Learning matters

13 09 2010

One of the problems organisations increasingly face in a downturn is how to cut costs. The obvious target for many is the Learning and Development budget. In short, companies will invest in staff in the good times, and let them fester in the bad.

This is hardly good business practice at any time, and is unlikely to prepare the organisation for when the downturn ends and business picks up.

One of the problems we face, therefore, is how to improve learning for participants, so that the learning sticks and is more efficient. If a manager can get as much value from a 3 day programme as they can from a 13 day one, the former will always be preferred as there are lower direct costs involved, and the indirect costs of the manager being away from the workplace will also reduce.

Making learning stick is not as easy as it sounds, however. When a manager can choose between the carrot and the stick to get things done, the educator must find a third way. The student needs to be motivated, but that isn’t enough – the learning must reach their brains in ways that will engage the right areas of the brain before evaporating into the ether.

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