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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Why learning is going viral in the digital age | Singapore Business Review - HR & Education

Photo: Karen Cariss
"There’s a revolution taking place in Singapore" says Karen Cariss, one of the founders of PageUp.


It’s not one that’s being screamed from rooftops, but it’s catching like wildfire throughout businesses everywhere, cutting costs, increasing productivity and driving employee engagement.

I’m talking about learning and development (L&D). Yes, that pillar of your organisation that aims to arm your employees with the skills and knowledge they need to develop and grow. Inspired by the Singapore government’s focus and initiatives on lifelong learning, organisations have been ramping up their efforts to up skill and train their staff.
It’s estimated that companies spend $130 billion on L&D programs each year globally. But despite the huge investment, only one third report getting desired results.

This number doesn’t surprise me. In a modern world, L&D professionals are still trying to put a traditional lens on learning. Lengthy internal courses, time consuming presentations and training programs decided on and set by leaders. Let me explain why this alone just won’t work.

A modern workforce
By 2020, Millennials will make up half the global workforce. They are more qualified, tech savvy and ambitious than their predecessors. However, their attention spans are shorter (8.25 seconds) and they are exposed to 5 times more content (100,000 words a day) than those 30 years ago. How much of that 3-hour workshop you spent considerable time and money implementing are they actually going to soak up?...

Make learning viral
Here is what we know about the way we learn. Our attention is highly selective about what we retain and what we choose to discard. Small chunks of information work. Large slabs presented at once make our brains skip off for a time out sipping cocktails by the beach in Barbados. We are also influenced by our peers and look to each other to learn and grow. The trick for L&D professionals is presenting employees with the right information, in the right way, at the right time. Easy peasy right?

Now the new digital landscape might have turned our L&D strategies on their heads, but lucky for us, it has also presented us with innovative technology and software to make this ‘right time, right way’ challenge achievable. Mobile and app-driven solutions give employees the freedom to learn on-demand while cloud-based learning management systems allow people access from any device, anywhere in the world. Even on that beach in Barbados.

Source: Singapore Business Review