As the Steve Miller Band said:

I’m a picker

I’m a grinner

I’m a lover

And I’m a sinner

 

For me, I have experience as a:

  • Senior Non-Commissioned Officer i/c of a Training Wing
  • L&D Adviser
  • Learning Technologist
  • Learning Technologies Manager
  • L&D Manager

 

My career pathway has ensured that I’ve seen, first hand, my fair share of the challenges faced by many L&D functions. In my experience, the biggest challenge is rarely providing content or ‘stuff’ to people.

In fact, there’s no shortage of ways of getting ‘stuff’- from classrooms to LMSs, elearning to virtual classrooms, coaching sessions to PDFs, AR to VR, social networks to… I think you get the idea.  

 

But what about:

  • Getting people to the ‘stuff’ to begin with?
  • Keeping them there?
  • Encouraging them to come back if they drift off?
  • Communicating with people as they are actually engaging with your ‘stuff’ in a way that recognizes how they are engaging and performing and tailors the feedback and communication to that specific person?
  • Providing performance support as and where people may need it?
  • Keeping them thinking about the subject once the ‘stuff’ is over?

 

Of course, we’ve always had the ability to meet the above list by hiring an L&D Administrator, writing multiple emails, chasing people, chasing managers to chase people, populating databases, spreadsheets, setting calendar reminders…you get the idea.

Now multiply the above by how much ‘stuff’ you distribute to your workforce, and you’ve got an enormous task on your hands.

Let’s get straight to the point… By ‘stuff’ we mean content, and simply pushing out an endless amount of content to people, whilst not without its own challenges, is not the end. In so many ways, it’s only the beginning.  

Enter Sparks

Sparks, the latest Learning Locker® app, takes the data that we hear so much about in our industry and rather than just letting it sit in a graph or table, brings it to life to automate tasks that have previously proven too time-consuming/haven’t even been attempted due to administrative overheads.

Let’s take another look at that list above and see how and where Sparks can add value:

 

Getting people to the content in the first place

Sparks can contact an individual as soon as they are enrolled on your ‘stuff’ to welcome them, provide some preparatory information, add context etc.

You could also daisy-chain your content together so that the completion of one aspect of a development program can enrol them on/nudge them towards another.

 

Encouraging them to come back if they drift off

Sparks allows you to nudge people back towards your ‘stuff’ should their engagement drop off or they decide to unenroll.

 

Keeping them there

Sparks can initiate communications to people based on what they have done, haven’t done or even just something as simple as an automated communication based on a date and time.

 

Communicating with people as they are actually engaging in your ‘something or other’ in a way that recognizes how they are engaging and performing and tailors the feedback and communication to that specific person

Sparks lets you to set up a number of Persona types so that you can use varying criteria to communicate with your users.

I.e. Those people that are exceeding any milestones you’ve put in place material get a big pat on the back, those that are meeting those milestones are told to keep doing what they’re doing and those that are lagging behind receive some moral support.

Or perhaps you could utilize the engagement, sentiment analysis or test results Personas?

 

Providing performance support as and where people may need it

Sparks can provide contextually relevant support based upon people’s performance.

I.e. A sales executive declares an opportunity as lost at which point Sparks could send them some information as to how they can actually make the most of this.

 

Keeping them thinking about the subject once the ‘stuff’ is over

Sparks can continue to drip-feed information, resources, tasks, reflective questions to people once they have finished your ‘stuff’.

I.e. Somebody attends a Webex session at which point you can then trigger a series of subject related comms over a period of time to tap into the power of spaced repetition, practice and recall.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Sparks and how it can benefit the people development activities that occur within your organization, don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you’re already a client, you can contact me directly as your friendly, neighbourhood Customer Success Manager!

I play my music in the sun.