“Machines need to be productive. People need to be effective.”, said by the English watchmaker.
Like many, you may have found yourself working longer hours in recent months. Doing, doing, and doing.
Producing new things such as events, initiatives, programmes, content, sure feels great. But are they purposeful? What sets effectiveness and productivity apart is that effectiveness moves us closer to our intended goals and outcomes.
In the L&D context, to be truly effective, we have to break these misconceptions:
#1 The longer the duration = the more one learns
#2 The more content covered in a class = the more value learners get
#3 Learning has to be done in a single session
At HighSpark Academy, we see a training programme as a means to an end. Ultimately, the programme should drive long-term value to your teams and organisation. We are constantly keeping up with L&D trends, scientific research around learning, and refining our learning solutions to achieve the highest level of effectiveness.
In this newsletter highlight, we will share with you key insights so you can maximise the ROI of every learning initiative you champion.
Click on this menu:
- L&D insights of the month: must read/watch
#1 Top four obstacles to learning & development, and how to overcome them
#2 Three learning strategies that you should bake into your L&D programmes
- How to gain higher rating for training effectiveness (Case study)
- Maximise your existing limited resources with these programmes
- Free resources – Learners exclusive
- Help us prioritise what new (free) resources we should build for you
1. L&D insights of the month and must read/watch
To save you time, we’ve hand-picked the most relevant content and summarised them for you:
#1 Top four obstacles to learning & development, and how to overcome them
Managers are the most trusted source for learning inside any organisation. Learning and development leads can work closely with managers of teams to empower employees to learn effectively.
1. Time (43%)
Share scientifically-backed strategies with employees to make use of their time and learn wisely. Then lead by example.
2. Guidance (30%)
Know the difference between control and power – assign tasks, trust your people to complete them.
3. Recognition (30%)
Spotlight the most dedicated learners in email updates.
4. Encouragement (22%)
Co-create learning plans with employees and create a timeline to prioritise developing relevant skills.
Read the full article by Degreed here: Link
#2 Three learning strategies that you should bake into your L&D plans
Findings by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghau: If new information isn’t applied, we forget 75% of them after just six days. If your learners forget what they learnt in the workshops, wouldn’t this be a loss of time and money?
To get the most value from the learning plans you design, you can beat the forgetting curve with these strategies:
1. Activate prior knowledge: connect new information with existing ones
2. Retrieval practice: review what was learnt in a number of different ways
3. Make learning active: solve problems, create experiments
4. Make learning effortful: make the process slightly hard
5. Make learning social: learn from somebody and teach somebody
These 5 techniques will signal to the brain that what was learnt is important and useful, thereby turning short-term memory into long-term memory.
2. Same programme, different format -> highest effectiveness rating
The best way to test the effectiveness of the learning modality is to run the same programme a few times, in different formats and durations, then let the data tell the story. We have been blessed to work with some of you to experiment with different learning modalities.
If you have yet to try approaching your programmes differently, the following case study may inspire you to try.
In the previous newsletter, we saw that the ratings for blended learning were higher than traditional classroom training. In July, we conducted the blended learning again for the same programme, but this time, with some changes. The rating was the highest (highlighted in yellow).
Blended format 1:
10 hours of content & exercises spread across 2 days
This flow is beneficial when…
the learners and teams are nominated by their bosses, and they have little idea why they are enrolled in the course or how it can benefit them. Having a synchronous session (for example 1 hr) at the start would allow the L&D or team lead to set the context and paint the purpose of the programme. This will motivate participants to look at the workshop as an opportunity rather than a chore. Learning becomes more effective when learners are motivated to complete the self-paced modules and work on the assignments with their best effort.
This duration is beneficial when…
the learners or organiser would like the course to be completed as soon as possible, so they can dedicate their attention to other work at hand. And when spreading out sessions too much might make it difficult for live sessions to be scheduled.
The rating on training effectiveness was 90%, an increase of 5.8% as compared to the offline run of the same programme.
However, participants wished they had more time to complete the modules as they were juggling multiple work duties while learning.
Blended format 2:
9 hours worth of content & exercises spread across 5 days, with personalised feedback
We ran the same programme in July. This time, we spread out the blended learning over a week. To ensure that the learners do not pack the learning to the last minute, we embedded two deadlines within the week. To ensure that they are on the right track with their assignments, and applied the concepts accurately, the trainer recorded personalised feedback after each submission. Those who requested for more guidance and clarification received them throughout the week.
Surprisingly good. We were quite uncertain at first about the new flow of events. What if learners are not motivated to learn without a proper kick-off and context setting session? Turns out, the scheduled onboarding emails and videos, and scheduled check-ins worked. The rating for this new approach is the highest of all, 95.8%, a 5.8% increase from the previous run. Still, we get some requests to stretch the learning even more. And that is what we will be experimenting next.
Thank you! It was more useful than I had initially expected, with very clear explanation and impactful case studies. The details of the course were also very well-thought-out, including outlining the estimated duration of the assignments, and an overview of the sub-topics within each module to give the participant a sense of the overall flow.
Want more insights on how to organise an effective virtual training?
3. Recommended courses that maximise your existing limited resources
The best people to market your brand are your employees.
Advantages of turning your employees into brand advocates:
1. More cost effective and sustainable versus paying influencers and advertisers a hefty sum every month to gain brand visibility.
2. More authentic as employees are the ones who understand your brand intimately and represent your brand the best.
3. Increase employees’ brand belonging and showcase company culture to attract new talents.
Best for Brand & marketing team
The Employee Advocacy (via LinkedIn) programme gives brands a blueprint to recruit, train and evangelise a core group of employees and transform them into micro-influencers.
This programme will incorporate a self- sustainable content curation and creation process where your employees are equipped with the art and science of LinkedIn content creation and curation.
Best for all teams:
Uncover the structure & strategy to boost motivation and productivity of your remote teams. Learn how teams can reclaim their time, get more done while achieving more work-life-balance!
4. Free resources – Client exclusive
We’ve been actively listening to the learners about their needs and wants, especially around how we can better support them to apply what they’ve learnt to their work.
Here are some new resources we have rolled out. And yes, they are completely free (for existing clients).
The 30-day storytelling email course
This course was inspired by a question one of our coachees asked: ‘What are the habits I need to build to become a better storyteller?’. This 30-day course makes a good post-workshop resource in order to enhance retention and learning based on what you read in the article above.
How does this work?
Upon sign up, every alternate day, learners will receive a bite-sized email from us. This will last for a month. And each email will contain useful resources, tips, and exercises. With spatial learning, and the other learning strategies embedded, learners transform knowledge into skills.
We’ve rolled this out to a handful of clients and this seemed to be working!
This was inspired by the question: “How can we encourage employees to be proactive in learning?” and by the ’employee of the month/year’ model.
How does this work?
For clients who work with us long-term, after each workshop, the trainer will hand pick learner(s) to spotlight. A poster will be designed featuring the learner and the best practices he/she advocates (relating to the topic of the programme that was attended). These posters will then be included in the organisation’s newsletter or online portal where peers can see.
This is to recognise dedicated learners from our workshop and inspire their peers to learn the best practices from them. This turns learners into guides, and creates a culture of learning in the organisation where individuals are motivated to upskill themselves. It is also a good way to garner interest from the right target audience to sign up for the upcoming sessions of the programme.
Run effective communications programmes that drive results.
Learn how to:
1. Implement better measures for better outcomes
2. Identify the most effective learning modality for your team
3. Help trainers engage your audiences effectively