Creating Meaningful Learning

With Online Educa Berlin fast approaching us in early December 2015, it’s hard to believe that the event is now in its 21st year. The conference brings together over 2,300 participants from 100 countries and is an annual fixture in my diary.

Ahead of Speexx Exchange, which takes place on the eve of the OEB event, we’re running our annual audit of global CXOs, HR, L&D professionals and training consultants who are also scheduled to join the event. Early findings of the Speexx Exchange survey show some interesting insights which I’m excited to share today.

E-enabled and mobile learning still front of mind

The audit asked HR and L&D professionals about the main benefits they see in e-enabled learning. 45 percent said that “Flexibility and instant accessibility” were the key advantages they gained, followed by a “Reduction of direct training costs” (cited by 15 percent). It is encouraging to see HR and L&D registering financial benefits of e-learning programs. In line with this tendency, almost a third of our respondents plan to spend over 30 percent of their training budget on e-learning or blended learning projects.

Next up are mobile and 70:20:10, which are gaining popularity, but still have some obstacles to overcome. 27 per cent of the HR and L&D managers we spoke to confirmed that they are actively supporting mobile learning within their organization and 14 percent plan to implement a mobile learning strategy within the foreseeable future.

The main factors thought to be hampering mobile learning in the workplace were “Lack of integration” (23 percent), “No BYOD policy in place” (18 percent) and “Corporate data security issues” (17 percent). For the 70:20:10 model and collaboration, things are looking a little brighter, 32 per cent have this framework embraced as part of their corporate learning culture and 11 percent plan to apply it within the coming three years. At the same time, however, 30 percent do not use it or plan to use it and 27 percent are not sure.

To me, these figures suggest that managers need to do much more to promote blended, social and mobile learning within their organizations, and to back HR and L&D managers in along the way. At the same time, none of this can really flourish if there isn’t a solid learning strategy in place.

This strategy needs to be communicated clearly and transparently across all branches and departments. The importance of strong communications is reflected in the early findings of the survey: A staggering 97 percent rate communications as important or very important for overall business success. It’s time to rethink how we communicate changes and strategies, and what effect our communication style has on those around us. This also means taking into account linguistic and cultural differences, which often leave room for potential misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

Adapting to change

As we move into 2016, the integration of multilingual and multicultural workers into an overall business strategy is crucial to sustaining and growing a business. Many organizations are now actively incorporating communication skills training and language learning as part of their talent strategy, nurturing staff from the ground up and making talent accessible on a global scale. An organization with an all-inclusive work culture that embraces diversity and effectively integrates multilingual workers will ultimately open its doors to better business – and is more likely to retain its top talent.

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