Here at Udemy for Business, one of our goals is to make our customers L&D heroes and expand the impact of learning at their organization. We know all the hard work that you as L&D professionals put into your programs and we want to enhance your efforts with proven material from Udemy’s own Learning team. We’re excited to announce Learning Playbooks as one of the practical ways our customer success team at Udemy for Business partners with you to achieve your organization’s learning goals — elevating you as an L&D hero.
We understand most L&D professionals are working with limited time and resources. As L&D teams shift from content creation to content curation, we’ve developed Learning Playbooks to help you turn Udemy’s online courses into multi-touch, blended learning programs designed to enhance critical stages of your employee lifecycle.
The transformation of L&D in recent years has been well documented. For example, according to an article by Deloitte on the future role of learning, the highest performing companies are rethinking what L&D strategically means for their business. They take a learner-first approach to learning and spend time building a culture of learning that is a company-wide responsibility.
Quick recap: What are the benefits of blended learning?
Blended learning is the practice of learning in multiple modalities. This can include online learning and classroom training, which are the two modalities the Learning Playbooks primarily focus on.
There are many benefits to blended learning. It helps reinforce learning by giving employees the opportunity to practice and reinforce what they’ve learned through spaced repetition. When you use a blended learning approach, it means people can learn online first at their own pace to become familiar with new concepts. You can then focus valuable classroom time for people to practice and apply what they’ve learned. For many adults, the social learning that occurs in the classroom with their peers is also important to building their understanding of the topic.
For more on the benefits of blended learning, see Reimagining Blended Learning: Best Practices from 8 Leading Companies.
Udemy for Business Learning Playbooks: A closer look
Mapping learning along the employee lifecycle
Our initial Learning Playbooks focus on topic areas from the employee lifecycle — the compilation of all the processes, trainings, and tools used to support employees throughout their tenure with a company. We know HR and L&D teams are often tasked with creating learning programs to support employees throughout this cycle. However, creating these programs can be challenging and time-consuming, so we decided to create playbooks to help support our HR and L&D leaders launch effective learning programs.
Our first two Learning Playbooks focus on Continuous Feedback and Manager Training. We’ll be adding new Playbooks in the near future that address other key areas of the employee lifecycle, such as Career Development and Diversity & Inclusion.
In the Continuous Feedback Learning Playbook, we give suggestions for how to create a culture of feedback in your organization. It starts with developing a shared understanding during a workshop with employees. Once everyone has a common vocabulary and knowledge of feedback, you can incorporate the feedback framework into your manager trainings, one-on-one meetings, and performance reviews to keep the learning going.
The Manager Training Learning Playbook is designed to help you run a year-long manager training program using a combination of online courses and short, social learning workshops we call Manager Labs.
In early 2020, we’ll also have Learning Playbooks to help you design a career development program in your organization that facilitates employee self-reflection, manager coaching, and mentorship, as well as a Diversity & Inclusion playbook to help you roll out learning programs to reduce unconscious bias in your organization and foster inclusion and belonging.
Who are the Playbooks for?
We’ve designed the Playbooks to be flexible enough to be used by a wide range of L&D professionals. If you’re an HR or L&D leader at a small organization working alone or with just a few colleagues on your team, the Playbooks are designed to give you all the tools you need to roll out a full learning program without needing to devote many hours to planning and creating one yourself.
If you work at a large organization, you can use the Playbooks to supplement your existing programs or scale them globally by sharing them with local team or office leads.
When it comes to using the Playbooks, they function like a menu at a restaurant. You can follow them section by section (the equivalent of a prix fixe menu) or you can “order à la carte” and just choose the parts that are most relevant to you. You can use them to supplement your existing trainings and programs, on their own as an entire program, or any other way you’d like. And the courses we include are suggestions, so you can easily switch out the courses we recommend and replace them with other courses.
How are the Playbooks designed?
All of the playbooks are laid out in the same four steps: Communicate, Facilitate, Evaluate, and Integrate.
The first step — Communicate — is all about planning the program, getting all of the logistics in order, and then communicating it with the organization, assigning the course, scheduling trainings, and generating excitement. We provide project planning templates and sample emails you can use to make the job easier. The Facilitate section includes a facilitator guide with a lesson plan, presentation deck, and all the materials you’ll need to run a live blended training based on the course or courses recommended in the Playbook. The Evaluate section offers strategies for evaluating the impact of your learning programs. It’s not just about evaluating the live training, but measuring the impact overall of your program on employee performance. The Integrate section provides ideas for folding the learning into your work culture and ensuring that people feel like they’re applying their learning over time.
Some of the Playbooks use the Learning Paths feature in Udemy for Business, too. Rather than assigning a full nine-hour Manager Training course, you can use Learning Paths to assign just the relevant sections of multiple courses. If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry — we give guidance and instructions on how to set that up. Read more about Learning Paths on Udemy for Business.
Applying the Playbooks across the employee lifecycle
If you are a Udemy for Business customer, you can work with your customer success manager to determine which Playbooks would work best for your organization and how to adapt them to your unique needs. Your customer success manager can also work with you to make the most of your Udemy subscription by setting up Learning Paths for your employees and tracking their progress.
Everything you’ll find in the Playbooks is based on work that our Learning team has done here at Udemy. We’ve tried and tested the concepts and distilled our learnings to make it as easy as possible for you to put them into practice right away. And remember — this is intended to be a guideline, but ultimately you can make the decisions about which elements will work best for your organization.
About the author:
Audrey Espey is a Senior Learning Designer at Udemy where she is responsible for designing online courses for employees as well as advising Udemy for Business instructors on their course creation process. She was formerly at Autodesk.
About Udemy for Business:
Udemy for Business is a learning platform that helps companies stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing workplace by offering fresh, relevant on-demand learning content, curated from the Udemy marketplace. Our mission is to help employees do whatever comes next—whether that’s the next project to do, skill to learn, or role to master. We’d love to partner with you on your employee development needs. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org