Developing Workplace Learning Insights

  • Ezra
  • September 23rd, 2021

Justifiable training focuses have never been more important than in an age where training budgets are the first to be cut and the last to be reinstated. Learning insights, based on informed, extensive training analytics, are the best way to prove that all-important value. Ezra considers how to develop the insights that you need to turbocharge training focuses and funding at long last.

Developing Workplace Learning Insights

While undeniably important, workplace training courses that focus on the implementation or creation of new skills average around $1,252 per employee, not taking into account lost time and productivity spent on these focuses. Costs like these can escalate for even small-scale operations, meaning that L&D managers are continually on the lookout for more efficient, affordable ways to ensure the best learning opportunities to enhance employee potential.

The on-job learning that inevitably happens through the working day is perhaps the best way to ensure this benefit, resulting in not only uninterrupted workday outcomes, but also organic lessons that slot seamlessly, and freely, into essential workplace tasks. L&D managers who can recognize and enhance these lessons are therefore far better able to ensure actionable, affordable workplace learning that is almost continually happening below the surface anyway.

The trouble is that, for L&D managers who have always focused their efforts on specified external training focuses, this internal learning view isn’t always easy to get a grasp on. After all, how can you pinpoint and enhance learning that’s so well-integrated with workplace processes as to be practically invisible?

For countless L&D managers, learning insights, and resultant actionable educational changes, are proving the driving force for success here. In this article, we’re going to consider how exactly you can develop those all-important workplace learning insights, and what it means to put them into action.

A word about workplace analytics

Insights are the crux of actionable workplace change, but they’ll never be possible without first focusing on the analytics that informs them. Specifically, success here relies on your ability to leverage information from a range of analytical workplace focuses that include – 

  1. Operational reporting: Data that reports basic metrics including headcount, employee positions, work tasks.
  2. Advanced reporting: Ratios including work tasks completed, skills developed
  3. Advanced analytics: Statistical modelling and analysis based on collected data
  4. Predictive analytics: Using data to better understand future learning needs and capabilities

The fact that 79% of analytics programs fail also highlights the need to apply these analytics with regards to a range of key questions, such as –

  • What are your people-centric/organizational needs?
  • What opportunities are available?
  • Do any business performance issues need addressing?

By answering these questions, and making sure to put learning analytics at the forefront of your business bottom line, you ensure the ideal positioning to turn relevant, well-framed analytics into the insights that stand to create real change. 

A lesson in learning insights

Analytics are undeniably valuable for gaining a clearer picture of where organic learning is currently taking place, as well as where knowledge is lacking. However, analytics in their raw form aren’t able to inform learning focuses because they’re directionless, uncorrelated, and ultimately difficult to understand in any real contextual sense.

To achieve that, and to ultimately drive enhanced organic learning across an enterprise, it’s essential to leverage those analytics towards the insights that stand to drive real training change. In some sense, aligning analytics with overall business objectives as mentioned at the end of the last section is the first step towards this transformation. But, considering that collecting and analyzing data only accounts for 20% of any learning analytics project, it’s also essential to understand how to turn this information into leverageable insights. 

To achieve this, it’s important to compare analytics against a range of crucial considerations, including –

  • Context: What is your ultimate learning focus? How can you prioritize this project?
  • Need: What business need are you attempting to fulfill? How can this information help you to achieve that goal?
  • Vision: What overall message do these learning analytics provide? How does that apply across your learning landscape?
  • Outcome: How will you ultimately implement and measure the changes outlined on an analytical level?

Are your learning insights making an impact?

Of course, despite accounting for around 80% of a successful business learning focus, even insights don’t offer the enhancement that you need if they’re left in a box. Instead, L&D managers must make sure to leverage these insights towards actionable training focus that truly enhance organic learning and bring effective educational outcomes within far easier reach as a result. 

Specifically, this means ensuring practical insight applications that leverage this information through both–

  • Improved business-wide training focuses
  • Data-driven feedback and coaching

Considering learning insights in their entirety especially makes it possible to build training programs that –

  • Take personal needs into consideration
  • Provide applicable training
  • Ensure ongoing monitoring of outcomes
  • Keep business bottom lines and focuses at the training forefront

It’s also important to note that, to be truly valuable, learning insights must be provable at stakeholder levels, thus ensuring the training focuses, funding, and dedication necessary to truly bring outcomes to fruition. This relies, largely, on the ability to answer crucial questions when presenting these analytics to high-end business execs who too often overlook training focuses and funding, such as –

  1. What performance issues/strengths are highlighted in your findings?
  2. Why are these issues worth addressing (e.g. increased profitability, employee satisfaction, etc.)?
  3. How do you intend to put these insights to actionable use (e.g. future training courses, performance monitoring, etc.)?

By informing these answers with hard-won insights, you’ll be far better poised to prove both the value of learning focuses off the back of this information, and the cost savings possible by bringing learning to the business forefront at long last.

Developing Workplace Learning Insights

Use insights to shape a learning strategy you can rely on

By providing clear, justifiable proof of strengths, weaknesses, and priorities across your learning landscape, learning insights are invaluable for turbocharging workplace learning at a time when high costs are seeing many training budgets slashed beyond recognition.

With just 18% of companies intending to change that fact despite recognition of the issue across 72% of enterprises, the ability to clearly outline valuable training focuses like this is especially gaining traction. Perhaps even more important than budgeting, however, insights that give a glimpse into employee priorities, strengths, and concerns ensure tailor-made training focuses that are far more likely to increase engagement, learning, and performance enterprise-wide.

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