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By definition, an ecosystem is a network of interconnected elements that form a community. For that community to thrive, each member needs to receive the space and resources that encourage growth. Thanks to the spread of internet technology, data science, and modern technological devices, we've come to structure businesses and other organizations into types of ecosystems.
A business ecosystem usually consists of various departments, such as Marketing, Human Resources, and Learning and Development (L&D), to name a few. The latter is the department directly responsible for the professional development of employees.
Most companies that invest in an L&D department typically look for an off-the-shelf Learning Management System (LMS), develop one, or hire someone to develop one for them. This is a great first step in creating a learning culture in the workplace. Still, an LMS-only strategy for employee development can be limiting in the long run.
Other factors are important in the founding and nurturing of an efficient eLearning Ecosystem for your organization. Soft skills like thinking outside the box, flexibility in trying new things, and an open mind are also needed in the building of a successful learning environment for your staff.
As mentioned, an eLearning ecosystem is very similar to a biological ecosystem. The parts make the whole and the living, breathing, and sometimes moving environment that forms around them. An eLearning ecosystem is also made up of moving parts and, most importantly, parts that can change over time.
In the context of employee training, an efficient and productive eLearning ecosystem is essential for the growth of your business, regardless of industry.
One thing is clear, for the ecosystem to be a healthy and thriving one, all parts need to move together as one, old or unnecessary elements need to be removed or changed, and each individual should have their personalized growth path.
For an eLearning ecosystem to exist, it must first have individuals to populate it. Your employee learners make up the basic building blocks of your L&D community.
The eLearning resources are the tools, content, and platform your employee learners will need to advance their skills and knowledge. These can include mobile apps, social media channels, an LMS, internal chat, and more.
Your employee learners and eLearning resources set the base for your business' eLearning culture. But, for this to be a thriving culture, your team leads, managers, execs, and yourself also need to contribute to the positive attitude required for pushing learning forward. Being an active participant in the growth and development of an inclusive, compassionate, and forward-thinking workplace community is fundamental.
Supporting a growth mentality within your organization ensures that employees take their learning and development into their own hands. Encouraging a growth mindset means allowing employees to build on their existing skills and knowledge and acknowledging their hard work and dedication towards continuous learning.
Of course, without the correct type of content, effective learning cannot happen. Ensure you deliver quality content related to real-life situations on the job and help your employees complete daily tasks more efficiently.
Your content delivery method is also essential as you most likely have employees with various styles of learning. Explore microlearning, simulations, gamification, and serious games to keep learners engaged and interested in the training.
Make sure you assess your learners, learning delivery platform, content relevance, interactivity, and engagement every step of the way. You can evaluate the course at the very end, pepper in some quick surveys, and even do traditional meetups to discuss how employee learners are faring at any point during the eLearning course.
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and other new techs can empower learners to stay motivated and involved with their growth curve. Enabling cross-platform access ensures your employee learners have anytime-anywhere access. This allows them to engage with their learning environment in their own time, from anywhere, and whenever it is most convenient for their learning to happen.
All of the above would not be possible without the systematic implementation of a feedback and support loop. Learners need to know how well they do, and you need to know how efficient your employee training programs are. Ask employees what they think about the training, how they feel they are faring, and what they believe could be improved. Ensure you follow through on providing them with the tools and resources they need.
Read also: How to Develop Effective eLearning
A thriving eLearning ecosystem will help your employees change their behavior and mentality. The exemplary system improves performance and increases employee productivity. Focus on aiding staff in developing their skills and knowledge and stay active in following up with their progress. A pro-active leader is just as important as creating an efficient eLearning training program.
If you need assistance with your eLearning ecosystems, Designing Digitally would love to help. We will examine your training and business needs and develop customized training based on your requirements. If you would like to discuss your training and development and how we can help you, please get in touch with our team or book an appointment using our Online Calendar.