Upcycle Corporate Learning: Learn 5 Strategies
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What Is Upcycling?

Upcycling is Cambridge Dictionary’s word of the year for 2019. According to the website, upcycling is the most liked word on their social media account. Upcycling is usually a term associated with existing products (clothes, home decor) that are reused in a way that somehow makes them even better than their original form. Upcycling is more than just a word. It's the positive idea that in the wake of the global climate crisis, we can do better.

In the world of corporate learning, we can definitely do better. Over the past few years, there have been numerous learning strategies and design trends that have gained popularity. Some of them have stuck around (like microlearning), while others have fizzled out. As more and more organizations are moving toward a formal learning team, often one of the challenges they face is the sheer enormity of the project. And keeping up with technology trends does not always help. While it is easier to say let's revolutionalize our corporate learning by buying XYZ products, it is a much harder and messier renovation project. In such circumstances, there is one crucial question that is required to be answered: "How much more effective will my organizational learning become?"

Even if your organization already has formalized eLearning or outdated learning, more often than not it can be repurposed simply to give your learners a completely new experience. In the spirit of 2019's word of the year, here are 5 ways you can upcycle your existing corporate learning into effective learning practices, without starting from scratch.

1. Integrate Your Corporate Learning

I rate this at the top because in corporate learning, more often than a lack of effective information is a lack of available information. The knowledge exists within pockets, network drives, emails, files, and folders. Employees are running around exchanging emails, going through files and folders to find something. A way to get going is to just bring your organization-wide learning under one umbrella. Imagine your learning working like a search engine. Something that tells your employees that for their corporate training requirements this is where they should go. It may be a learning portal or a Learning Management System. Just ensure that your employees know where to go to find something.

2. Give Importance To eLearning

Sure, this has been said over the past decade, but if, like me, you are in the middle of it, you will be surprised that in many organizations, eLearning is viewed more as a learning compliance rather than an effective learning practice. If your organization is not such, great! Use simple tactics to make eLearning effective for your audience. Another crucial thing to know here is what comprises eLearning. Expand your eLearning views to recorded webinars or workshops. It could also be a forum (like a Facebook group) where people go to exchange ideas in a more organized structure. You can keep some reading material and design activities, and it still qualifies as eLearning.

3. Create Basic Material

Is the information present in an email? Create a snazzy job aid and upload it to your learning portal. If you want to go one step further, create an infographic or a short video. Create mini-quizzes and questionnaires to get your audience hooked on a topic. Sometimes simple learning material does not take a long time to create but it is very effective in presenting the information to the learner. Be sure to maximize such design tactics.

4. Make It Attractive

Corporate learning is just like your wine bottle. Spray some paint and you can use it as a vase. Adding some “spice” to your learning material can make all the difference. Add some screenshots or conceptual graphics to your learning or upgrade your templates. Don’t be afraid to use interesting color schemes, some stock photos, or perhaps some foot-tapping music to your existing eLearning. Adding visual or audio aids to your learning material can improve learning efficiency.

5. Rejig Your Content

Have you noticed that if you just move your furniture around in your living room, suddenly it looks fresh, new, and a lot more interesting? Sometimes all you need to do is rejig the existing content to give it more meaning—like telling a story. Maybe you already have the pieces but you need to look at the bigger picture to make it learner appropriate.

These are 5 strategies to reuse or #Upcycle your existing corporate learning.

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