Sunday, October 12, 2008
Encouraging Learning in the Workplace
I just thought I'd share this.
I love ideas new and old. I want to share that love with everyone especially my team, sometimes even to the extent that I require them to take interest. I have recently devised a way to increase employees interest in learning new things by scheduling twice-a-month learning sessions where my staffs take turns in researching their chosen topics and facilitating the learning sessions.
Initially it was just us at ExeQserve but later I kinda regret having only the eight of us benefiting from the learning session, we decided to invite employees from a partner company.
So far, the sessions have exceeded my all my expectations. It gave us our regular dose of new information that hopefully are triggering more curiosity among our employees. It also helped them learn and improve on very important skills like marketing (because I let them do all the work in putting together their programs and inviting audiences), event management, presentation and facilitation skills. It also improves their confidence and I believe it will be just a matter of time until they are ready for the big league. You see, one of my dreams for WxeQserve is to develop new breeds of trainers who share my passion and beliefs in how training should be developed and delivered. With the quality of people I have in my team, it looks like that dream is well within reach. So far, we've covered, Six Thinking Hats, Creativity and Establishing a "fun" workplace using the "Fish" Philosophy. The coming weeks will bring us Blended Learning, Positive Psychology and Training ROI. I'm getting more and more excited each time.
In order to make sure that the learning sticks, we make all efforts to apply what we learn in each session. Each time we had a session, we talk about how we can apply them in the workplace and then create an action plan. I'm not sure if we can do this to all of the topics we will decide to cover but I believe that the effort to apply the knowledge is an important part of skills building.
You might be wondering why I'm sharing this. One because I'm loving the results and second, I think this strategy can work well in any company and any field of knowledge. I want to build a learning organization and I believe that this is a step towards the right direction and I encourage you to try it. Here are more details:
- To learn new relevant information that concerns our work and industry
- To develop skills in researching, designing learning modules, presentation and facilitating and managing learning events.
1. Learning sessions are conducted every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month
2. Employees take turns in facilitating the learning sessions, topics must be approved by me before they run it (eventually, this will be unnecessary).
3. The learning session runs for two hours.
4. The learning session should have the look and feel of a real training. Presentations must be well prepared and facilitators will use participative learning over "telling".
5. The module should include an action planning activity towards the end to ensure transfer of learning to the workplace.
Next up, I'll share with you a little experiment I did when I was still with SPI Technologies about Rotating Leadership Roles..