July 14, 2015
Written by Bloomfire Admin
Businesses value employees who are able to independently learn, make decisions, and perform their jobs effectively. In the past, traditional learning methods such as instructor-led training might have been satisfactory for setting up employees for success. This is no longer the case. Today, a learning solution focused on continuous learning during day-to-day business activities is essential to sustaining the long-term productivity and development of employees.
Many organizations still use learning solutions that take employees out of their workflow. Some use a mixed approach by combining eLearning modules, personal instruction, and on-the-job training. This mixed approach still removes employees from their day-to-day work. Employees are challenged with transferring information and skills from traditional training to their often very different work tasks.
Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher discuss the “Five Moments of Learning Need” in a Learning Solutions Magazine article. These are needs that businesses should satisfy in order to help employees apply their knowledge, solve problems, and easily adjust to changes in the organization. They include:
- New: Learning something for the first time.
- More: Expanding knowledge of what has been learned.
- Apply: Acting upon what has been learned. This can include planning, remembering, or adapting.
- Solve: Using knowledge to solve a problem in a situation when something didn’t work out as expected.
- Change: Needing to learn a new way of doing something. This requires giving up practices that are comfortable for practices that are new and unknown.
How can business leaders provide learning tools that will help employees to be productive in all of these “learning moments” at different times? It is likely that the first two moments of need (“new” and “more”) can be satisfied through traditional learning solutions. However, it is very likely that more learning will occur at the moment of “apply,” when employees can learn while completing day-to-day tasks and are not forced to stray from their normal workflow. Social knowledge networks are often used as this real-time resource, providing answers and information whenever and wherever employees need them.
Learning how to complete a task correctly isn’t enough. Employees must be confident in their knowledge in order to solve unanticipated problems. More importantly, when employees are unsure of the solution to a problem, they should know where to find the information they need. A social knowledge network empowers employees to solve arising problems quickly by learning from one another’s mistakes and successes.
The final moment of learning need, “change,” might be the most challenging to fulfill. When organizations face change, employees are often uncomfortable abandoning what worked in the past. Letting go of what is comfortable and adapting to something new can be a very different process for every individual. The best way to allow employees to dive into the change is to encourage them to learn and adapt in their own workflow. A social knowledge network can be a tool for transitioning by collectively and actively sharing information about the change. When an individual employee’s knowledge becomes the knowledge of all, change throughout the organization can occur faster and easier. It is no longer required that individuals learn separately; employees can adjust according to their own workflow and change is accomplished much more smoothly.
Individuals become stronger assets when they are able to learn, solve problems, and make changes on their own by finding answers and learning on the job. This kind of active learning requires that employees have instant access to a resource with up-to-date, useful, and accurate information and solutions. Providing a tool like this for your employees can be a great way to meet these five moments of learning need.
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