In the first part of this series we tried to make sense of push learning and ways in which it impacts learning. In this second part let us hash out Pull learning.
In this learning approach, companies provide a host of online learning, MOOC’s and LMS based trainings where the onus lies with the employee to up skill himself. It is a more decentralized bottom- up approach, where access to information is easy and almost instant.
Several organizations profess that this is the new age and cost efficient methodology of learning. Here, organizations strive to provide content to employees in the most easy to use and learner centric ways and employees can, at will, opt-in for such programs. Diverse yet relevant information is available as are the tools to assimilate them. It also goes a step further and allows employees to test themselves and evaluate learning. Organizations drive learning through these digital platforms and strive to create traction towards these learning methodologies.
In today’s age, knowledge is no longer at a premium. Unlike the pre-internet era, one no longer needs a trainer/teacher/guru or mentor to learn first hand from. All you need is a device. But the question remains, despite all the knowledge available why is there a deep lacuna in both skills and behaviours that are required of each contributing individual?
Investments in digital learning platforms and e-learning do not ensure that learning happens within the organization.
Much like the new age schooling system which is child centric and one where the child learns at his/ her own pace, the question to be asked is, how prepared and equipped are they to face the harsh realities of the competitive world? Similarly, in the corporate world, how well can they surf the fast paced technology tide? Is every employee attuned to the changing landscape and aware of specifically what skills he needs not just to surf the tide but to stand out amidst the several thousand surfers?
While his organization may be agile enough to embrace new business models and technologies, how deep are the ravines separating his current knowledge( and skills) and the desired knowledge( and skills) ? How long is the bridge over these ravines and how long would it take him to cross it?
Push Vs Pull – Who calls the shots?
Given that neither of the two approaches to learning are bereft of pitfalls, we have come to believe that organizations must have a multi-pronged and layered approach to learning. Learning and development teams shoulder the responsibility of creating a learning strategy which is in line with their organizational goals. They bring to this task a deep understanding of the capabilities and skills that an organization needs to successfully execute their business plans and achieve their performance goals. They must put their employees in the forefront and make them active drivers of the learning experience. They need to become facilitators of learning and curators of content, deciding which skill and behaviours must be pushed onto the employees but strive to establish processes to get employee buy in’s to learning, thus moving it into the realm of pull learning. This is further fortified by embracing leader-led training and subject-matter authored content and creating a culture of social and collaborative learning into every program.
L & D Teams are required to captain the ship of learning – Keep an eye on the compass and make sure that the organization and its workforce are headed in the right direction. They also ensure that the rudder are constantly churning the minds of it employees, fuelling their career goals, leaving no room for complacency and steering them towards their own growth and development and, in turn, that of the organization.