For fans of the Office, Toby Flenderson is not exactly the world’s most exciting guy.
As the corporate HR advisor, Toby is there to make sure people follow the rules. He’s a stickler because he’s the person in charge of compliance. And unfortunately, he has no idea how to bring a team together.
In L&D and HR, the Toby Flenderson approach is something we see a lot of companies struggling to overcome. People stick to the same old approach to corporate training. The problem? It's ineffective and despised by everyone in the company.
It begs the question: Is there another solution?
We know there are a lot of companies out there looking for ways to build a more fun, responsive, and collaborative approach to learning and development. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the launch of our new product: 360Learning for Enterprise!
Editor's note: We’re launching 360Learning for Enterprise on Product Hunt today, so go and support us there!
In this post, we’ll explain why so many companies struggle not to be a Toby when it comes to L&D and how to build a collaborative and impactful learning strategy that effectively helps your team grow.
First, does your company’s L&D have a Toby problem?
A little bit of Toby Flenderson can be a good thing sometimes. After all, when you’re trying to test the office for asbestos or keep Michael Scott from causing the next company-ending HR scandal, sticking to the rules can be a real asset.
However, being a Toby can really kill creativity and innovation in L&D, especially when you’re trying to identify and address emerging learning needs.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies might not realise they have a Toby problem with their L&D. Here are three big signs to watch out for.
People know that your L&D/HR/training team exists and that every company is required to have one, but no one knows what it’s there for. The purpose, mission, or impact is unclear to most people.
Sometimes, you feel like nobody cares.
Your team works in a silo. You’re kind of on your own. From doing training needs analysis to creating content, you don’t get feedback or help on your learning projects.
You know there are things people internally could help you with but you don’t have an easy system in place to seek help or get feedback quickly or easily. You need a way to break down these barriers and free things up.
Your learning strategy is more about sign-off than solutions. You find yourself constantly seeking executive sign-off for L&D decisions, be it course topic, design, learning materials, or the involvement of in-house experts.
This kind of delay affects a lot of companies. Each learning need, module, or solution needs sign-off from executives. Exec buy-in is tricky as the value and impact of training isn’t clearly measured in business metrics.
Luckily, we have a way to turn this all around and build a coaching culture that is collaborative and effective.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of 360Learning for Enterprise. We’ve designed this platform as a way to avoid many of the typical Toby Flenderson problems that companies can face when it comes to L&D.
With 360Learning for Enterprise, you can reinvent the role of L&D in your company. Instead of slow, siloed, and top-heavy L&D, you can build a learning culture that is quick and agile, with a focus on sharing collective knowledge and expertise between teams.
We help you do this in four key steps:
Let’s take a look at what these four steps mean in practice.
We’ve talked about the right way to do a training needs analysis. It should be a collaborative, bottom-up effort.
With 360Learning for Enterprise, your teams can declare, upvote, and comment on team learning needs. You can then rank these priorities by business impact, and measure progress in addressing each business need.
This way, you don’t have to spend weeks or months doing an annual training needs assessment. Instead, you can let your employees declare and prioritize your learning projects based on their business needs.
This collaborative process also tells people where to find the right information to suit their learning needs and priorities. By coming together to focus on shared learning needs, your teams can also uncover learning resources they didn’t even know about.
Once you’ve developed a shared, needs-based strategy, you can start matching experts to suit different learning needs.
The biggest bottleneck to collective learning in business is usually in the matching stage. You might know that the expertise or skills you need to draw from exists somewhere in the office, but you don’t know how to find them.
This is a real shame, as it can be a barrier to individual and team learning. Most of the time, you waste valuable time and monetary resources to re-create courses with external trainers that are less knowledgeable about how your company works and what it needs to succeed. Even worse, it’s a missed opportunity to foster meaningful connections between your team members.
With 360Learning for Enterprise, you can assign experts and managers to each project based on the relevance of their experience. This helps give everyone clarity on what to expect from the learning process, and helps to unlock the true potential of your teams.
And once you've got your in-house experts matched with your learning needs, 360Learning for Enterprise helps to coach you through course delivery.
Your internal experts may not have prior experience teaching or sharing knowledge. And that’s where you and other experienced folks can come in.
360Learning for Enterprise lets you invite leaders and team members to review courses under development, offer their reactions, and provide feedback to highlight areas for improvement. This way, your learning material benefits from the deep expertise of collective input.
With this coaching and iterative process, you can launch the course only when you’re ready, and you’ll end up with the best possible learning experience for your teams.
This feedback loop helps to improve course design and delivery and makes L&D a process of continuous improvement and iteration. This ensures that your training materials don’t stay static - instead, they get better with each engagement.
Finally, 360Learning for Enterprise also gives you a way to recognize and reward your experts.
In every business, people love to participate in collective learning. It’s a great way to share knowledge, and it’s also a great way to build connections between individuals and teams.
This collective learning isn’t just good for the teams receiving the expertise and knowledge - it also helps your subject-matter experts to stay sharp and current.
With 360Learning for Enterprise, you can monitor course performance and learner feedback, and give teams and experts the recognition they deserve for their time, knowledge, and effort.
These rewards help people to feel valued, and incentivize them to continue to share their valuable insights and inputs in the future.
The best company L&D strategies are exciting, dynamic, and nimble. They’re trusting and collaborative, and they give teams the chance to define their own priorities and find the resources they need to grow. Basically, they’re everything Toby Flenderson isn’t.
We know there are a lot of companies out there who want to overcome their inner Toby and deliver the kind of learning experiences that motivate and connect their teams. That’s why we’re so excited to launch 360Learning for Enterprise.
We’re launching 360Learning for Enterprise on Product Hunt today, so go and support us there!
While you’re at it, we also have a live product demo coming up. If you’d like to see how we can help you ship more impactful courses quicker, join us on 7 July.
I've worked hard with our product and design teams to get this launch out. So I'd really love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!