Agile Learning Methodology & Best Practices

Agile Learning in the Corporate Environment: What You Need to Know

The agile methodology, which grew out of the technology industry, emphasizes the importance of creating self-directed, cross-functional teams that are agile enough to respond quickly to their customers’ rapidly changing needs.

You may have noticed that the agile movement is now spreading to HR, as employee trainers and L&D teams adopt an agile learning mindset. Here, we’ll explain what agile learning is, its benefits, and how to build an agile culture at your organization.

What is Agile Learning?

Our technology-driven, rapidly changing world is driving the adoption of agile learning. Consider the dizzying number of new products and services that are constantly being introduced; it is virtually impossible for training departments to keep up with the demand. As a result, the responsibility for gaining new knowledge and developing new skills is shifting to the employee.

Agile learning is a concept that is ideally suited for the modern learner. It speaks to training that’s less centralized and formalized, and that places a premium on speed, flexibility, continuous improvement, and collaborative problem-solving. It’s about catalyzing innovation by creating a culture of continuous learning.

Agile learners are proactive learners. They don’t wait passively for their manager to provide guidance or for HR to enroll them in a course. Agile learners want the answer now – as such, they are on-demand learners, always seeking to broaden their knowledge and skill set. They are in the driver’s seat and are in charge of building and mapping out their own learning journey.

Agile learning describes the nonlinear way in which the modern learner gains knowledge and skills in an ever-changing world. They might take a MOOC, use a chatbot to ask a question, attend a live event where they grow their professional networks, consult with a mentor, post a question in a discussion forum, or engage in an immersive VR-driven, interactive experience. Flexibility is the name of the game.

Benefits of Agile Learning

So, why apply agile learning to your workplace training efforts? There are many reasons, with flexibility at the top of the list. Read on to understand how agile learning cultivates flexible, collaborative, and productive teams.

Flexibility and Adaptability

The agile learning philosophy promotes flexibility and adaptability, both of which are needed in this ever-changing world. Employees are encouraged to take risks, keep an open mind, and solve problems quickly and collaboratively.

Cross-Team Collaboration

Agile learners are not go-it-alone heroes. In fact, one of the key principles of agile learning is that, in order to succeed at their job, modern learners must build and leverage their professional networks. They need mentors, allies, and friends, and need to work across departments and disciplines.

Increased Engagement and Productivity

One byproduct of empowering employees at work is that they become more invested in their job, more confident in their abilities, and more engaged and productive workers. Enhancing employees’ knowledge, abilities, and skills means they can contribute at a more meaningful level. Creating a workplace culture based on agile learning can improve employee engagement and strengthen your ability to attract and retain employees.

Enhanced Customer Service

The agile learning solution is all about what can be done now. Agile learners have their head in the game, information at their fingertips, and are ready to respond to any customer service scenario that arises.

How to Build an Agile Learning Culture

When the agile methodology was first implemented in the technology sector, one problem was observed. Generally speaking, the benefits of the agile process were limited to the members of a specific, working group of employees. This meant that the agile learning methodology could not spread throughout the organization and touch enough employees; it wasn’t pervasive enough to change the organizational culture.

Proponents of agile learning realize the importance of building an agile learning culture based on continuous learning, social networking, risk-taking, and fast, collaborative decision-making. The key to building an agile learning company-wide culture that drives innovation and future growth is to integrate agile learning into your employee training process. Here are some tips on getting started:

Get Upper Management’s Buy-in

Management needs to demonstrate their commitment to agile learning. If the goal is to change the culture, the message must come from the top.

Encourage Continuous Learning

Recall the words of futurist Alvin Toffler: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Given our rapidly changing world, creating a culture of continuous learning – including upskilling and reskilling – is essential. Make continuous learning a cornerstone principle for all employees at all levels of the organization.

Invest in an LMS

A learning management system (LMS) has all the features you need to unleash a culture of agile learning, including social networking, gamification elements, discussion groups, and social media integrations, among others. An LMS also facilitates mobile learning, enabling employees and mobile workers to consume content and learn on their favorite devices.

Ongoing Collaboration and Communication

Toffler could have equally posited that the illiterate of the 21st century will be those who cannot connect or collaborate with others. Employees’ acquisition of social capital – their peer and professional networks that they can tap – has never been more important. An LMS can help facilitate communication and collaboration among your employees.

Banish Silos

It makes it hard to be an agile learner when your company’s data and content are fragmented across different systems that don’t speak to each other. Silos make it harder to share information and work collaboratively. Agile learning depends on the ability to share information in real-time. Isn’t it time to end the silos and replace them with a new culture of continuous learning and connectedness?

Book a demo to learn how the World Manager LMS can supercharge your company’s employee training program while unleashing a culture of agile learning. Contact Us today!

Agile Learning Infographic

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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