5 Ways To Put The Learner At The Heart Of Your Learning

5 Ways To Put The Learner At The Heart Of Your Learning
Summary: In this article, discover how to prioritise the learner and have them at the heart of your learning programmes.

Here Are Our Top 5 Factors To Consider

Over the past few years, we have worked with a wide range of diverse and dynamic organisations. Many of them had very specific needs and challenges relating to their unmet organisational goals or processes that had fallen flat. One consistent and constant priority that we have seen since the era of COVID-19 is the need to prioritise the individual needs of the learner to better engage the wider workforce.

It's Time To Prioritise The Learner

It is clear that in 2023, we need to focus on learners as individuals and to understand and empathise with what they need to help them flourish and achieve. If organisations get this right, then they will more effectively (and efficiently) achieve their organisational goals and improve their employee satisfaction and retention. To get real buy-in, engagement and internal buzz, it's essential that L&D teams begin to think this way.

How Can We Put The Learner Front And Centre?

It's all too easy to say that large organisations need to treat every single employee differently when considering personal development and learning experiences. Of course, every learner wants to feel like they are being listened to and that their learning needs are being appreciated and catered for. In an ideal world, we are sure that every L&D professional would agree that this is the best route. However, the reality is that this is often a huge challenge. It can feel like an upward battle when juggling learning programmes that need to be delivered over short periods of time and to a really large audience.

We are big advocates for embracing the individuality of each learner. Therefore, we've rounded up our top 5 factors to consider when prioritising the learner in your learning experiences.

1. Be Aware Of Time Restraints

Firstly, it's important to consider the elements of the learning experience that you can't control. What is the time capacity for the learning experience, for example? It might be that you have some essential training that has to be rolled out across all departments in six weeks. Or managers must do the training first ahead of the wider workforce, or there's a chunk of the training that must be done in four weeks, and the remaining content can be consumed over a longer period of time. Consider what your time restraints are for each level of staff and ensure each individual is prepared and ready.

2. Understand Their Environment

Are your learners all based at home? Is the learning all online or blended? Do all learners have the same access to technology? You must consider this so that you can better adapt your learning experiences. Each environment should be considered and catered for so that the individual learner can feel at ease and comfortable within their own space.

3. Know Their Experience Level

It's important to understand and consider the level of the learner that is undertaking your programme. What is their job role, and what do they need to know to move forward? Can they pick and choose certain parts of the learning depending on their previous experience or level of expertise? For example, it may be suitable that if a learner is more advanced or more experienced, they can skip certain sections. Learners that have the ability and power to create their own learning agenda are more likely to be engaged and excited by the content they are consuming.

4. Be Open To Personalisation

We encourage you to consider ways to create a more custom learning experience for your learners. Are there ways that you can give the learner more "choice" around their content and style of learning? Can learners respond to content depending on their learning style? For example, can learners choose a more social learning route if that works for them or a more individualised learning style if they prefer autonomous learning?

5. Be "Benefit" Led

Ultimately, every learning experience should be about bringing as much value as possible to the individual learner. However, we do understand that your organisation may have urgent priorities or challenges that require immediate attention. In all scenarios, we urge you to bring the benefit of the learning experience to the forefront of the engagement strategy. Will your employees save time as a result of this training? Will they get better results? Will they be able to measure a better Return On Investment (or effort)? How can this learning experience enhance their working lives so that they can feel a direct positive impact? By putting the benefit at the forefront of your engagement, you will get more buy-in and more interaction with your learning experiences.

Using Learner Advocates At The Heart Of Your Engagement Strategy

We also encourage you to consider nominating a few internal "learner advocates" to bring your engagement strategy to life. This can be an impactful way to engage future learners and persuade them of the power of your learning experiences.

Some ideas could include:

  • Using previous learner case studies to showcase success and real-life outcomes.
  • Asking successful learners to share their experiences in a short video or at an internal event.
  • Creating a panel of learners for an informal Q&A session for upcoming learners to share their concerns and answer any questions.

Want To Learn More About Embracing Personalisation For Your Learners?

Still not convinced about tailored learning experiences? From our experiences with organisations that have wanted to prioritise the learner, we know that personalisation works. Personalisation creates better learner engagement, reduces seat time (saving you money), and improves performance.

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Originally published at kineo.com.