The Degreed Lens event in New York was an evening of drinks, dialogue, and debate as over 150 L&D leaders came together to discuss ways to reinvent the learning experience for their organizations.

As L&D professionals, our roles have grown and changed to include so many additional things like change management, restructuring, compliance, and culture. It’s clear that learning professionals have two distinct roles now; direct and indirect.

Learning leaders at MasterCard, Xerox Services, IESE Business School, and Bersin by Deloitte, shared strategies for reinventing the learning experience in both direct and indirect ways at Lens NYC. Here are 4 things they recommend we can do to engage our learners and immediately refocus the L&D conversation.

1. Stop worrying about “completions.” Steve Boucher of MasterCard left the audience stunned when he revealed that completions aren’t one of his KPI’s; he is more worried about increased capability. No matter how it happens, your learners are learning. The better measures of learning are using metrics such as usage, recommendations to others and impact seen by the employee’s manager, as well as employee retention.

2. Increase our knowledge as L&D professionals. Within L&D, we need to grow and redevelop our own skills sets to understand things like: curation, information architecture, design thinking, and content management. If you don’t have people within L&D that understand these things, training is going to get left behind. People are going to find what they need – it is up to us to empower them to do so efficiently and effectively.

3. Empower the learner to be in charge. Too often we are worried about our employees making efficient use of their time. Your learners are adults, who will find what they need, even if you don’t give them the correct resources. If an employee is out there learning, regardless of what or how, they’re learning and that’s what matters.

4. Remember: You have a willing audience. Your employees want to grow and it’s important to engage them in the ways they find valuable. Employees report that career opportunities are twice as important to them as salary. This means that as an L&D leader, you are responsible for your people’s career mobility.

You’re not the only one struggling to keep up with all of the changing learning demands. Each panelist at Degreed Lens reported being there too. And your employees will be forgiving of the rough patches if you communicate with them through it. And there are tools out there, like Degreed, to help bring it all together.

One final thought from Josh Bersin to keep you motivated – “People are not going to do exactly what they’re told. It’s reality. So you have to create an environment that makes them want to learn. And it’s key to the success of your business. The learning curve is your earning curve.”

Here’s an exclusive look into the Lens NYC event:

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