I had the opportunity to moderate our People Innovators Panel in New York last week. Despite the snow, our panelists of L&D leaders led a great discussion on learning trends—more sophisticated blended learning experiences and new (and old school) technologies to motivate learners and impact your organization’s bottom line.
Udemy for Business hosts a People Innovators Panel series around the world to bring L&D leaders together to share best practices and build connections. We were fortunate to have a great panel of speakers in New York including Paul Fiolek, Head of Talent Management at LG Electronics, Julie Veloz, Vice President, Learning & Development and Head of Diversity and Inclusion at IPG Mediabrands, and Nathan Knight, Director of Learning & Development at Casper. Here are some of the blended learning experiences shared by the panel and how they’re measuring the ROI.
Creating blended learning experiences that offer different modes of learning can help motivate employees to learn. At LG Electronics, they launched the “ART of Learning” program which stands for Attending a class, Reading a book, and Taking an online course. Their L&D team curated a variety of content including online courses on Udemy for Business and various books. For their classroom sessions, they created memorable experiences by having learners submit their favorite song for compiling into a playlist to air during the class—embedding another memory trigger to help reinforce knowledge retention through music.
The HR team at LG Electronics also partners with managers to help them be the best managers they can be by encouraging learning and coaching. They rolled out a ‘5 Tools of Learning’ manager toolkit with course recommendations to get managers to coach and motivate employees to brush up on skills during their goal setting and personal development time period.
LG Electronics’ L&D team has just begun to measure the ROI of their learning programs by tracking the impact of training on retention. “Turnover has tangible bottom-line results. We’re tying this cost of turnover back to L&D. We track going back three years to see the longevity of employees who attended our new learning programs versus those that didn’t,” said Paul Fiolek, Head of Talent Management at LG Electronics. “As a next step, we also hope to start tracking ROI by baking learning into individual KPIs.”
In addition to offering blended learning modes to motivate learners, IPG Mediabrands tapped into their employees’ FOMO or the fear of missing out. For their Media Foundations Program, which teaches the basics of media strategy and media buying, they used old-school binders with different colors to signal people who were enrolled or who had graduated from the program. Other employees would see them carrying around these “special” binders and want in on the action. The basic level Media Foundation courses were offered online. But once employees completed this first level, they received a special invitation for the more advanced classroom session. “Using a strategy taken out from social media, we used our employees fear of missing out on something cool to bring education to life,” explained Julie Veloz, Vice President, Learning & Development and Head of Diversity and Inclusion at IPG Mediabrands.
Julie tracks the ROI of her L&D programs by surveying learners before and after the training to see if employees feel more confident in their skills post-training. She also brings in managers to help employees apply what they learned on the job. “We also go one step further by letting managers know their direct report took the course and we survey their manager several months later to see if they see a change in behavior,” added Julie.
At Casper, the L&D team plans to deliver cost-effective learning and high ROI by keeping the content relevant to what people need to do on the job and the delivery flexible through a blended, modular design. Focusing first on their scaling retail business, they are moving from full-day instructor-led training to pacing out learning over time – this will include more hands-on learning activities and knowledge checks guided by their LMS to maximize retention. “It ends up being a fairly simple equation: less content that is more practical and engaging equals higher knowledge retention. Another bonus of emphasizing behavior-based design (just what you need to know) as opposed to strictly knowledge-based design (everything you could know) is we’re reducing classroom time by days, not hours. As we continue to grow, this should provide real cost savings,” said Nathan Knight, Director of Learning & Development at Casper.
The Casper L&D team plans to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach through scheduled “check-ins” at the stores to understand how retail sleep specialists are applying what they learned on the job, and to refine it based on their feedback.
All panelists agreed the best learner is a learner that wants to be in your training. Branding and marketing your L&D programs can drive the desire to learn and managers can play an important role in encouraging learning and ensuring the new skills are applied on the job. But at the end of the day, each employee is accountable for their own learning and it’s L&D’s job to foster an environment to make them successful in their learning endeavors.
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