Council Post: How to develop a personalized learning strategy for your workforce

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Subbu Viswanathan, CEO of Disproz, an enterprise skills acceleration platform, 3 time tech entrepreneur, former McKinsey consultant, ITT and ISB alumnus.


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Conducting corporate learning with a generic approach often fails to capture the interest of the learners. One of the best ways to inspire employee learning is to embrace personalization. A personalized learning approach pays dedicated attention to the personal development of employees to ensure growth and career advancement.

Recent research found that “93% of high-performing organizations agreed that personalized learning supports an employee in achieving professional goals more efficiently.” Before we look at how to develop a personal learning strategy, let’s go over the basics and understand what this learning and development (L&D) technique actually is.

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What is personalized education?

Personalized learning is an employee-centred L&D approach that tailors training to an individual’s job role, needs and interests. This smart L&D strategy aligns a learner’s skills with skill gaps and career paths.

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In a world where everything from e-commerce platforms to movie streaming apps is personalized, providing that “just for me” experience is key to engaging employees. Making personalized learning a part of your L&D strategy can be very beneficial for your organization. Those potential benefits include:

1. Increasing Employee Engagement

2. Improving knowledge retention

3. Maintaining a Competitive Edge

4. Promotion of career development

5. Increasing Employee Retention

5 Steps to Developing a Personalized Learning Experience

Many companies such as Netflix and Amazon have tapped into personalization to enhance the user experience. But how can L&D leaders like you apply personalization to employee learning? Here are five steps to develop a personalized learning strategy for your organization.

1. Set learning and professional goals

Before embarking on your personal learning journey, it is important to set learning and business goals that serve as benchmarks to measure progress. You must be clear about what you want to achieve for a department/role before investing time and effort in creating their personalized learning journey.

To set goals effectively, work with business heads to understand each department’s objectives and coordinate with the team to establish goals for each individual. For example, a business’s goal is to achieve a 30% increase in revenue next year. To connect this goal to teams, you’ll want to set business goals for each department and learning goals for each individual within that department. This can ensure that individual learning efforts are aligned with business outcomes.

2. Build a Skills Inventory

One of the most important steps in personalization in learning and development is to bridge individual skills gaps and improve employee performance. Therefore it is imperative to have a skills list that defines the skills required for each role in your organization. This can give you a bird’s eye view of what skills matter for different roles in your organization.

Here are some steps to create a skills list.

• Based on industry standards, list the skills for each role.

• When making a list, consider your business objectives, the different types of projects and key areas of the specific role.

• Categorize them into technical, functional and leadership skills.

• Use a number scale to grade each skill level. For example:

1. Newbie

2. Advanced Beginner

3. Enabled

4. Skilled

5. Expert

Do skills research manually, or take advantage of advanced learning technology like the Learning Experience Platform (disclosure: my company offers this product), which can help you identify and benchmark skills for each role Is.

3. Assess Employee Skills Gaps

Assess each employee’s skill level using your previously created skills list to identify gaps that affect performance. Find out the grade for each skill, through self- or manager’s assessment. This can help you determine which skills are missing and which need to be strengthened. For example, a bank associate may be given a grade of three on a scale of one to five for account management skills.

Once you have a grade for each role, connect with a team lead and guide them to have one-on-one interactions with employees so that they have a visual representation of both the skill score and existing capabilities with the necessary details Could Skill.

Encourage team leads to gather information about employee needs, aspirations and goals they want to achieve. This data can help you map out a personalized learning journey that can be embedded into the employee’s work flow.

4. Tap managers in the learning process

Managers have a wealth of information about their teams. This makes them an often-untapped resource for developing a personal learning journey. It is important to gain the cooperation and involvement of the manager in order to be successful.

According to a LinkedIn report, 49% of talent developers globally reported that “getting managers to prioritize learning for their teams” is one of the top challenges they face.

Coordinate with managers and bring them into the flow of learning. Get employees’ input on their strengths and weaknesses. Help them identify the right courses to build effective learning programs that employees will voluntarily take to enhance their skills. Unlocking the potential of employees and designing personalized journeys that facilitate career progression can be a lot easier with their help.

5. Identify the Right Technology to Personalize the Learning Experience

To simplify the learning process and make it more accessible and engaging, you can take advantage of personalized learning technology such as the Learning Experience Platform (LXP). An LXP links skilling and business impact by benchmarking where individuals stand and tracking their skilling progress – allowing you to make real-time modifications to your learning approach.

The market is flooded with many learning technologies. So how do you determine the right equipment for your business? The top three features I recommend keeping an eye on when choosing a learning technology are:

1. Capable of identifying and benchmarking role-based skills

2. Abundant assessment is included to evaluate the readiness of the current employee

3. Able to auto generate a personalized route

Individualized learning is an engaging experience that allows employees with a growth mindset to enhance their skills. To meet this expectation, L&D professionals need to create a personalized learning environment by setting the right goals, assessing the company’s skill gaps, creating a skills inventory, incorporating the right technology and ensuring manager buy-in to drive maximum impact. Strategy must be developed and implemented. By following these steps, your employees can receive a personalized learning experience that captures their interest and bridges their skills gaps.

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