The Powerful Lesson Corporate Learning Can Learn From Social Platforms

Instagram made big news this month releasing a new feature to compete head to head with Snapchat. While many people are curious why they released it, how to use it, and what social platform to choose between the two, this article isn’t for that. For a quick crash course on Snapchat, check out How Snapchat Is Changing Corporate Learning. This article is about what corporate executives can learn from this big news in the consumer social media space and it’s really simple: Video, and particularly short video, is a massive part of how people prefer to consume content today.

The Situation

It doesn’t seem to matter if the video is highly produced or not. What matters is it can be consumed in a short amount of time when people have the availability and motivation to consume it.

Contrast that with what I hear out of Learning and Development departments every day; it’s concerning. Just this week, I heard a learning executive say “as long as we keep the Virtual Instructor Led Training under 4 hours, that’s ok with me”. 4 Hours? Yes you heard that right, 4 hours! Unless they plan on showing live NFL football games during those 4 hours, I can assure you those professionals are going to open their phones and start scrolling through Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or Facebook to kill the time.

So, why have organizations been so slow to adapt and align their corporate learning mediums with the way their own employees are consuming content in their personal lives? I believe it’s because they are caught in the mentality of “we’ve always done it this way”. That’s a dangerous way for any organization to think, made famous by the Grace Brewster Murray Hopper:

Dangerous Phrase

The question that must be asked:

“Would organizations get better engagement, increase knowledge transfer, and become more aligned with their employees and partners by adapting the way they create and deploy training content?”

Now, let’s not kid ourselves. The challenge many Learning and Development executives face is figuring out how to make meaningful changes in their large and complex organizations. So, our advice is to start small. Get a few wins one day at a time, and eventually add those small wins up into big wins that make a huge impact.

Here are 4 ideas to implement to get small wins:

1. Create A Weekly Microlearning Video To Send Out Internally   

Once a week, publish a short microlearning video teaching a key topic to provide a short reminder of something that many employees might forget. Don’t let creating a video stop you. Just open your phone, grab a selfie stick or colleague, and make it happen. As you progress in creating video, you can get fancy with editing.

2. Delete Every Other Slide 

In your next lunch and learn just try to shorten it by deleting every other slide. Most likely you have too much content in there anyways. Use the minimum amount of content necessary to meet one learning objective. Include links or additional resources for people to explore further on an as needed basis.

3. Use Real Life Or Engaging Stories  

People remember stories and examples they can relate too. Try leveraging a capture story at the beginning of anything you do, and then relate what you are teaching back to the story to help them remember. A great best practice is to use famous people, quotes, or current events to relate to the topic you are teaching.

4. Leverage A Tool Outside Your Learning Management System For Publishing

Most learners have a negative mindset about their Learning Management System. So if you do something creative like a weekly microlearning video, you automatically decrease your odds of it being successful by deploying it inside your Learning Management System. There are all kinds of alternative options such as: Email, text, a mobile learning platform, or even getting employees to follow you on a social media network.

Final Thoughts

So whether you are into Instagram, Snapchat, or LinkedIn, hopefully you can take a few lessons from what is happening in the consumer world to improve the learning experience in your organization. Regardless if you are shot down or the first few tries don’t go as planned, do your best to persevere and keep your mind on the picture. Thomas Edison said it best:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”.

Learn more about LearnLoft’s offerings for organizations here

The Simple Essentials for Fulfillment at Work

Every professional has struggled being fulfilled in his or her profession at one point or another. A recent report by The Conference Board showed that 53% of Americans are unhappy in their work and a Gallup report showed 71% of millennials are not engaged (or actively disengaged) at work.  The frequency at which people checking Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or just wasting time during working hours makes me believe these numbers are low.  

Even so, these  fulfillment numbers are important because the average person spends over 92,000 hours working in his or her lifetime, the equivalent of 35% of their waking hours. What professionals get while working those hours goes a long way towards being happy, engaged, and ultimately fulfilled.

We’ve discovered a formula for professional fulfillment that we call the PEG factor.

PEG Graphics.001

Providing + Experiences + Growth = Fulfillment at work.

The P in the PEG factor stands for Providing. Statistics show that providing financially for yourself and/or your family is a the most important necessity in order for a professional to be fulfilled by their job.  Each individual’s financial threshold is different based on personal expectations, but a Princeton study found that once an individual is making $75,000 the majority of their happiness that is derived from money (the ability to provide) is fulfilled. Providing to your expectations and standard of living is the second necessity in being fulfilled with our work.  

The E stands for Experiences. The second necessity in being fulfilled with our work is having positive experiences. These experiences can come in a lot of different forms; completing a difficult project, traveling to industry conferences, giving a group presentation, or hiring an employee.  Each organization, job role and or industry can provide different experiences but the key is they are positive and present on an ongoing basis.  

The G stands for Growth. William Butler Yeats said it best, “we are happy when we are growing”.  When employees are acquiring new skills, given challenging work, and adding value that they can realize —  they are  growing. There is a simple test every professional can do to be sure they are growing.  Ask yourself, “Am I growing in my job?” and answer it in less than 5 seconds with a yes or no.  If it takes you longer than 5 seconds or you are unsure then the answer is clear.  

All of these necessities of our professional fulfillment are measured with our personal expectations.

If any of them aren’t equal to your expectation, there’s a high likelihood that you will become one of the 2/3rds of professionals that are anticipated to switch jobs in the next 5 years in search of fulfillment.

So remember, If you are providing, having positive experiences, and growing professionally to your expectations, you will be fulfilled in your work.  So, Providing + Experiences + Growth = Fulfillment.

Getting Leadership Ready moving into a leadership role within an organization typically provides the opportunity to increase each element of the PEG Factor.  You can learn more about standing out as a potential leader from our Getting Leadership Ready Program HERE.

5 Ways to Make Your Outdated Training Methods Effective

Many organizations struggle with outdated training methods that are no longer effective for various reasons. Whether it be generational differences, technology enhancements or stale content, the need to change and adapt has become a requirement to stay aligned to the modern learner. But the transition from making old technology and old content work for modern learners is not only a time consuming process, it’s a hard one. So, where do you start?

Here are 5 simple ways to be more effective in aligning to the modern learner.

  1. Leverage Video – Video popularity doesn’t even need stats anymore. It’s blown up. Platforms like Youtube, as well as Social networks that primarily leverage video, like Snapchat (How Snapchat is changing Corporate Learning) , has created video monsters in modern learners. Organizations have taken notice and are using it at the highest rate of all time. It doesn’t hurt that it’s cost effective for both building and deploying as well.
  2. Stretch Their Thinking – Providing content that helps the learner stretch their mind  goes a long way in being more effective with the modern learner. Using stories, models, or even a theory is a fantastic way to do this.
  3. Include Social – The modern learner is social and they are willing and able to engage with each other to help others learn. Use social functionality to leverage the collective intelligence and improve engagement.
  4. Involve the Learner– The best way to be sure you know something is to teach it to someone else. Asking learners to teach back or for action after learning is a fantastic way to be more effective with the modern learner.
  5. Provide Coaching– The easiest thing to get right, yet the one that is often not leveraged. Give learners feedback and coaching based on their actions and involvement in the learning process.

All of these might not be necessary for every learning program, but each one will go a long way in being more effective in developing the modern learner.

Want to see a modern learning program in action?  Check out LearnLoft’s out of the box Leadership Development Program for young professionals. Getting Leadership Ready Program. 

Top 5 Tuesday 3.22.16

Here is your weekly dose of Top 5 Tuesday: A list of things we are thinking, reading, watching, or doing to stay on top of our game and we think you should too:

Articles Worth Reading 

This is How Great Leaders Use Employee Feedback

Greg Harris explains why one of the biggest factors of great leadership is how you deal with employee feedback. It holds the secret to employee engagement, talent attraction, and retention.

Quotes Engrained in Our Minds

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning – Bill Gates

What Podcast We’re Listening To

All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett

Best selling author Jeffrey Hayzlett does a great job breaking down best practices and providing insight into anything business.  You must check it out.

What We’re Watching

Lindsey Boggs drops knowledge on the best subject lines for prospecting and emailing on LinkedIn. Enjoy!

Tip of the Week 

Whats the most popular app we use every week? GIF Keyboard.  Tough to beat texting with GIF’s.

Who to Follow on SnapChat

Since this is a new section, we will start with a must follow- Martin Matthews @martin.m360. He mixes his life, business, and tips and tricks beautifully on snapchat.

Please let us know if there are suggestions for articles, quotes, shows, or tools we should highlight. Tweet us at @johngeades or@learn_loft.

For more great insight:

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Top 5 Tuesday 3.15.16

Here is your weekly dose of Top 5 Tuesday: A list of things we are thinking, reading, watching, or doing to stay on top of our game and we think you should too:

Articles Worth Reading 

A Bias for Action and Locus for Control

Anthony Iannarino reminds us that a “bias for action” and a “locus of control,” (believing that you have a choice and can complete some arduous task) is the foundation of motivation.

Quotes Engrained in Our Minds

There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.- Malcolm Gladwell

What Podcast We’re Listening To

Why You Need a Life Plan Now

Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy join Michele Cushatt  to talk about their new book Living Forward.  They talk a lot about the importance of not drifting and how you get the life you want.

What We’re Watching

This video really tells a fantastic and entertaining story. All you need to know is we loved it, and think you will too. We raise a glass to Heineken for their creativity!

Tip of the Week 

Whats the most popular app we use every week? Waze.  Its the best traffic app of all time.  It’s so good we aren’t sure it will ever be topped.

Who to Follow on SnapChat

Since this is a new section, we will start with a must follow- Kevin Rose @hikrose. He mixes his life, business, and tips and tricks beautifully on snapchat.

Please let us know if there are suggestions for articles, quotes, shows, or tools we should highlight. Tweet us at @johngeades or@learn_loft.

For more great insight:

Follow Us On LinkedIn

Follow Us on Twitter

Like Us on Facebook

How Snapchat is Changing Corporate Learning

We know we are on a little bit of a Snapchat kick but look, technology changes fast. It’s common for an organization’s major software purchase to be outdated by the time it’s implemented into the workforce. As fast as technology is changing in the enterprise market, it’s changing 10X faster in the consumer market.

So why should corporate training care about what’s going on in the ever-changing consumer technology market? For the first time ever, Millennials (the major consumer of these technology applications) are the largest percentage of the workforce, and by 2025 they will make up 75% of the workforce.

Corporate trainers should care because their core audience is or soon will be young professionals. These learners have a different mindset; here are 8 traits of the corporate learner in 2016. These learners are savvy users of technology and are used to picking their preferred technology applications. One of the biggest choices they are now making is Snapchat.

For those of you not familiar with Snapchat, here is a quick summary of 6 things users are familiar with and now expect.

  1. Short, concise content.
    When I say short, I mean short.  10 Seconds per snap! These can be paired together to create a Snapchat story (always under 3 minutes).
  2. Visual-based.
    “Snaps” (the output of Snapchat) are video clips or photos taken from a mobile device.
  3. Unedited and imperfect.
    The app doesn’t allow for video editing or perfection. People are comfortable with video that delivers meaningful messages over cinema quality.
  4. Instant notifications.
    When new Snapchat messages come in users get a notification on their phone making them aware of it.
  5. On demand. 
    Snapchat messages are consumed when it’s convenient for the user.
  6. Text or chat friends.
    Interacting with each other through quick chat is extremely simple.

So how is this fast growing application changing corporate training? Snapchat’s two biggest effects on corporate training will be on a learner’s expectation of technology and learning content.

Here are a few ideas that any organization can begin to think about to align to the young professional using Snapchat:

  • Create Shorter Content.
    Break down content into microlearning, defined as short bite sized bits of content that ensure knowledge is transferred in a visible, tangible, or measurable way.
  • Use Video.
    Get those cell phone or computer camera’s ready for action. Video has never been easier to create and now you don’t have to be an expert editor to make video that people want to consume.
  • Utilize On Demand Learning.
    Millennials are much more inclined to seek out learning than any generation before them.  Give them a place to go learn and consume on their own.

Take note of the changes happening around you and begin thinking about how you can move away from an old school Learning Management System or tired content and begin focusing engaging and educating the modern learner.

You can find our President John Eades snapchat @johngeades.

5 Reasons Leaders Should Be Using Snapchat

At thirty-three years old, I am in an interesting position in the professional world. I am not young enough to be an expert in every new social application that comes out; however, I understand how important it is to pay attention to trends and use them to further my business. Leaders and business professionals who are ten, twenty, thirty years older than me seem to want to complain about the young professional (millennials) using (attached) to these apps. Whether they like it or not, it’s a reality of the world in which we live and do business in, and it’s not going away. Instead of digging their heels in the sand, these leaders need to use new tools to educate, engage, and enlighten their current and future employees.

Snapchat is a social platform that is fast becoming an extremely popular tool in business. It’s beyond relevant, with 100M active users and over 7B daily video views. Snapchat allows users to share images or videos of 10 seconds or less and link them together to make a story. The videos and images can be watched once or twice, and only stay on the platform for 24 hours. Then poof; they are gone. If you want to know the full story check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s post “The Snap Generation: A Guide to Snapchat’s Story”.

If you are reading this, you are most likely a forward-thinking leader. Here are 5 reasons why you, and every leader should use or at the very least give Snapchat a try.

1. Show your personal side

Most leaders are only known at the office or where work is conducted, but employees today want to know their leader is human. What they do outside of work; hobbies, cool places they go, things they do, etc. A little of this goes a long way; be careful not to over share. You can show your personal side without being too “personal.”

2. Recruit Young Talent

An old mentor of mine always told me, “fish where the fish are.” The same goes with recruiting young talent. Companies are in the midst of the greatest talent war of all time. The age demographic for the largest number of users on Snapchat is between 17-24. These are our next group of employees entering the workforce. The CEO on Snapchat who posts regularly about their life and business, is going to attract the young talent as they prepare to enter the workforce. The CEO who holes up in a corner office, rolling their eyes at the latest social media fad will miss the proverbial boat full of young, hungry, educated potential employees.

 3. Challenge Yourself

Most people who are in leadership positions got there partly because they are competitive. They like solving hard problems and they are open to challenging themselves beyond their perceived limits. Growing an audience on Snapchat is a challenge. It’s like old school marketing and good old fashion hard work. Challenge yourself to figure out something new.

 4. Stay Relevant

As Reid Hoffman famously said “ You have to constantly be reinventing yourself and investing in the future.” This is exactly why leaders should do doing things like Snapchat. It’s an investment in their future and a way to show their teams they aren’t stuck in the mud with old thinking.

 5. Provide Instant Education

I realize many leaders can’t and shouldn’t share insider information to the outside world. But Snapchat is a tremendous way to share your personal knowledge and experience in an instant.  The best snaps I have seen, provide brief moments of inspiration or education that help me think outside the box.

If you are a leader of people and you haven’t yet explored Snapchat or you keep a ban on yourself because it’s the way your leaders did so in the past, maybe its time you change your thinking.  If Snapchat isn’t your thing, my hope if you will find alternative ways to implement these five ideas to modernize your leadership skills.

Add me on snapchat @johngeades

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn and was read by over 10,000 people.

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