Keeping pace in the race for knowledge
It’s a realisation that continues to see organisations of all shapes and sizes swap formal courses for informal, everyday learning - a move that is perhaps none more critical than in fast-moving industries where knowledge changes rapidly. Car manufacturing is a prime example. Five years ago, the principles that a mechanic learned in their initial training would likely serve them for their entire career. Today, with rapidly changing product lines being driven by continuous innovation, that’s no longer the case. We’ve gone from manufacturers releasing a new model of car once a year, to Teslas undergoing software updates once a fortnight - and course-centric learning just can’t keep pace with that.
Are you creating continuous learners?
So what does all this mean when it comes to measuring the impact of L&D?
We know that measuring skills in isolation is meaningless because they don’t impact performance unless they’re applied often and in context. What we need to do is supplement skill measurement with the capability to continuously learn in the flow of work. We need to look at the business’ performance goals and work out how skills and in-flow learning are connected to the achievement of those.
The first step here is to make continuous learning habits the measure of success rather than course completion. Instead of ticking a box to say that ‘Bob from Sales’ has acquired X skills, leaders need to be looking at whether Bob is developing continuous learning habits that drive improved performance. And how do we know this? Because data consistently tells us that those who demonstrate positive and habitual learning behaviours will outperform those who do not.
Ultimately, by focusing on skills rather than continuous learning and performance, the L&D department will miss a key opportunity to drive tangible business benefits. Ask yourself this: would you rather upskill 20 people or see those 20 people performing 50% better?
If you’d like to know more about enabling a performance-first learning culture underpinned by actively engaged, continuous learning, contact the Fuse team by clicking here.
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