2017 UPDATE: Find out more in my book, Learning in the Modern Workplace 2017
Workplace training (and e-learning) are often euphemistically referred to as workplace learning, so there has been an assumption for a long time now that they are one and the same thing.
But whilst workplace training/e-learning is about telling people what they need to learn, how they need to learn it, when they need to learn it, and making sure they do it – workplace learning is much more than this. And now that the workplace is radically changing, workplace learning needs a new definition … a new mindset even …
- A mindset that recognises that most learning happens as a natural part of work – through daily work experiences and interactions with colleagues and others – and that this type of learning is of no less importance than the learning that comes from being taught or though self-study.
- A mindset that appreciates the fact that people are learning as much for themselves by using the Web in their daily activities – to solve their own performance problems and to keep informed about their industry and profession – and that this needs to be promoted and supported rather than banned or ignored.
- A mindset that values workplace learning in ALL its forms – and it is not just about organising course and resources FOR people, but also involves encouraging, enabling and support self-organised learning
- A mindset that realises that it is not about tracking and measuring what people have learned, but evaluating the impact that it has had on job, team and business performance.
- A mindset that understands that the world is changing fast and that nowadays everyone has a responsibility for learning in the workplace.
This new definition (and mindset) of modern workplace learning (MWL) in turn requires a wider set of L&D practices.
- Building the new MWL mindset in the organisation
- Promoting independent continuous learning
- Supporting everyday learning (as a natural part of work)
- Providing modern training (content and experiences in new formats)
- Helping solve performance problems in the most appropriate ways
Below is a graphic that I’ve been using to show how these new practices fit together. You can download a copy of the PDF (with hyperlinks) from SlideShare During 2016 I’ll be posting more about these MWL practices.