How to make learning from your courses ‘viral’ in your organization

How to make learning from your courses viral

In a previous post, I introduced the 3-Step model that you can use to improve training attendance. In this post I’m going to delve into one very specific part of the model that helps us to “AMPLIFY and spiral upward”: ‘Making learning easy to share’.

Why you need to “AMPLIFY and spiral upward”

In steps 1 and 2 of the the DNA model, you’ll have created desire for your courses, and made people aware of them. If implemented, you’ll find that attendance has greatly increased.

However, before you hang your ‘mission accomplished’ banner and break out the champagne, you can do a little more to greatly amplify your efforts –  decreasing the effort required to promote future courses, and increasing learning across the organization.

This will enable the importance of L&D and value it delivers to the business to ‘spiral upward’.

One way you can do this is to ‘make learning easy to share’.

Why you should make learning easy to share

Training courses are great. They provide an opportunity for people to take some time out from ‘doing’, learn the skills that enable them to perform better, and put them into practice in a safe setting.

However, there are two issues:

  1. Training courses take time and resources, and tend to be run at a specific time that may not suit everyone
  2. The biggest challenge for L&D professionals is to help employees embed and apply what they have learned

So, to address these we can encourage employees to teach others. This will help them greater understand what they have learned, and provide others with the opportunity to learn the content, even if they weren’t at the training session.

How to make learning easy to share

There are three (fairly quick) ways in which you can make learning easy to share:

  1. Get employees to share what they have learned as part of the course
  2. Provide course materials in a format that makes them easy to run as a mini-session with colleagues
  3. Drip-feed bite-size content after the course and encourage employees to share it

1. Get employees to share what they have learned as part of the course

As part of your course, set actions / challenges for attendees to educate others on what they learned, after the training course.

Ideally this should use their new skills in some way (e.g. presentation skills / writing skills etc).

Don’t assume people will do this if it is just ‘suggested’ rather than a required action – people sometimes need the permission (and encouragement) to share with others, otherwise they may feel like they are being a ‘swot’!

2. Provide course materials in a format that makes it easy to run as a mini-session with colleagues

You should package up the course materials in a way that attendees can use to train others (a bit like train-a-trainer).

Provide these to the attendees at the end of the session, explaining that these are for their reference but they can also use them to train others.

This will enable managers to run a mini-session with their team, spreading what they’ve learned in a cost-effective way.

3. Drip-feed bite-size content after the course and encourage employees to share it

After the course, send out regular follow-up emails with additional bite-size content. This will help remind attendees what they learned, and enable them to share key tips / concepts with others.

To make this most effective, provide bite-size content that is easy to share (such as videos, PDFs, ‘top tips’ etc) via drip-fed emails over 2-6 weeks. This can be automated using a variety of inexpensive software tools.

Don’t forget to encourage employees to share it with others – they may not be sure whether it is appropriate to do so!

For an extra bonus, link from these mini resources to your upcoming relevant courses, so that other people can register for in-depth training on topics they find interesting.

In the interests of practicing what I preach, here’s an image that covers the three key points of this article – you can share on social media and with your colleagues . (Please do share it!):

3 Ways to Make Course Learning Easy To Share

 

Conclusion

Many L&D departments see training courses as starting and stopping at the times specified in the course outline. In reality, you can extend learning far beyond this, both in terms of who can receive the learning, and when they can receive it.

Use the techniques above to encourage attendees to share what they learn, resulting in:

  • Attendees embedding what they have learned
  • Others benefitting from the learning too
  • More interest in your courses in future

If you’d like to find out more about ways in which you can improve training attendance and organizational learning, subscribe to this blog and/or attend this free webinar.

Jon Kennard (Editor of TrainingZone) and I will be co-hosting a free webinar on the 25th June 2015, where we’ll cover all 3 Steps of the DNA model and provide practical ways in which you can implement these in your organization. (Click here to find out more and register to attend).

 

About The Author

Alexis Kingsbury

Alexis is founder of the Parentpreneur Accelerator and Making Greatness Ltd. He is a serial entrepreneur, with experience creating start-ups in a variety of areas, particularly in SaaS and EdTech. He is also a lucky husband and proud dad, and now helps other 'parentpreneurs' like him to achieve their dreams of having successful businesses, making a difference in the world, and spending time with the people they love.

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