Have you seen the work being done at the Center for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT) around the New Workplace Learning model? Aligned with Gary Wise’s learning moments @ point of work where 95% of our time is spent outside of formal training this new model supports the creation, use, and support of role/task specific learning objects or, as Gary refers to them, Performer Support Objects (PSOs). This model supports and encourages key learning and performance actions such as curation, communities of practice, personal learning networks, and communicating across the enterprise.
There is one key area being overlooked in my opinion. We need to put in place an active internal analytic process to monitor, track, and trend the problems and issues being raised in the social organization. Analytics aggregates and analyzes online conversations and social activity across the various social channels used by the organization. This analysis enables a team, such as L&D, to act on key trends and defined metrics by enriching the conversation with solutions focused on positively impacting business results, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and personal advocacy for the organization as a whole.
With data pointing out where the needs (not being met) are we now need to inject ourselves into the conversations. The role of the community manager has become more mainstream especially in marketing teams however this is a resource the L&D community needs to include in its own transformation and evolution. Steve Boller recently posted three reasons why trainers need to become community managers as he wrote, “We need to stop trying to solve business process failures with eLearning modules and we need to start preparing learners to take charge of their own learning.” Key to his point is that we need to listen, connect and provide support over the long haul to employees to ensure they have success as they perform their role. As responsible L&D professionals I believe we want to ensure the information is accurate and effective yet with the enterprise wide conversation going on there is no one person able to monitor the traffic to provide support and resources in a timely manner. Analytics must be in place to help the L&D team identify where content, whether it be objects already be created and/or SME’s, can be pulled into the discussion to help resolve the topic being discussed.
There is more to analytics than simply applying performance and learning solutions into the social organization. This is the opportunity to measure engagement as well, see who is involved, check out the level and tone of the posts; are they frustrated, annoyed, or glad to be here helping each other? Identify what groups, regions, and communities are participating and then identify those who are not and go find out why – bring them in and engage them – the benefit to the business is clear! Finally, this is the point where ROI can and should be measured. If the issue raised by the Operations team was at a level of “x” and within the time you were able to put in place a solution “x” became “.01x” then take a breath and figure out how much that issue cost in terms of time lost, support costs, error or quality and forecast the days you saved and the associated costs avoided, customers served, and quality maintained..
So as we transform the impact we have into the 95% of the time the employees we support are not in formal training let’s take the time to listen to the conversations taking place outside the classrooms and CBT’s and put in place the tools that can help us measure the conversations, the relationships and connections, allowing us to provide active guidance and support.