With so many L&D terms flying about, you may have heard the term continuous learning and have a good idea of what it means.
It’s obvious, right? It’s about learning continuously…
Well, yes. But there are several different forms of continuous learning that you can utilise in your workplace. And in order to best support the type you choose, you’ll need to provide the right content.
We’ve teamed up with Guider to take a closer look at what continuous learning, and how your learning content can support it.
What do we mean by continuous learning?
From personal to professional, continuous learning is about the ongoing pursuit of new ideas and growth. It’s an important part of L&D as it focuses on the fact that regular learning opportunities contribute to our wider skills development as well as keep us engaged in work.
This can come in different forms. There are 3 types of continuous learning to think about:
This type of continuous learning comes from access to formal training courses and programmes. While they can be one-off courses, access to this type of learning should be readily accessible as part of your L&D strategy.
Sometimes known as self-directed learning, this type is about what learning is accessible to your people for small, impactful learning that they can pick up on their own.
Learning from one another is a powerful tool. Mentoring and peer learning are examples of social learning that is continuous, as there’s no limit to how many mentors you can work with throughout your career.
What are the benefits of continuous learning?
To start with, a huge benefit of continuous learning is the increased likelihood of actually retaining that knowledge. When we check in on our learning regularly, revisit key areas and keep refreshing our memory, knowledge retention improves.
There are also huge benefits to organisations including better employee retention, talent development and reduced L&D costs. Think about it, when you leave upskilling your people to one-off sessions, or focus on bringing in new skills for hiring, you’re often spending more for less. If people don’t retain the knowledge, it’s often a wasted effort.
On top of all this, individuals can benefit from increased engagement and fulfilment in their work, increased skills and greater confidence.
How can content be used to promote a culture of continuous learning in the workplace?
Whether you are supporting independent learning or learning through relationships such as mentoring, content plays an integral role. It enhances and guides users on the journey to continual upskilling.
Let’s break down a few ways to leverage your content to support your continuous learning programs.
Discoverable content at your fingertips
In the first place, content needs to be easily accessible at any point by users. Relevant, tagged, and discoverable content is critical to ensuring your users have the right content at their fingertips.
Unfortunately, many enterprise-level workplaces face content chaos - the confusion that results from too much irrelevant or outdated content in learning systems. This also adds friction to continuous learning programs.
We recommend holding a prioritise needs session to understand the state of your learning content better. From there, you can take stock of your learning content and exactly which resources are available that best match your continuous learning program outcomes.
Visible content that is top of mind
Just having learning content isn’t good enough. After all, if your people don’t know it exists, it may as well be invisible.
Ensure that your learning content is always signposted so users will always know where to find it, should they need it. Examples could be a concise list of resources on a company site, internal wiki, or attractive banners to draw attention to your content.
For continuous learning to happen, your people need to know they have the resources to do so.
Reach people where they are
Your people will have some core apps they use daily, so why not ensure that your learning content is already where they are?
You can leverage collaborative tools to make regular announcements, showcase content or even deliver personalised training. For example, Zapier saved 1000s of hours by automating L&D tasks through Slack and other systems.
You can also consider curating newsletters that will land in learners’ inboxes, making continuous learning seamless. Snow Software delivered performance-boosting content straight to 800 inboxes with Filtered’s AI-powered curation and were able to send real-time education on strategic topics, and increased adoption of their content libraries.
How can we measure the impact of content on continuous learning outcomes?
Before embarking on any continuous learning programs, it’s important to first set your goals, and then work backwards.
Start with framing what good looks like in measurable data. For continuous learning, it makes sense to look at metrics that show engagement or adoption and to measure these metrics at regular intervals. This can be a mix of qualitative data, like interviews with key stakeholders or ambassadors, or quantitative, like employee surveys or completion or clickthrough rates.
Whatever metrics you pick, be sure that you are able to measure these same metrics over longer periods of time so you can chart how well you are reaching your continuous learning out comes.
|TL;DR - Continuous learning is an important aspect of L&D that can take on different forms, including formal, informal, and social learning. By providing easily discoverable and accessible content, you can promote a culture of continuous learning in the workplace and reap the benefits of increased knowledge retention, better employee retention, talent development, and reduced L&D costs. To measure the impact of your content on continuous learning outcomes, set measurable goals and regularly monitor metrics like engagement or adoption.|
If you’re interested in making continuous learning a central part of your L&D strategy, then talk to Guider. We make mentoring and peer learning accessible through our smart, easy-to-use platform.
With Guider, you can create easy social learning moments for your people to access from anywhere. Want to learn more? Talk to us today!