A person somewhere once said that ‘variety is the spice of life.’
This is very wise.
Because what are we without our differences? We are all the same and everything is suddenly very boring.
This leads me to the topic of today’s blog, because with the knowledge that uniqueness is one of our greatest human features, it is curious as to why some choose a one-size-fits-all approach for such an important business success contributor as learning and development.
Of course, there are some explanations for this. The most popular being, having a lack of time and resource to create something greater suited to the many different learning styles that exist within your teams.
However even with this reasoning, there are still things that you can do to make your learning and development approach so much more inclusive and impactful.
Because ultimately, we want your learning plans to be as accessible to the auditory learners as it is to the visual learners and as powerful to those with a preference for reading and writing as it is to the kinaesthetic learners, who crave a real hands-on experience to gain new knowledge.
In this blog, we are going to be discussing those tips for addressing these learning styles within a diverse workforce.
Before we get to that though, let’s begin with the ‘why’ first!
Why Should Your Learning Initiatives be Accommodating of Different Learning Styles?
Increased Engagement – When people are given learning opportunities that align with their preferred learning style, they are much more likely to be actively engaged due to it being more accessible and digestible to them.
Better Retention – There is a direct correlation between people feeling invested in and how long they decide to stay at their place of work. With people feeling a greater impact from your learning initiatives, they will be more likely to feel that they will be able to continue their growth further.
Quicker and Improved Application of Knowledge – With there being no need for a learner to have to adjust information to be easier to learn, they will be able to apply new knowledge with greater ease. Their improved understanding will also make their application much more comprehensive.
Improved Performance – Improved skills and knowledge turn into improved individual, team and business results.
Enhanced Understanding, Teamwork, and Collaboration – If your team have greater knowledge of their own learning style and the styles of their colleagues, they will be better tuned into the how to support one another to achieve the most productive outcome.
More Positive Work Environment – A result of all the above!
How You Can Address Different Learning Styles in Your Diverse Workplace?
Learning Style Assessments – Some individuals may be completely unaware of their preferred learning style, so to establish a strong foundation, it is a helpful idea for everyone to complete a learning style assessment.
This will give everyone great insight into their own preferences, and the preferences of their fellow team members. It will also be an incredibly valuable source of information when it comes to identifying who would benefit best from certain styles of learning initiatives.
Peer Learning – There are so many reasons why peer learning should be strongly encouraged within your team. Having the opportunity to share experiences and learnings with one another can be super helpful in accommodating different learning styles.
It is also a cost-effective way of amplifying the impact of your learning programmes and creates a sense of community within your team.
Psychological Safety – Psychological safety is crucial when addressing diverse learning styles as it fosters an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their preferences, enabling open communication and honest feedback.
By reducing the fear of judgment, promoting collaboration, and supporting risk-taking, psychological safety lays the foundation for a learning culture that adapts to and embraces the varied ways employees absorb and process information.
Offer Options – Where possible, look to provide a variety of learning resources and formats. These could include written content, videos, tasks, discussions etc.
This vastly increases your chances of participants better absorbing information as it is in a style that resonates much better with them .
Be Flexible – Sometimes a person’s preferred learning style needs to not be tied down by heavy scheduling and time constraints. Allowing for flexibility as to when and how individuals can fully engage with materials related to the learning initiative can make a huge difference to their overall experience.
Understanding and adapting to how people learn differently at work isn't just a challenge; it's a chance to create a workplace where everyone's unique style is valued, promoting ongoing learning. By embracing diverse learning styles, companies can tap into their employees' full potential, creating a more skilled, engaged and collaborative crew. In today's ever-changing workplace, being cool with different learning styles isn't just a good idea, it's a must for success.
To discover the training programmes we offer around this topic, please visit our Learning & Development area.
Alex & The Excel Team
P.S. If you would like to discuss any of your learning & development challenges, book in your discovery call.
About Excel Communications
Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the U.K. For more than 30 years; we have been collaborating with clients across the globe.
Partnering with Excel empowers you to evolve your people and business by fuelling a love for learning.
We work with you to create unforgettably, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results.
View our case studies here.