Developing Learning Strategies that Cater to Job Roles

For any organization having a solid Learning and Development regimen only is not enough. There has to be a crystal clear learning strategy in place to get the most out of your workforce. A team leader must know how to optimally employ people with different sets of skills for different roles to maximize outcome in the shortest possible time. An effective learning strategy is as important for a business as running the business itself.

Perception and reality

Most of us must have read that famous Indian parable about 4 blind men and an elephant? The four of them have an almost diametrically opposite view of the elephant, but none of them anywhere near the real one. There can be a big yawning gap between perception and reality, sometimes. Only right knowledge can bridge the two.

Clueless about roles?

An uninitiated workforce in an organization is likely as ignorant to the needs and requirements of job roles as the blind men in the story are about the elephant and its characteristics. In the absence of appropriate learning or knowledge employees are clueless about what their roles are in driving the organization businesses.

A learning game-plan

There has to be a learning game-plan befitting in the job role in organization. It is also a fact that earmarking appropriate job roles for desired outcomes is a big challenge for a trainer or mentor in an organisation. There have been instances wherein employees in a business unit are found to be unhappy over being either over-trained or under-trained for their day-to-day roles as they feel  it impacted their performance. It’s a hard reality of life – No business unit small or big like underperformers.  

Realising full potential

According to a study by Middlesex University on ‘work-based learning’, 74 per cent of surveyed workers in an organization regretted the fact that they were unable to realise their full potential for want of a suitable training curriculum in sync with their job roles. It further underlines one significant lacuna – absence of learning/training for performing appropriate job roles. The onus of developing appropriate learning rests squarely with the developer of training modules in organisation.

Training programme

While seeking to give shape to a training programme, reviewing internal documents, procedures, interviewing, on job observation and spending time with workers as they work are of great help. These are the most useful source of knowledge essential for formulating the content for learning. The information thus gathered from above sources are further analysed to formulate individual specific job-role centric training curriculum that is easy to understand and apply in a real time job situation. Such a learning process is found to be more useful than a half-baked learning regimen that serves no purpose either for the employee or the employer.

Learning to think beyond

The learning strategy should be such that it propels employees to think beyond the scope of the present roles. It should be a learning process that educates them to learn the way it makes an impact on them and teaches them about what to do next. This in turn will further help them effectively apply their learning in real time work scenarios more effectively.

Focused and smart learning

However, with employees according to a study just spending 1 per cent of their weekly time in the workplace for training it is very important to have a more focused, smart learning system that equips them with the right knowledge to deliver the best result in the shortest possible time. Such an approach to be successful has to be driven by a flexible training content that can be changed in tandem with job role requirements of the time. Such a delivery mechanism assumes even greater significance in a virtual IT enabled online learning set up.

To sum up a smart learning strategy for different job roles should take into account –

  • Employees job roles acumen correctly, as a mismatch between learning and job facilitation is unlikely to work for employer or the employee
  • The fact that good training content should go hand in hand with their effective delivery and presentation
  • The fact that training materials need to be backed by activities to ensure employee’s continued engagement with learning
  • The importance of assessing employees’ performance when generating training contents
  • The fact that employees’ training materials is in sync with their job roles
  • The fact that a solid career progression system linked to learning and excelling works as an encouragement to take up learning as a more serious business.