‘Broadcasting’ Learning & Development by Iain Brierley – Learning and Development Manager for Leadership and Culture
Long before the days of radio and television the term ‘Broadcasting’ was more related to farming and agriculture as a method of sowing or casting seeds over a wide area rather than drilling them into the ground. The analogy is useful when it comes to sowing the seeds of learning. How In this very modern and technical world do you reach your intended audience to ensure that everyone gets the chance to ‘grow’? This really is the challenge that Learning and Development professionals need to meet if all employees are to benefit from the development solutions that are created.
The challenge of making learning accessible for everyone
A blended learning approach is all about using a variety of media to make development activities and materials easily accessible for everyone. This is no mean feat when here at Bidfood nearly a quarter of our employee’s work a night shift or are in roles where they are home based and out on the road. These teams often miss out on the opportunity for more formal training and sometimes feel disconnected from the development opportunities the rest of the business enjoys. Then of course is the small matter of generational preferences on how information is received; whilst it’s always unwise to make sweeping statements about millennials and Gen Z’s who make up an increasing section of our work force it’s certainly true that all of us have had our attention spans reduced due to the sheer weight of information easily available on our personal devices. Platforms like You tube and others have created a demand for brief visual content that gets our attention and is easily consumed by the viewer and increasingly it is becoming the way many of us like to learn.
Creating our ‘Quick Learner’ video concept
In order to tap into this demand we wanted to create a brief workplace learning experience for everyone that is accessible from anywhere at any time and so the ‘Quick Learner video’ concept was born. We had already created a series of brief visual training guides which we branded ‘Quick Learner’ designed to cover a wide variety of development topics using a visual magazine style format, so we decided to go one step further and use the content to create an accompanying ‘Quick Learner video’ which would cover a specific topic in just 5 minutes. If you are going to use video as a format for Learning; we found the following tips are worth considering:-
- Make sure the finished product is in a consistent format, viewers respond well to familiarity
- Keep it brief – We have become conditioned to having a much shorter attention span for content in this format
- Include a three point summary to reinforce the key messages
We are fortunate at Bidfood to have an excellent ‘Events’ team who already produce a number of internal videos to support our communication and engagement strategy, so they were a great help with the editing and post production process.
Reaping what we sow
The videos can be accessed directly from a QR code on the guide and topics include ‘Coaching’; ‘Influencing’; ‘Giving feedback’ and ‘Engagement’. Initial response has been very positive to the extent that we are already filming another four topics this autumn.
‘Broadcasting’ then in every sense of the word; here’s hoping that the more seeds of learning we cast the more they will germinate and help us to develop a real learning culture; because when our people grow, our business grows too.