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Five Common Myths About Workplace Learning

COVID-19 showed us that digitalization and transformation are happening much more rapidly than we ever thought possible. In fact, when it comes to the workplace, one in two professionals say that their need for learning is far greater than before, according to the “Kahoot! 2020 Learning at Work Report.” However, the same percentage of people also indicate that their organizations simply haven’t stepped up to create new educational opportunities during the pandemic. I took this very challenge to a virtual table of learning and development experts during the Kahoot! Work Summit. We shared insights on the future of learning and discussed how the breadth and variety of opportunities today can serve to debunk some of the legacy learning myths standing in the way. From lack of time to lack of budget, here’s a look at five common organizational myths that challenge a learning culture, and why they’re simply not true.

I don’t have time for corporate training

While most people actively embrace on-the-job learning, it can be a bit more challenging to make time for the typically more time-intensive training sessions. But training doesn’t necessarily require a two-day seminar at a Holiday Inn anymore. It can come in bite-sized packages that you can consume as you work, such as mini-online sessions you can catch during coffee breaks. We also see that the pandemic has given rise to virtual training opportunities, giving eager corporate learners a new type of training offering that can be conducted from the comfort of their desks. At Kahoot! we believe that the future of corporate education may be more of a blended model, consisting of remote and in-person opportunities, of all sizes and formats, rather than traditional coursework of the past. This gives learners greater flexibility in choosing when, where and how they integrate more education in their lives.

The courses offered are too boring

Learning is changing across organizations, and today we have the tools to make it much more fun and engaging. Game-based learning is shaking up people’s preconceived notions on corporate learning. Games and quizzes foster engagement, support information retention, and help managers instantly understand what the team learned and where there are gaps. As corporate learning moves into the future, the same technology that shapes our evening entertainment will also impact learning. From virtual to augmented reality, technology is breaking down any signs of learning fatigue to keep people active and engaged.

The learning and development offerings aren’t relevant to me

It’s impossible for a company to provide everything that every individual needs to learn. That’s why personalized learning is key, and employees should seek opportunities that suit them rather than depending solely on the corporate course catalogue. The learning & development teams are the enablers, while it’s up to employees to make learning a reality for themselves. When people take personal responsibility, the educational opportunities become much richer and more relevant, tailored to their specific needs and development areas. This is also key for ensuring career progression and continued high performance. When the learning isn’t connected to the actual job of the learner, it quickly becomes irrelevant and disposable. On the other hand, if the learning can support or enhance the work at hand, it becomes much more valuable for both employee and employer.

My manager doesn’t care about learning

The recent Kahoot! 2020 Learning at Work Report shows that 50 percent of people are more engaged at work when their company has a strong culture of learning. To build this culture, managers, all the way up to the CEO, must be role models for employees, demonstrating that they too are continuously learning. On a small scale it could be as simple as talking about a book they’ve just read or a course they’ve attended. But in the big picture, it’s about embracing a growth mindset in the organization, one in which all are encouraged to develop and grow as they seek and gain knowledge. One way to truly bring this home for employees is to ensure that learning is recognized and rewarded, such as through performance reviews that evaluate whether team members grew, developed, and expanded their horizons throughout the year. Perhaps it’s time to celebrate learning successes much as we do financial achievements? Then there can be no doubt that the company cares.

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Our learning & development budget isn’t big enough

Not all learning opportunities need to come from the outside. In a company that embraces a strong learning culture, it’s natural for the trainees to take on roles as trainers as well. Everyone has something to share, whether it’s how to make amazing slides or best practices for running projects. From simple to complex, employees possess knowledge that can benefit others in the organization. We call this ‘collaborative learning’ at Kahoot!, and it’s a powerful way to spread learning at scale in a company. While it remains the job of the learning and development teams and managers alike to spot the needs among the teams, in a collaborative learning environment, everyone is responsible for identifying knowledge and experience that should be shared.

We can no longer afford to foster corporate learning myths

The technological developments of the 21 st century have sparked a pace of change never before experienced, making learning essential to our working lives. The pandemic has only made this more urgent. In order for companies to stay ahead, they must create a culture in which employees embrace continuous learning. This requires throwing the old learning myths out the window and instead focusing on the individual learners and their needs, enabling teams to grow and develop, together.