December 18, 2022

Learning needs to be supported

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After nearly two years of researching, experimenting, and interviewing L&D experts, we’ve managed to filter out the noise and establish the core principles of effective online learning. To make it to the list, a core principle had to pass the following test:

  1. Is it supported by scientific research?
  2. Is the technology to build the core principle into an online application available?
  3. Can the L&D Manager and their team implement the principle with ease?

This series explores the six principles.

Principle 5: Learning needs to be supported

Effective learning in organizations is neither solitary nor the sole responsibility of the L&D department. Yes, the employee is also responsible for their development.

But in the vast majority of the situations, one determining factor is missing in action: the manager.

Developing people is a fundamental role of the manager, although rarely do we see this role in practice.

What usually happens after a training program is not “the employee is excited to practice what they learned”, but “the employee needs to catch up with the ton of work that has piled up while they were gone”.

Involving managers before and after a learning session is key to helping employees not just learn and practice, but also to building a learning culture.

What’s missing just before a training program is the preparation phase: a conversation between manager and employee, discussing the why and the how. What’s the reason behind participating and how is the course going to help.

After the training, the conversation between manager and employee needs to continue. Now the focus is on what happened, what’s next, and how to support the learning process.

In all truth, even with good intentions, most managers would not know what to talk about with their employees before and after the program. That is why we’ve designed the Deployment of learning around the idea of keeping the manager in the loop and nudging them towards having these conversations.

When you first set up your organization, the system builds a hidden organizational chart that is used for this purpose.

When you build content, you can involve managers to validate and even edit the content so that it is more to the point and useful for their employees.

And when you schedule a learning session or a learning journey, managers receive more than notifications, they receive pointers on what to talk about and how with the employees that will take part in the program. When training is done, managers receive a summary of what was the challenge, what were the results, the feedback, and the suggestions for the next conversations.

We believe getting managers more involved is a turning point for the learning process because learning becomes even more intentional, which is the next and final principle.

(to be continued)

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