Another insightful webinar with GO1, as part of the World of Learning series, delving into the most effective ways L&D professionals can empower busy managers when driving learning impact.
Hosts James Frappell, Customer Success Director of Go1, and Laura Overton, Co-Founder of Emerging Stronger, explored how high performing learning teams are enabling busy line managers to support learning in the workplace, especially as teams find themselves more geographically dispersed. Laura begins by encouraging an open discussion with the audience around words that come to mind that sum up their experiences dealing with managers so far. Results included ‘challenging’, ‘hard work’ and ‘frustrating’.
We learn that despite L&D investment in new programmes, platforms, and content - supporting learning in the heart of the workplace is the key to delivering business impact. And it’s by engaging and enabling line managers in the first instance, that will then lead to an increase in bottom line success. This is supported by the fact that ‘managers don’t make time for learning’ being named the number 1 barrier to L&D progress in 2022.
In support of this, Laura shared that when conducting research with learners, it was extremely surprising to see the people whose opinion mattered the most when it came to them engaging with learning in the workplace. 50% said the individual’s manager, vs the 4% who answered L&D teams, amongst other responses.
James, as a manager of a team himself, delved into the reality of working with managers and covered the various factors that managers have to account for in their day to day workstream, in addition to team learning and development. For example, challenges around hybrid working as well as employee retention and engagement. He suggests that it is key for L&D professionals to work to managers’ timeframes and priorities, as opposed to the other way around.
Additionally, he emphasises that managers are relied on to drive business outcomes and output and therefore it is easy that they become bombarded with multiple business priorities at any one time, and are across different work streams that the business needs their team to work on. As a result, managers will often seem disengaged at points.
With so much on their plate, is it realistic to expect them to prioritise learning and development? Laura suggests that perhaps it is on L&D teams to reposition their mindset. Laura begins to share results from her studies as well as wider studies as to why managers are so critical in this learning process.
Results from a survey of high performance learning teams reveal that managers in these teams are 13x as likely to make time for their team’s learning, and 32x more likely to help their teams learn collaboratively.
But how can we equip managers to build and support a culture of learning? The answer is to work smarter with them.
At this point, James shared an example of this in practice through a case study with Go1’s customer, Lumanity. Lumanity looked to bring together their entire business, which was initially made up of fragmented tech stacks, onto one platform - Microsoft Teams. At this point, the hosts proceeded to share their insight on how an L&D team is able to use this as an opportunity to develop a culture of learning across the business.
Lumanity were able to successfully utilise a platform that already existed within managerial work streams which meant that this business shift was not going to take up further learning time. Along with Go1, it was ensured that each business unit had a tailored approach as well as open and constant communication to ensure any problems were able to be fixed in real time. As a result, managers remained engaged throughout the process which ultimately resulted in successful, effective output and adoption.
Laura then rounded out the session, turning the discussion to Go1’s L&D playbook and multiple plays that are included in this. One of the plays mentioned, reiterated that it is crucial any L&D plays fit in with the flow of manager’s work. More specifically, the ‘Go to Gemba’ strategy which recommends L&D leads spend an hour a week just sitting with a manager’s teams to observe and absorb their ways of working.
There was then an opportunity for the audience to download the L&D playbook through a QR code.
Download the L&D Playbook in full here.