I have been around in the learning space for approximately 25 years and been known to make my share of assumptions, quick judgments and mistakes. I have also been known to be very excited and passionate about learning. I have been privileged to be a part of some incredible learning journeys that had lasting impacts on organizations, and also ones that have been a failure. I am here to share some of my most valuable lessons with you.

One of the common threads in the demise of a corporate learning rollout (guilty!) is a myopic view of communications, course descriptions, and change management approaches.  So much is focused on the corporate initiative and why this will be good for the company and so little is really focused on the employee.

From a learning veteran, here are 3 lessons learning leaders could adopt to be more successful with initiatives.

  1. It’s not you… But it is.

When we roll out new tech, all the employee hears is “another program that we will get excited about for the next several months and then it’s just another program.”  You know you’re guilty of a one-dimensional launch when you hear the dreaded excuse: “I don’t have time for learning.”  Employees are really telling you “I don’t see value in taking time.” It’s the same thing you heard when your High School love broke up with you – “It’s not you, It’s me.”  But really, it is you. When bringing in something new, be sure to highlight the value to the employees. Over and over again.

  1. So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance.

We know it – our employees can be selfish. Most of the time, we’ve got one shot to get it done right. If not, it’s very hard to get them back again.

The solution? Everything you do from the beginning of your learning program needs to be marketed solely to employees. I mean EVERYTHING! The communications and change management efforts but also when you are building out governance. Make sure you focus on the employee in your learning descriptions and /or anything from your program that requires your learner to take action.

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • If your life depended on someone opening this course, how would you market it to your learner?
  • Does your course description sound fun and interesting?
  • Does it sound like another corporate learning course that will put you to sleep in 2 minutes and ask you a bunch of irrelevant questions that will make you feel stupid?

Employees are judging the book by the cover but you have the power! You are the one that has the ability to get them to buy what you are selling.

  1. You don’t know Jack. Or Jane.

Research. Ask them. Find out what attracts them, and then do it! “Customer is always right,” right? The success of all your efforts is based on getting them excited about your new program and once it’s not new anymore. Bring sexy back!

The world of learning can be a wonderful place – you just have to open their eyes. I hope this lesson inspired you.

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