On-the-Job Learning Renewed (Elliott Masie) The Forum applies the 70:20:10 lens
This article by Elliott Masie in Chief Learning Officer magazine reinforces the point that experiential and social learning are ubiquitous. Ask almost any employee – from senior executives to individual contributors – and you’ll find that they will say they learned many of the key skills they use on the job rather than in a classroom or from an eLearning module.
Masie makes the point that the structured learning world is well served (many would say over-served) with tools, technologies, platforms and products to support it. On the other hand, there are few providers of support tools and systems for on-the-job learning - although the ePSS (electronic performance support system) market is a healthy and growing one.
Masie suggests a new landscape for on-the-job learning. It is one that includes new technologies such as video for the production of UGC (user generated content) and to provide remote coaching. He also suggests the use of badges and gamification. He also advocates embedding on-the-job training responsibilities for line managers and employees, and embedded into performance objectives and reviews.
Elliott Masie’s call for a renewal of on-the-job learning is timely. There is certainly a better understanding of how high performers develop their high level of skills and capability than there was even 10 years ago. We know that the best learning is that which occurs in the context where the skills and capabilities are to be used.
However, it is important to extend our thinking and practices beyond structured on-the-job training. Certainly these will bring benefits, but even greater benefit will be realised when we create cultures that appreciate the need to support a cycle of continuous learning and working. Not just where we learn in the workflow, but where we embed a mindset that encourages a cyclical process.