Adapting Learning to the Flow of Work

Ask any leader what their biggest barrier is to professional development and continuous learning, and the answer is almost always “time.” From deadlines to meetings to an inbox that just won’t stop, our days are jam-packed from morning to night.

A recent Josh Bersin Company survey polled over 1,000 organizations about their L&D practices for their report, and the results showed a clear mismatch between what employees want, and what is being delivered. A full 78% of respondents said that L&D is one of their top C-suite level priorities and see learning as vital — yet only 12% are successful at enabling true learning in the flow of work.

Time’s a-Ticking

Are we surprised? Not really. There’s a new reality in town, an “always on” work environment, with managers and employees working from home, attending countless Zoom meetings every week, and continually trying to meet targets.

In this new reality, the one-or-two-day, off-site approach to leadership development is not only out of date, but also nearly impossible for overstretched managers to carve out that time. (And the truth is, they don’t want to either.) Traditional learning takes people away from their already busy workdays. Your managers and leaders return to the office, face the deluge and promptly forget what they learned.

Learning in the Flow

For learning to be sustainable, it’s got to be within the flow of their work. Learning needs to balance enough meaty content for aha-moments with bite-sized sessions that allow your people to slot it into their busy day. This is one of the many reasons we are huge advocates (and pioneers) of group coaching, as it enables your talent to learn, apply what they’ve learned and improve on a daily basis. It’s like drip irrigation rather than a flood of learning.

When learning becomes an active part of a work-life routine, it helps bubble new ideas, new behaviours and new skills to the top on a regular basis. Group coaching allows leaders to:

  • Address real issues in real time
  • Share strategies and exchange best practices on what’s working and what’s not
  • Maintain connection and create a sense of community regardless of proximity

Sustainability

I really believe that we grossly underestimate the ability of line leaders to cultivate their leadership skills with each other. As one of our clients expressed so well: “When you bring in someone from the outside, they feed you for one day. When you give us the tools to feed ourselves, we will continue to grow.”

Here at The Roundtable, we’ve been leading group coaching programs for over 15 years. If you’d like to learn more about how you can convert your existing leadership programming into virtual group coaching programs or how to maximize your existing one-to-one executive coaching programs into high impact group programs, feel free to reach out to me to discuss your strategic priorities.

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