Distractions at work are a fact of life, especially when you factor in emails, instant messages, desk-side visits from co-workers and the siren's call of social media. Staying engaged and "in the zone" is critical to employee productivity. According to Gallup, businesses in the top quartile of engagement realize higher productivity and 21 percent higher profitability. So how can L&D professionals and the C-suite create learning experiences that are engaging and don't disrupt employees' flow of work? Seamless education starts with the right tools and strategy.
Invest in the right LMS
While not all learning and development is through formal programs, a good portion of it is. A good learning management system allows people to learn at their own pace and when they have time. Even the busiest and most dedicated worker needs a brain break every once in a while. If anyone stares at spreadsheets for eight hours straight, their eyelids will surely droop.
A flexible LMS empowers learners to train at their convenience. When the content is engaging, people will want to learn during their downtime, instead of rushing through training out of obligation. Consider opting for an LMS that offers micro-lessons. Short lessons between meetings or over lunch allow everyone to fit bursts of microlearning into their busy day.
Integrate learning in the flow of work
Learning in the flow of work requires getting the right technology to the right people at the right time. For seamless learning, consider the convenience and ease of the technology. The trial and error of five login and password combinations and getting lost within a complicated LMS gifts precious time into a vortex never to return. An intuitive, simple interface that integrates neatly into the applications and software your employees already use won't hurt productivity. In fact, in-the-flow learning enhances productivity. Employees can zip through lessons, then apply immediately what they've learned.
Learning should be a continuum: every task should fall into place neatly, allowing you to seamlessly travel from one assignment to the next without breaking concentration. To achieve flow, training needs to be interesting, appropriate to the employee and advance productivity. Learning should be available in the context of specific tasks, as well. For example, a salesperson could receive a competitive training module directly embedded into Salesforce as they're talking to a prospect without needing to leave Salesforce.com.
Not only should you focus on the lessons' content, but also the way lessons are delivered. Consider your audience's day-to-day and their relationship with your current technology. For instance, if you assign a typing ergonomics training to your doctors who dictate their notes in an entirely separate portal, you've lost your audience twice over.
In a 2017 Deloitte survey, 83 percent of executives identified learning as important or very important. Tasking your employees with completing training modules for the sake of it won't add value to their day-to-day. There's no getting around mandatory compliance and safety courses, but for career enrichment training, build its completion into their six-month goals. For an employee to prioritize learning, they need to see the point in it. Otherwise, it's a chore.
Learning should be considered part of the employee productivity measure. It should be included in senior management reports, and managers need to build training and development time into their budgets. The possibility of promotions and monetary incentives may be the boost some employees need to jump into the LMS.
If your LMS disrupts employee productivity, it's time to reevaluate your learning strategy. Your L&D approach should enrich your employees' work, drive personal development and add value to your business. You know you've found the right LMS when productivity soars after training days. Make sure to invest in an LMS that successfully fits into the busy workdays; your employees and your C-suite will thank you.