Posted on 22nd July, 2015 by LEO Learning Web Team
This blog comes from LEO Learning’s Director of Strategic Design Andrew Joly.
At LEO Learning, we have recently been looking closely at a number of our core offerings. This meant rearticulating some of the strategies and methodologies that underline our specific approach to different learning challenges, and identifying the common issues global organisations are facing today.
One of our key offerings is around induction and onboarding – an area of particular expertise in both of the design teams that joined together to form LEO Learning. So as I tried the induction elevator pitch to a colleague I realised that good induction design may, in fact, be the ultimate expression of our Align, Deliver, Sustain approach to best practice learner journey design.
Align, Deliver, Sustain
We have long used Align, Deliver and Sustain as a core design checklist and methodology to drive best practice learning design, whether at a course, blend or programme level. This approach recognises the profound importance of what happens either side of the core learning delivery, to achieve a successful outcome.
Key to successful transformation and learning delivery is the preparation of the learner. The Align phase focuses on motivation, buy-in, context setting, integration, and often bringing diverse learners to the right level of knowledge, skill and attitude to optimise the effect of the core delivery phase. This is where the ‘What’s in it for me’ (WIIFM) message is most important. Media and tools used in this phase typically include video, diagnostics and self-reflection, pre-reading and pre-learning – and often set the scene of the challenge and goals coming up.
The Deliver phase is about laying the foundation for effective behaviour change by driving and enabling new concepts and skills, as well as providing knowledge management and performance support tools and systems to enable effective operation in the future. Learning modes like show, practise, apply, solve, find, play, assess, network and share would all be considered here as a matter of course.
Delivery of excellent and effective learning is at the core of LEO Learning’s expertise, comprising the full range of channels, media, tools, content and strategies to drive the changes in performance, understanding or behaviour we are looking for – whatever the challenge may be.
How to sustain learning and embed new behaviours, attitudes and skills in the long term has also long been a focus of ours. What started as simply refresher training has evolved into the most critical phase to consider if we want to drive a profound behavioural change. Learning modes such as apply, review, reflect, refresh, share, and evaluate are often combined with coaching and mentoring approaches. As part of both deliver and sustain strategies, we always look very closely at opportunities for spaced practice and ‘nudging’ to keep learning at front of mind and integrate new practices into our everyday activities.
Induction – different phases of learning need
Induction and onboarding is an area of our particular expertise, with ground-breaking projects for BP, British Airways and IKEA, to name but a few. Historically, we’ve often found ourselves delivering one of two distinct areas of an induction programme – either what happens between when a person is recruited and when they walk through the door (pre-joining) – which focuses on preparation and foundation – or what happens between their first day and when they achieve (hopefully) operational excellence (post-joining). The latter phase could continue for months into their new role – and naturally focuses on developing a more complex set of knowledge, skills and behaviours associated with their new role and organisation.
Post-joining induction, however, also changes over time. The brand-new employee requires a far more transactional set of learning and knowledge strategies that gives them the foundation knowledge that they need in order to to operate in day one, week one or month one. But as they become embedded in an organisation, the learning requirement shifts towards developing and sustaining high-performing and integrated individuals, and turning their new knowledge into effective ‘business as usual’ behaviours within that organisational culture.
So, we have three phases – a preparation and alignment phase, followed by a transactional and supportive phase, followed in turn by a more deeply transformational phase. This third phase hands over to integrated learning and performance management in the longer term.
The perfect storm?
In the case of induction and onboarding, we at LEO Learning have unique experience of responding to these three distinct phases of learner requirement with a distinct range of learner modes, technology, media, tools and channels for each, and of achieving real results for many different clients, across all the sectors in which we deliver.
Over the years we have developed a deep understanding of what works, and we have made sure we captured this perfect storm and bottled it into our own model – our First 100 Days induction architecture – to drive fast and effective induction design every time.
In my next blog I’ll open this up, unpack each phase and show what we believe the optimal blend for world-class induction looks like.