How can L&D Engage the Modern Learner?

August 14, 2015 Ryan Campion

On a recent webinar, Bersin by Deloitte’s Head of Research, David Mallon, sat down with Kristian Asberg, Director of Learning and Organisational Development for Tetra Pak, a multinational food packing and processing company, for an enlightening conversation (watch it here!).

The topic -- how the heck does L&D better engage today’s learners?

According to Bersin, 60% of L&D professionals admit grappling with this problem.

We know one big reason is old, traditional learning – like classroom sessions or long elearning courses – has proven time and time again to be ineffective as the information simply doesn’t stay in learners’ brains.

But perhaps most critically, the reason L&D struggles to engage employees today is simply because the needs of the modern learner have changed dramatically as the pace of business has exploded over the past few decades.

Development at its core has really boiled down to this: How quickly can you enable me to do my job better? As Mallon puts it, your learning needs to address areas such as how you help your people, right now, to be successful in their jobs, improve behaviors, and prep them for their next role. For example, can your content ready your team for a new product launch next week, improve your sales reps’ negotiation skills, or take someone unfamiliar with coaching and mold them into a great manager?

Tetra Pak has made huge strides in solving these problems. Kristian’s secret? Taking a fundamentally different approach to learning by building their strategy, and even their entire learning academy, around content. He argues that L&D professionals don’t take improving content management efficiency seriously enough.

For example, when Tetra Pak delivers a new machine, it comes with 50 kilos of support documentation, much of that learning material. How they manage that content and measure its effectiveness on a global scale obviously presents a huge challenge.

Tetra  Pak tackles this in two ways – they first focus on content relevancy and governance (read learning expert Cristine Lipscomb’s advice in this post). Each country, geography, training facility, etc., has different needs and prefers different types of learning, like PDFs vs. printable guides, vs. mobile learning. Tetra Pak ensures each facility gets the type and modality of content that is most relevant to them, and then they work closely with their business line managers to push training to their employees. Kristian has found that as much as 50% of learning effectiveness comes from such close manager support.

Secondly, Tetra Pak leverages enterprise learning content technology to design, develop, and deliver learning. This allows them to get huge amounts of content –legacy and new –into a single place and repurpose it, creating various types of training materials in different forms, as well as translating it for their global audiences.  Kristian states this centralized management was a “game-changer” for how they deliver content, and without this structure in place to handle it efficiently, they would be “totally lost.”

Engaging the modern learner comes down to delivering relevant, timely, nugget-sized learning content that helps employees do their jobs better, which is exactly what Xyleme helps Tetra Pak accomplish today. To learn more about how to engage the modern learner, please contact us.

 

About the Author

Ryan Campion

Ryan runs demand generation at Xyleme, which provides content management for learning and development. Xyleme helps organizations develop content faster, make it easy for learners to find it, and enables businesses to measure their content's actual use and effectiveness. Ryan is responsible for driving education and new interest in our products and services. His passions include writing, drawing, fitness, and the outdoors.

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