We honed our craft in the higher education sector and over the past 12 years we’ve provided the technology “helping hand” to ensure students succeed in their studies, including support during work placement, internship, and early career. So, what have we learned from more than a decade of doing what we do that is now relevant to the business sector? Well, quite a lot actually.
Here’s something I expect you already know - the 70-20-10 model of learning is everywhere. I would have a guess that, on the whole, you feel the 70-20-10 stuff makes a lot of sense, but the model itself didn’t come as a huge revelation. I also expect, at some level, you knew about the 70-20-10 model long before it was even a model, only the definition on the t-shirt you had said something like “experiential learning”. I could happily write all day long about definitions and semantics but that’s probably not going to be massively useful. However, what might be useful (if the 70-20-10 conundrum below sounds somewhat familiar) are some practical tips on what you can do.
The 70-20-10 conundrum
You’re on board with the 70-20-10 model (or at least you think you are) but the implication of this is that you’ve realised your staff are spending almost three quarters of their time learning through the work they are doing with your customers, their peers, by collaborating on internal projects, and the list goes on and on. So, whilst you get the 70-20-10 model, it in no way that stops you worrying about the practicalities. How on earth are you going to help your staff record their learning and make sense of it? And here is what’s really keeping you awake at night – how does your business keep track of it, make sure the right kind of stuff is going on, and make use of it? In short, it all feels like an insurmountable mountain.
So, there’s the conundrum, and right here are the 5 big questions you need to be asking yourself when starting to think about what the solution might look like:
1. Recording experiences.
How will we provide tools to help staff easily record experiences as and when they happen? In today’s tech-savvy workplace it sounds like we’ll need to support mobile, anywhere, any device working. But if we do invest in this kind of technology, how do we ensure strong engagement and what will our ROI look like?
2. Scaffolding the process.
How will we provide customised frameworks and templates to add structure to the process and ensure that what we put in place is compatible with our business needs? Free form documentation of experiences and learning sounds great but without structure it will be difficult to track and collate data, and it may just end up in a repository of disparate data, and our ROI will go through the floor.
3. Joining the dots.
How will we allow employees to easily connect their learning and experiences to competency frameworks, KPI’s, and performance review? How will a new 70-20-10 model fit in with (or replace) existing appraisal processes? Will we need to consider integration with our other existing technologies?
How will we ensure others (managers, mentors, peers) have clear visibility on what’s going on and be able to input into the process to add value? How will we ensure organisation-wide buy-in and what might a rollout plan look like?
How will the business be able to monitor and report on all the great stuff that is going on and how will it impact on overall performance? How do we connect these processes to our overarching talent management strategy?
From experience we know that real-time gathering of evidence, reflecting on those experiences, and allowing others to input into the process provides both employee and employer with a richer (and much more valuable) output. This data can help organisations understand performance issues and more easily map out future trajectory. If this sounds interesting, great, let's talk.