More than 52 minutes?

Picture of a sand timer filled with red sand, about a quarter of the way empty.
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Almost 10 years ago I wrote about using 52 minutes as a measure of support and investment in learning teams.

The concept is that a proportion of people’s worktime, equivalent to the cash value invested in learning activity, is made available to people to use as they want to learn.

This idea is both a product and influence about how corporate learning can be different. For example, using a time budget forces the learning professional to think small and sharp. It also limits sponsors from asking for a half-day/day/2-day course.

Since the shift to more flexible and hybrid work, I wonder how different it might be now.

Firstly, I’d suggest the employee working at least partly away from an office is spending WAY more than a nominal amount on their development. Searches outside of work systems will be considerably more frequent now. If you’re a learning function you can’t count this but you need to know what, how, and most importantly, why people are going off to learn independently.

If you haven’t already done so, ask people how much they spend time learning. Not through surveys or questionnaires; go out and chat with people, 1:1, in focus groups, in online face to face sessions. Find out how much time they REALLY spend learning to a) do their job, and b) learn for themselves.

Take the opportunity to review the length of the content you have on your LXP, LMS, or any other platform. Spend some time being a person learning. Spend some time seeing how someone might be able to learn. Then spend some time seeing where people might access this stuff outside your platform. Do a Google search on a topic you cover and see exactly how much people can access without logins, firewalls and work platforms.

Lastly, look at the variety of your offer. Each element – face to face, elearning module, Q&A, video, audio, etc – should be cut to the bone. Make everything 6 or 7 minutes long and get it in front of people when they need it and you’ll be their friend, not the function trying to put hurdles in the way.

How much do you spend learning every week?

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