Article: Tuned in or tuned off: From persuasive learning to self-led learning

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Tuned in or tuned off: From persuasive learning to self-led learning

There’s been a definite shift towards employees themselves taking greater ownership of their own development rather than companies persuading them to partake of learning programs. What do organizations need to focus on to drive self-led learning?
Tuned in or tuned off: From persuasive learning to self-led learning

The renowned American entrepreneur and investor, Mark Cuban recommends everyone to never stop learning. The billionaire, who is currently learning to code in Python, believes that the world's first trillionaire will make their fortune with artificial intelligence. And obviously, he doesn't want to be left behind. Lifelong learning is now not only a matter of economic necessity but the need of the hour in every sense. And with the influx of technology, the paradigm of learning has become more prominent, hence those who don’t adapt will definitely be left behind.  

Now, here the question arises on how can organizations tune their employees from the realm of persuasive learning to self-led learning. How do you get your employees excited to follow the path of self-led learning? Of course, the motivation factor doesn't have to be necessarily finding the next million-dollar venture. However, it can be as simple as learning a new skill or simply reading a book to share in an organizational context. Whatever the case be, the underlying principle remains the same - motivation needs to come from the employee side. 

Let us see how and what organizations need to focus on to tune in from persuasive learning to self-led learning.

• The first critical factor that needs maximum attention is undoubtedly related to the organization's culture. Organizations need to make all efforts to make learning an intrinsic part of their organizational culture. By embedding continuous learning into company cultures, managers can help employees view learning as an opportunity for continuous growth instead of merely a path to promotion. Leadership buy-in plays a major role in it. When leaders show that they are dedicatedly making all efforts to acquire new skills outside their comfort zones, employees start to feel more empowered to take ownership of their learning journeys.

• An organization’s priority should be to better enable employees with the required support through resources and tools for enhancing self-paced learning. As the battery of re-skilling platforms is growing its presence in both B2B and B2C segments, organizations must make use of MOOC platforms like Coursera, Udemy, edX and others to change their organizational learning landscape. Companies like Novartis, have recently collaborated with Coursera to power their employees’ up-skilling needs. They believe that such self-paced tools are the future and help employees take greater ownership of their own development.

• In order to help inspire self-direction in learning, managers and leaders need to get vulnerable and demonstrate how they learn on their own. Let them demonstrate that the more they learn, the more they get motivated to try out new things without the fear of failure. As long as people can manage to take acceptable risks, learning culture need to support them, even when they fail. Kim Ruyle, the talent management experts states that ‘You can’t learn when you’re too comfortable and without the possibility of failure.’ Hence, leaders need to support risk-taking and failing forward concepts in their learning philosophy. 

• Help build and communicate a shared vision to employees at all levels. Align employees’ personal vision to the larger organizational vision to help bring in the desired business outcome. The right channel and manner of communication fosters motivation, trust and a sense of collaboration that can foster a much more progressive pattern of learning in the organization. 

In short, self paced flexible and responsive learning is the future. The arguably biggest asset what we call – the human capital is expected to be smarter and more agile which means that organizations need to develop a culture that fosters learning. Hence, the progression from persuasive learning to self-led learning is quite evident. In self led learning, individuals have begun to take initiatives in diagnosing their own learning needs. They take measures to formulate learning goals, identify appropriate learning strategies and then evaluating learning outcomes on their own. Organizations now need to provide an ecosystem that supports the much needed change for reducing the skill deficiencies.

(Know more about the latest trends in the learning & development landscape at the People Matters L&D Conference 2019 scheduled for 6th November in Mumbai. Click here to register.)

Topics: #PMLnD, Learning & Development

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