Go1 Love of Learning Series: Three Key Attributes to Driving Learner Engagement
Go1's Craig Hamill and Merrissa Pires, Global Head of Learning and Development at Reckitt, join forces to discuss the future skills L&D leaders can adopt and perfect to drive further learning engagement. The session kicks off a brand new series of webinars for 2022, the ‘Love of Learning series’ as part of Go1’s mission to get one billion learners to fall in love with learning.
After a brief introduction on their professional backgrounds and strong passion for learning, Craig and Merrissa begin the session by unpicking the common barriers and challenges that L&D professionals face on a day-to-day level. Quoting insights from the World Economic Forum, including the fact that 55% of businesses are not able to adopt new tech because of local labour skill gaps due to lack of trainings, the hosts conduct a poll with the audience to pinpoint what some of the key challenges might be for them. From a list of eight option answers, the three most popular responses were that ‘Learners don’t make the time’, ‘Lack of Organisational Buy In to learning’ and ‘Learners don’t have the time/ managers don’t allow time’.
Merrissa makes a simple but definite point as a follow up: ‘people don’t know what they don’t know’ and, when it comes to workplace L&D initiatives, if they are served with too much content, most of the time, employees won’t know where to start. Merrissa feels strongly that trainings should be linked to business objectives in order to be successful at every level. If companies look to stretch their people to reach their best learning potential (rather than burnout!) whilst meeting their business objectives, then they are more likely to have found the key to success.
The webinar goes on to discuss three key attributes required for L&D practitioners and businesses to drive learner engagement and support future skills, including;
Both panelists stress the importance of going back to the ‘why’ - ‘What is the problem that we are trying to solve and what is our end goal?’ According to Merrissa, strategy is required for anything to live on sustainably. People are overly stimulated with different data, course options, content etc. and if we don’t try to simplify and streamline, and set goals, it’s not going to stick. If employees are able to understand ‘the why’ and feel empowered to be involved, their engagement will become that much stronger.
Merrissa takes her workplace, Reckitt, as an example. As a company, which was previously very segmented, Reckitt developed a ‘Stronger Together’ approach in the last few years and created a global L&D function that supported the business strategy as well as bringing everyone together. In the last six months, Reckitt have been collaborating with Go1 to help with their strategy, giving them wider visibility of what approach and tools makes sense for their business.
Merrissa warns that positive change won’t happen overnight and, that building the right programme and strategy takes time and requires being agile and adaptable. Craig jumps in to stress this point, calling out that L&D strategies shouldn’t be final, they should be able to move and shift according to the environment and needs of those involved.
To introduce this section, Craig shows the audience the World Economic Forum’s list of Top 10 skills for 2025 which include a range of problem solving, self management, working with people and technology related skill sets. Hosting a new poll, the speakers ask the audience what key skills they think an L&D leader should have. The top responses from those dialed on feature as: ‘being a communicator’, ‘being an influencer’ and ‘being a facilitator of change’. The panelists delve deeper into these attributes and add a few to the mix such as ‘having business acumen for partnerships’ and, ‘being able to wear many hats on the job’ especially in recent years, where L&D/ HR leaders have been expected to widen their remit to navigate radical cultural shifts due to the pandemic.
The last chapter covers the more social aspect of learning, and how it is important to nurture an environment which facilitates connections. People are now more than ever looking for social interactions and enabling these is a huge factor that will contribute to if / how people will engage in the workplace and with L&D programmes.
Craig and Merrissa praise ‘learning in the flow of work’, a trend that has been studied more and more these last years, which shows how people can be in a constant state of learning by interacting with their peers in informal settings. Through conversation, social media sharing, brainstorming and ongoing communication, data shows that learning in the flow boosts engagement and provides learners with more exposure to unlocking new skills.
The webinar ends on a positive note, inviting L&D professionals to share their love of learning and create communities that can explore wider and broader content in a way that is fun and approachable and meaningful.