Personalization at Learning 2015 - Day 2 (part 2)

Why don't the existing approaches work?  Why do we need to personalize learning?

Cheryl Lasse and Stuart Rogers from SkillDirector do a great job of breaking it down for us.  There are increasing skill gaps and employee disengagement across the country.  We'd like to think business leaders believe their learning and development teams are an important strategic business partner but the reality is most simply don't.

So, how do we turn those things around?  Personalized learning is the answer.  It must be a learner-centric, bottom-up approach instead of top down.  First, you get high performers in each role to help design and build a competency model.  What I like to call a Success Profile.  HR cannot build it, even SMEs cannot build it, you must get people from the Business; actual high performing workers from that role.  Then you need a feedback mechanism to keep it relevant as changes in the requirements to do the job well happen, because they will. 

Once you have the new competency model is complete you need a self-assessment tool that is not tied into the annual performance review system.  It needs to be unrelated to reviews, compensation; so that employees will honestly self-assess against the competencies their peers created.

Personalized learning will not work unless it's real and relevant.

After the self-assessment a couple of things will happen.  First, if you've lined up your learning solutions to the new competencies, a personalized learning plan will be created based on their own self-assessment.  Your learners will be more engaged because it's specifically relevant to how they self-assessed.  Next it will identify curriculum gaps.  Don't rush out to develop more training.  There may be other solutions; for example, peer-to-peer learning with someone who self-assessed as a strength in that area.  Also look at all the self-assessments for everyone in that role and see where your learning development priorities should be.

So how can you execute Personalized Learning on a mass scale, easily?  You need a system  like SDLE from SkillDirector.

Another challenge is it's leaders who often push the one-size-fits-all approach that we currently use which cause the skill gaps and the disengagement.  Share this with them.  It's not only much more effective at closing skill gaps and reinforcing employee engagement, it's much more cost effective.

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