to start a programme to support a specific marginalised or under-represented group, peer mentoring can help.
By pairing up employees in a peer mentoring program, you can provide vital support to your people and foster community across your organisation. You may want to run a program that matches people from the same group to provide one another with support. Alternatively, matching people with different backgrounds can create new allies and wider support systems.
This type of mentoring works well to support people going through menopause, new parents returning to work, or can be used to support LGBTQ+ people.
By providing formal ways for peers to connect, you are facilitating the growth of important relationships. This will increase employee satisfaction and improve your company culture as people feel supported to bring their whole selves to work each day.
Participants may feel more at ease talking about their mental health with someone outside of their management structure. It’s also a great way to support remote employees as mentoring can easily be run virtually.
Knowing that you have someone in your organisation that is on your side and available to talk is an essential source of support. Particularly when that person is in a similar job role to you or can relate to your experiences on a more personal level.
We know that building positive working relationships supports mental health and wellbeing and can prevent burnout later down the line.
5. Develop the leaders of tomorrow
Peer mentorship is a great way to foster leadership through mentoring in your workplace. As the participants switch from mentor to mentee they will gain insight and experience in leading sessions.
As we’ve touched on above, the peer mentor relationship is more fluid than in traditional mentoring. Both participants gain confidence from the sessions and work together to transform what they discuss into positive action. Peers also hold each other accountable, supporting each other’s goals and career progression and growth.