Our ability to learn is the most important skill we have as humans. But how we learn and how information is presented to us today are very different from even a few years ago. In this series, I will explore three ways to revamp learning in the FS space.  

In today’s post, I will focus on the key habits needed to create a mindful learning space for employees craving a quieter relationship with the digital world. A telling sign of this is explained in the number one item in Fjord’s 2019 Trends Report: ‘Silence is gold’.  

As a necessityrather than a choicepeople are more frequently clicking to disconnect, unsubscribe and opt out to turn down the digital noise. With this in mind, it’s time to optimize the FS learner experience with curated, easy to use and personalized content.  

Which means adopting three key habits:  

  • Strategic communication 
  • Streamlined content 
  • Attention to employee needs and wants 

Let’s flesh these habits out. 

  1. Consider the types and frequency of notifications sent. 

Less is more in a world where employees feel overwhelmed with data in both their work and personal lives. With over half of Millennials and Gen Z-ers having left a job for mental health reasons—which companies would naturally like to avoid—priorities have shifted towards wellbeing and less screen time.   

For perspective, think about your personal inbox. Now think about your work inbox. (Unless you are an inbox zero person, this possibly gave you an involuntary shudder.) Also consider the apps on your devices and the alerts and notifications that pop up. And let’s be 100% honest—when you see an email or reminder for a learning initiative, you are most likely going to mute or ignore itparticularly if it’s the third email in two weeks.  

This lack of positive response is a broad hint for organizations to quieten down and rethink their metrics and ways of measuring performance. Insights and pointers can be valuable if delivered in the right way at the right time—and if provided in a minimalist fashion. 

  1. Streamline your content and how it’s provided.

The enterprise learning experience can be streamlined by placing content into a central, easily accessed touchpointSimilar to ‘Silence is gold’, there is a design concept where white, or negative space gives freedom for the eye to see what needs to be seen. If there’s too much to look at, you don’t know where to look; therefore, you look away.  

Employees may feel this way if their organization’s learning and development is offered in many applications and platforms. Or if in one platform, it’s more complex than it needs to be—users don’t know where to look for what adds value.  

Crucial items to reflect on when streamlining your content include: 

  • Type and duration of content, and provider(s) 
  • Choosing or creating one platform for all learning needs  
  • Designing for simplicity and ease of use 

In addition, looking at the key traits of successful compliance training, the first is individually relevant training. What do your employees need and want?  

  1. Pay attention to what your employees need and want.

With an unprecedented five generations in the workforce, the motivation and preferred way of learning vary across the board. But with the overall learner experience in mind, common threads are that feedback should be easy to give, and training should be easy to take—wherever, whenever—and tailored for the employee. 

Think about how personalized everything is when you open your Netflix app. On any of your devices, Netflix offers the ability to continue watching where you previously left off, gives the option to add to your ‘to-watch’ list, and curates content for you based on your preferences and behaviors. All provided on a muted, dark background—a stark contrast to the bright white of most applications.  

Training and collaborative systems can have the same Netflix- or Spotify-type capabilities, accommodating ever-changing employee needs and wants. Ultimately driven by craving less screen time, employees want the time they do spend to be respected in both their personal and professional lives.  

Adopting the habits of strategic communication, streamlining content, and paying attention to employee needs and wants will aid in the creation of a mindful, curated learning space. 

In my next post, I’ll explore new skilling to foster a future-ready workforce. Until then, you can contact me here or on Twitter (@knott_nic) to find out more about mindful learning and digital HR in financial services. 

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