New Year's Resolutions

Here are your 5 New Year’s resolutions to make and keep in 2015 when it comes to your digital learning:


1.Engage your population in dialogue

Listen to your employees. As they are the users and beneficiaries of any learning programme, their opinion counts hugely. Consider their input at all stages of your learning strategy. Ask not just what did they learn – but also how useful was it? Did a particular learning intervention raise the performance bar? From the onset, when developing a new implementation, ask your population what would help them perform better. When a programme has been put in place, constantly seek and encourage feedback on all areas of your L&D offering. Provide staff with some sort of an outlet to comment on and rate initiatives. Through this process of listening to your employees, you should get a sense of what is really adding value down the line. Bottom line is for a programme to work, it must drive the business forward.

2.Adopt a market perspective to learning

Many people-management professionals hold what could be termed a ‘manufacturing’ approach to learning – where primacy is placed on the quality of the faculty, content or system. There is nothing wrong with this perspective except it tends to position the learner as a passive object who ‘receives’ the knowledge/skills. The time has come to instead place the learner themselves, what we call the ‘market’, at the centre of the learning experience. In this way, we see the learner as an agent – with a central role in their own learning pathway.

3.Get to the point

Few have time or inclination to devote to dull, long-form compliance based e-learning programmes. L&D would be better served to focus on delivering key SMARTS in a concise and engaging manner. Visual forms of communication such as graphic based videos or engaging infographics capture and hold the learner’s attention better.


Mobile devices: tablets, laptops and smartphones have consolidated their position as an indispensable tool in the workplace. Staff rely on their devices to work when on-the-go. The 21st century has also witnessed the birth of the ‘trigger user’. By trigger user we mean the user accesses content when prompted by an upcoming task, such as having a difficult conversation with a colleague. Mobile devices can facilitate this process effectively – learners can use their device to perform a task/pull down content when faced with a challenge. L&D must design and enable content to be ‘on-the-go’ in order to cater to the needs of this user.

5.Move away from tracking

HR departments often become preoccupied with the notion of tracking usage and completion rates. Employees are forced to enrol and partake in compliance based courses. The fixation on tracking usage or certifying that a module has been completed should be shifted to the following: ensuring people engage with content and perform better. If you move to a self-service learning programme, you effectively put the learner in the driver’s seat and they are more open to learn. 


The digital learning revolution certainly looks set to continue in 2015. Employees are demanding a more technologically advanced learning programme that caters for and engages with ‘trigger users’. Learning and development departments need to continue to adjust and upgrade their learning experience to cater to and engage this type of user. By doing this, the learner will invest more in time and energy in their own learning pathway. As a result, they will perform better; ultimately increasing the company’s return on their L&D investment. While this is a continuous journey, these five New Year’s resolutions are a good start.



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