On a Monday evening, 30 young HR professionals gathered to explore the future of learning within organizations.
Maybe this is the future happening now – learning communities formed outside the organizational environment with peers learning from each other, sharing and building new ideas to improve their professional practice in a self-designed environment.
We explored our understandings of the Personal Learning Environment (PLE), the Organizational Learning Environment (OLE) and the relationship between them – especially how does HR influence the second to respond to the needs and behaviors generated by the first.
Violeta facilitated an exercise in which, starting from a learning objective, we explored, individually, how we are actually learning in our daily professional roles. Each individual canvas brought to light insights on personal learning preferences. Some participants prefer using mentoring or peer learning instead of reading training handouts. Someone prefers choosing his comfy armchair at home instead of a more stiff office desktop for learning sessions. Also, most of them chose participating in events as this one as a more rich learning process than a specific training on how organizational learning should be done. We therefore realized how broad a personal environment expands nowadays inside and outside our organizations.
So if people are now learning autonomously in much more flexible and rich environments than before, then how can an organization adapt its learning strategies to sustain, leverage and harvest the outcomes?
A study by Deloitte, The Global Human Capital Trends 2016, gave us a glimpse on the answer, emphasizing on how learning in organizations will happen in the future and introduced in our minds “the new organization”, one that should be “different by design”. One in which employees take the initiative, are responsible for and drive their learning processes, the L&D department becomes a facilitator of a learning ecosystem that accommodates resources from both inside and outside the organization and learning happens through more varied methods.
The discussion facilitated by Alina starting from those trends brought out some insights regarding the status, the challenges and the opportunities in Romanian organizations. First, shift on a more flexible, blended learning approach to development. Second, focus more on follow-up on development programs, maybe through more facilitated sharing sessions. Also, make better use of internal expertise by involving in-house experts more in training newcomers.
The conclusion of the evening was nevertheless clear: companies should focus on transforming themselves into learning organizations adapted to today’s PLEs by fostering self-directed learning and by cultivating the pleasure to learn. And HR people are the first ambassadors of change, supporting their organization with witty levers such as becoming role models and sharing more about their own learning journeys or by implementing “how to learn” programs.
It was a pleasure to facilitate this event and we will be continuing to stir up the conversation. We truly felt we’re living in the future of learning surrounded by so many learning enthusiasts and, damn, if it isn’t one of the most enriching experiences to have.
(We thank you all!)