There is absolutely a trend towards selfdirected learning, but that doesn’t mean leaving your staff to get on with it by themselves. It’s great for employees to be able to drive their own development, but the key to success is having line managers support them and guide as required. It’s much simpler to have one-size-fits-all solutions, but in my opinion it is not as effective.
For example, compare self-directed leadership learning to a traditional programme. It’s only possible to retain and act on a certain amount of information at once, so many of the lessons may be lost. Secondly, not everything in the traditional programme will be in line with that individual’s development requirements. A self-directed approach allows employees to respond to their own focus and priorities.
As everyone is unique, it would be great to get to the point where everyone can create their own individual path, but it’s important not to underestimate the amount of effort that getting there requires.
Allowing employees to explore and learn on their own basis has certainly been beneficial for us and helps to build confidence in their own abilities and knowledge.
Self-directed learning doesn’t mean businesses should reduce their own responsibility and involvement in the development of talent, but instead create an environment which encourages self-awareness and motivation. Technology shouldn’t be seen as simply moving learning out of a classroom and onto the web but more as a tool that motivates an employee to take learning into their own hands to develop their professional skills in the direction that they want their career to take.
We addressed this with the Canon Development Hub - a one-stop shop for learning, performance and talent development needs. Employees are in control of developing their professional profile through self-directed learning with over 30,000 days-worth of training and development per year to choose from.”