We learn best on-the-job and from others

 

Heard of the Ebbinghaus curve? Ebbinghaus’s research shows that we forget 50% of what we have learnt within one hour if we do not keep practising. This alone is reason enough to train employees on-the-job wherever possible, but there are other reasons too, says Paul Vossen, creative director at TinQwise.

 

Most learning processes aim to improve ‘behaviour’ or ‘performance’. Knowledge, attitude and skills are also important, but so too are the way in which work processes are organised, the working environment, good colleagues and a stimulating organisational culture.

 

70:20:10

If it is all about performance, why then do we focus in the learning and development world so much on learning objectives, which in fact relate to knowledge, attitude and skills? Do we not need to radically revise our ideas about learning? If we look at the 70:20:10 rule, which is catching on more and more, we actually see that most learning takes place on-the-job and from colleagues and social networks. Basically, the rule means that 70% of learning comes from doing, 20% from other people (discussions, networks) and 10% from formal teaching (courses, online learning). However, the training budget of many organisations fails to reflect this development, and is mainly spent on the more traditional channels representing the 10%.

 

New way of learning

We are ready for the ‘new way of learning’. Compare it to the ‘new way of working’, in which the organisation, processes, buildings, tools, roles and responsibilities have changed drastically. The individual employee is increasingly responsible for his own performance, and is more likely to determine where, when, how and with whom and what result he carries out his work. Only then can he make it in a world that is changing ever faster.

 

Make the learner responsible

Give employees who are learning a pivotal role and make them responsible for their own ‘learning performance’. With the right support and technical resources, they will be able to determine where and when they can improve their performance, how to go about it, what they need and how to keep the momentum going. They can assess their own learning outcomes and resulting work outcomes, and adjust them accordingly.

 

Making the employees responsible and giving them the tools to manage themselves will enable them to learn the most. In this way, learning will have the optimum effect on their performance, and they will be in a position to inspire and support others.

 

Performance management

An important question with 70:20:10 is whether employees are actually capable of taking charge of their own learning. In some cases the answer will be yes, in others no. To do it well, people need to understand their performance, targets and future changes, and need to be able to plan and reflect. Only then will they know whether the learning process is producing the required results.

 

Employees require support from the organisation to do this. A good coach is essential; by asking the right questions, he helps the learning employee take charge of his own learning and supports the learning process.

 

Which questions should the coach ask?

 

Coachen op gedrag en sturen op KPIs

 

Why?

How am I doing? What is the situation now? What can I improve? How can I succeed?

How?

How am I going to do that? Set out the learning strategy.

What?

Which resources have I got? How am I going to use them? How am I going to plan based on my own situation (time x place)? How will I keep the momentum going?

Effect?

How will I measure and assess my progress? How can I improve?

KGIs

The coach can help the learner understand the quality and effectiveness of the learning process. This effectiveness can be measured using KGIs (Key Growth Indicators), or learning success parameters. Examples are the extent to or speed with which knowledge or skills are acquired, the number and intensity of ‘learning moments’, the extent to which a person ‘questions, shares and supports’, or the amount of content he creates. Such parameters provide insight into progress and the need for support and guidance. It is essential to collect data relating to these parameters within the learning environment.

Choice of channel

If we hand over responsibility for learning to the ‘worker’, he needs to be able to choose how he wants to learn. We therefore need to match the learning tools and support that we provide to that choice. The focus is on individual requirements, based on which we need to see which learning channel best fits the specific learning moment, time and place. Concepts such as ‘blended’ and ‘multi-channel’, ‘mobile’ and ‘social’ are therefore given a different meaning or hue. Online learning in the classical sense of the term is no longer suited to this new way of learning. If people can choose their time and channel, it is important to offer smaller units of learning material. We also need to make sure that people only learn when they really need to, so that it has a direct effect.

Learning from others

It is important that people learn as much as possible on-the-job. This means that coaching and supervision also mainly need to take place at work. Coaching may be virtual, but do not underestimate the role of ‘meaningful others’. Colleagues, social networks and managers are crucial to the success of the learning process in the 70:20:10 philosophy.

Missed opportunity

TinQwise can help with the complete learning process. When clients ask us just to develop an online module, this is a missed opportunity in my opinion. This is because we also look at how to achieve long-term behavioural change and confirmation. Together, we can analyse how to best support behavioural change within the organisational culture, using various media and methods. I can assure you we will come up with new solutions.

Dare to trust

If we are to improve performance, changes need to be made not just to the learning process, but also to the organisation. We no longer learn top-down from a single source, but information and inspiration are drawn from the whole organisation and beyond. Organisations that make use of a wiki, forums, social networks and crowdsourcing will see improvements in the involvement of their employees and innovative power. Dare to trust your workers and do not be afraid of the world outside your own organisation. New technologies help people manage their own learning process, share more, make a more active contribution to their own learning process and that of others, and learn faster. Current technology makes the new way of learning possible, but first we need to overturn the old learning mindset.

Paul Vossen - TinQwise

Paul Vossen is one of the founders of TinQwise. Using learning technologies and innovative concepts, he continues to look for ways to challenge professionals to find more inspiration in their learning process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why?

How am I doing? What is the situation now? What can I improve? How can I succeed?
How?

How am I going to do that? Set out the learning strategy.
What?

Which resources have I got? How am I going to use them? How am I going to plan based on my own situation (time x place)? How will I keep the momentum going?
Effect?

How will I measure and assess my progress? How can I improve?

KGIs

The coach can help the learner understand the quality and effectiveness of the learning process. This effectiveness can be measured using KGIs (Key Growth Indicators), or learning success parameters. Examples are the extent to or speed with which knowledge or skills are acquired, the number and intensity of ‘learning moments’, the extent to which a person ‘questions, shares and supports’, or the amount of content he creates. Such parameters provide insight into progress and the need for support and guidance. It is essential to collect data relating to these parameters within the learning environment.

 

Choice of channel

If we hand over responsibility for learning to the ‘worker’, he needs to be able to choose how he wants to learn. We therefore need to match the learning tools and support that we provide to that choice. The focus is on individual requirements, based on which we need to see which learning channel best fits the specific learning moment, time and place. Concepts such as ‘blended’ and ‘multi-channel’, ‘mobile’ and ‘social’ are therefore given a different meaning or hue. Online learning in the classical sense of the term is no longer suited to this new way of learning. If people can choose their time and channel, it is important to offer smaller units of learning material. We also need to make sure that people only learn when they really need to, so that it has a direct effect.

 

Learning from others

It is important that people learn as much as possible on-the-job. This means that coaching and supervision also mainly need to take place at work. Coaching may be virtual, but do not underestimate the role of ‘meaningful others’. Colleagues, social networks and managers are crucial to the success of the learning process in the 70:20:10 philosophy.

 

Missed opportunity

TinQwise can help with the complete learning process. When clients ask us just to develop an online module, this is a missed opportunity in my opinion. This is because we also look at how to achieve long-term behavioural change and confirmation. Together, we can analyse how to best support behavioural change within the organisational culture, using various media and methods. I can assure you we will come up with new solutions.

 

Dare to trust

If we are to improve performance, changes need to be made not just to the learning process, but also to the organisation. We no longer learn top-down from a single source, but information and inspiration are drawn from the whole organisation and beyond. Organisations that make use of a wiki, forums, social networks and crowdsourcing will see improvements in the involvement of their employees and innovative power. Dare to trust your workers and do not be afraid of the world outside your own organisation. New technologies help people manage their own learning process, share more, make a more active contribution to their own learning process and that of others, and learn faster. Current technology makes the new way of learning possible, but first we need to overturn the old learning mindset.

 

 

Paul Vossen is one of the founders of TinQwise. Using learning technologies and innovative concepts, he continues to look for ways to challenge professionals to find more inspiration in their learning process.