How Digital Learning Can Help Build Learning Agility

How Digital Learning Can Help Build Learning Agility
Sergey Nivens/
Summary: Learning agility is a skill that allows individuals to adapt to uncertain situations by quickly learning about the said situation using the experiences of the past and present. Digital learning can be used to develop this skill in employees, and transform them into business leaders.

Developing Learning Agility Via eLearning

A quintessential skill in the modern business world is to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn. Business trends change nowadays in the blink of an eye, and employees working in corporate organizations can find themselves in novel situations, not knowing what to do, within a matter of months. To properly explain learning agility would be too complex, but it can be understood as a skill that allows individuals to adapt to uncertain situations by quickly learning about the said situation using the experiences of the past, as well as the present. Learning agility is a skill often found in successful individuals and business leaders, as they know that they have to let go of entrenched patterns of behavior and recognize the nuances of every different situation if they wish to succeed. Fortunately, this skill can be developed through digital learning in organizations that wish to develop high-potential talent in their employees. Let’s discuss how.

1. Finding What Your Employees Lack

Experts suggest that learning agility is in itself a combination of several skills, 9 to be precise. These are flexibility, speed, experimentation, risk-taking, understanding differences in opinions, collaborating, information gathering, seeking feedback and reflection. The first step to developing learning agility in your employees using digital learning is to first assess them for the above-mentioned skills. However, it is important that the employees understand that they are being assessed for all of these skills in order to make them agile learners. Once the assessments are complete, employees must be given their results, according to which they should work on the skills they are weak in. Video-based training focused on what each skill means and how employees can inculcate them works wonders.

2. Helping Them Learning From Their Mistakes

Learning agility is a skill that heavily depends on mistakes because it is an undeniable fact that there can be no learning without mistakes. However, no one wants to make a mistake intentionally. If your employees wish to be agile learners, they must not be encouraged to make mistakes but must be encouraged to learn from their mistakes. In order to do that, organizations should implement a reward system in their digital learning courses that rewards employees that learn from past mistakes. The rewards can be tangible like monetary incentives or intangible, like badges or points (in gamified courses). However, as it is also important to teach employees that mistakes in real-life will have real-life consequences, your digital learning courses should also penalize employees by deducting their points when they make mistakes. This way, they’ll learn about risk, and to perform better the next time.

3. Teaching Them To Express Their Opinions While Respecting Those Of Others

In order to be agile learners, employees need to be able to ask questions, challenge the existing state of affairs, and express their opinions on a subject. However, it is equally important to understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to respect that opinion. If the opinion is contrary to your own, learners must learn to evaluate both their opinion and that of the other person, look for inconsistencies in both opinions, and then discussing the matter until either person can agree with the opinion of the other. Including social learning in your digital learning program, and thus empowering your employees to chat and discuss their opinions about what they learn is a great way to turn them into agile learners.

4. Training Them To Deal With Uncertainty

There is no better teacher than experience. Agile learning happens whenever there’s uncertainty. Digital learning can provide a controlled environment for employees to learn from and in uncertainty. Give employees digital learning courses that pertain to job roles from other departments in your organization. For example, give a marketing skills course to salespeople, and an IT skills course to marketing guys. Let employees find themselves in unchartered territory and use their existing experience to find their way.

Employees must constantly grow, adapt and evolve if they wish to keep their jobs in the near future. Technologies and processes are changing every few months, and the skills which are relevant today may not be relevant in a year or two. Learning agility is an essential skill to have for the modern employee, not only to push their organization forward but for their own sake. Organizations need to continuously upskill their employees, too, if they want to save money on hiring professionals who will charge a fortune.

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