Personalised Learning in the Workplace can Improve Outcomes

By Carolyn Lewis

A decade ago the UK Government developed a vision for personalisation in adult education and the Department for Education said that ‘personalised learning is an idea that is captivating the imagination of teachers, children and young people across the country’. The belief was  personalised learning has the potential to make learning ‘stretching, creative, fun and successful’.

In actual fact an element of education and workplace learning has always been personalised with individuals being directed to learning materials in response to assessment of their current level of knowledge. Personalised learning has for a long time been recognised as good practice in education (although not so evident in the workplace), however many teachers and trainers would say that truly personalising learning for individuals is challenging. In the past I would have agreed, but things have changed and it is technology which has brought us the solutions for personalising learning.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has invested tens of millions of dollars in schools adopting a fresh approach to personalising learning saying, “we think that personalised learning makes sense”.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is sharing their research into how personalised learning practice using digital tools can help teachers to bring improved outcomes for learners. But, personalisation of learning is not just for education; it is as valuable in the workplace for employees’ professional development . However, Brendon Hall’s research into personalised learning and learning and development found that only 6% of respondents are consistently creating personalised learning plans for employees. This is despite the wealth of evidence that in education personalised learning improves learner satisfaction and improved achievement.  In response to the statement “My organisation integrates personalised learning with performance management conversations” only 4% strongly agreed. The research found that the top five critical items for effective personalised learning are:

  • Coaching and mentoring (78%)
  • Mobile learning (72%)
  • Social learning (69%)
  • E-learning modules on an LMS or other learning technology (66%)
  • Video learning (61%)

In Brendon Hall’s Learning Technology study they found that learning technology in the workplace has a strong correlation to improved key performance indications (KPIs), with between 40% and 53% seeing a 10% or more increase in engagement, productivity and revenue when using learning technologies. In many organisations KPIs are used in performance management and on-going performance reviews, which includes the identification and monitoring of required training. Performance management can be linked to a competency framework for a specific job role and out of this a training needs analysis identifies training requirements. The outcomes of which, along with a manager’s knowledge of the employee, enables a truly personalised development plan to be drawn up to support the employee in their professional development and on-going workplace performance.

Blending face to face training with the use of learning management systems, online learning, gamification, and social and mobile learning have made the task of personalising learning so much easier. With online content, links to social learning, integrated live webinars and gamification all accessible via a learning management system, learners have a wealth of options for achieving their objectives through a learning pathway that is truly personalised. This learning is made accessible by providing a mobile responsive learning management system and online content, enabling the user to learn at a time and place that is convenient to them.

For information on our learning management system with over 1,000 compliance and professional development courses, integrated webinar functionality and gamification with digital badges, please contact [email protected]. You may also like to visit our LMS page and download our free guide to learning management systems.



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