5 lessons I’ve learnt in the world of L&D

I’ve been very lucky to be part of not only digital revolutions for learning, but also supporting in shaping new learning cultures in large and complex environments. It’s been beautiful, dramatic, challenging and ever so rewarding, but if I was to sit down with a newbie to the industry and give them my top 5 insights right now, this would be it.

 

If you build it, they won’t come

Well not unless you actually tell people about your product and they know why it’s amazing. I’ve seen this far too many times, L&D teams spend months working hard on new content, throw it out into the world and then no one looks at it…..ever.

Why is this? it’s really simple, you didn’t tell anyone. You can’t expect to build a product and people will naturally flock to use it, you need to become marketing savvy. I’ve spoken about it before, but many learning teams are severely underestimating the power of a communications and engagement strategy.

You can have the most amazing learning content known in human existence, but if no one knows it exists, what it does and why it’s important for them — you’re pretty much digging your own grave.

 

Choose your metrics wisely

Choosing how and what to measure for your impact of learning is no easy task. Most people love going for the vanity metrics like user figures, pageviews etc. But you want to understand real journeys with your content and these metrics are absolutely useless and demonstrate nothing apart from the fact that someone may have clicked a link to look at your product homepage for all of 3 seconds — not really changing the world there.

What you need to understand is the purpose of your product or content, what impact do you want it to have and what are the outputs you want to see in your audience. Armed with this information, you can carefully select the metrics that are applicable for this mission.

Some examples of metrics you should be considering are sessions, user journeys, time spent on content, return visits and bounce rates. Choosing the wrong metrics, not understanding how to tell stories with your data and delivering incorrect insight is very dangerous.

 

We are people not ‘learners’

I’ve been guilty of using this terminology myself for too long. We are all people and not just ‘learners’, we shouldn’t label our audiences as a thing but just as they are — people.

Our abilities are far beyond just ‘learning’.

 

Make people feel stuff

We seek out emotion in anything we do, we are social and emotional creatures. You’ll remember something more if a feeling is attached to it. Just think about when you have a delicious double cheeseburger, how excited you are to consume it, how happy you become when you taste it and then how awful you feel later on due to eating that piece of crap — weird analogy but it’s the same with learning content.

If you want people to remember and embed what they’ve learnt, then make them emotionally invested and they’ll remember it for a long time. Become friends with neuroscience and learn how to engage people with your content.

 

Training is a dirty word

I’m not training you, I’m sharing knowledge and your learning from it to support your development. I never deliver any training — training is for pets, sharing is for humans.

Say the word training and watch your audience turn off, but talk about sharing knowledge and creating experiences to learn from and now the conversation changes.

Consider the use of the word training, what does that really mean and is it relevant in 2018?

 

Before you go…

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