Discussion Guide: Make learning and development part of your team’s workflow

Small yet deliberate steps leaders can take to make learning part of their agency's culture (without any classrooms)

Jun 27, 2023

Discussion Guide: Make learning and development part of your team’s workflow

Learning and development is one of the many areas of improvement that sound great in theory, but are often hard to execute in practice. With so many demands on the time of leaders and advisors, there isn’t always space in the schedule for traditional learning and development methods. But even when other agency matters take priority, learning and development shouldn't fall by the wayside.

In this Harvard Business Review article, you’ll learn about the concept of "learning in the flow of work" as a more effective approach to learning and development. This approach folds learning opportunities within typical workflows, increasing retention and application of knowledge. You’ll also learn about two methods to achieve this practice: custom training programs that target specific organizational needs, and "learning meetings" where managers set aside time for teams to learn, discuss and apply new ideas or frameworks.

Read the full article here.

Opening thoughts:

  • What is your opinion on the importance of learning and development programs for the success of agencies and advisors? Share your thoughts and experiences.

Challenges of learning and development programs:

  • According to the article, why do many organizations struggle to demonstrate a return on their learning and development investments? Can you relate to any of these challenges?

Learning in the flow of work:

  • What is meant by "learning in the flow of work"? How can it benefit teams and agencies?

  • The article proposes two approaches to contextualize learning within the organization: custom training programs and learning meetings. Which approach do you find more feasible for your agency, and why?

The power of nudges:

  • How can short reminders or nudges, as mentioned in the article, help learners apply what they have learned? Can you think of any specific examples of how nudges could be used effectively?

  • Discuss any potential concerns or limitations of using nudges in the learning process. How can those issues be addressed to maximize the effectiveness of nudges?

Incorporating reflection:

  • Why is reflection considered a critical component of the learning process? How can dedicated time for reflection benefit learners in learning and development programs?

  • Share your thoughts on how companies can create opportunities for teams to reflect on what they have learned and how team members can apply learning in their daily work.

Micro-learning experiences:

  • What are the benefits of breaking up training content into smaller, bite-sized portions? How can micro-learning experiences enhance learning and retention?

  • Discuss different methods or platforms that can be used to provide micro-learning experiences. How can these be integrated effectively into team members' weekly schedules?

Measuring progress:

  • How can pre- and post-assessments, as well as real-time behavior tracking, help determine the effectiveness of a program?

  • Share your thoughts on how leaders can measure the impact of soft skills training, which can be more challenging to quantify. What metrics or approaches could be used to evaluate the success of soft skills development?

Closing thoughts:

  • Based on the discussion, which learning and development strategies do you find most compelling or relevant for your agency? Why?

  • What additional ideas or approaches can you suggest to enhance the effectiveness of learning and development programs in agencies?