Thinka and purpose: Learning that makes work human

by Jun 2, 2021Purpose0 comments

Learning in some workplaces has become an ultimately bleak, dull affair. A tick box exercise that has no real value for employees who are already stretched and are expected to stretch more (and on their own time).

Logging onto the Learning Management System to complete ‘compliance training’ is often met with dread and learners drag themselves through the course, stabbing in the dark at learning checks because the amount of content is just impossible to grasp.

It’s learning that satisfies some audit requirement, legal responsibility or new initiative dreamt up in the executive thinktank. Not bad things necessarily, but not exactly thrilling either when pushed out as a series of screens, with clicking ‘next’ as the only real interaction.

At Thinka, we want learning to be more than this. We work hard to see the human in all learning and work experiences. This is why our learning solutions are so focused on application. We demonstrate theories, models and strategies that are succinct and user-friendly and have learners test these in real, live environments to see how they work – using the ‘learn, apply, reflect and celebrate’ principle.

You can do every workshop, read every book and listen to every podcast on ‘giving feedback’, but unless you’re actually practising the art of giving feedback, you won’t truly get it. And you certainly won’t get better at it. Learning must not be seen as an ‘add on’ – it needs to be integrated into the work where effort is applied consistently to build skills and capabilities on the job and where it matters.

It’s less about the learning itself and more about the change on the ground. Think about the learning solution as the map and the application of learning as what you do in the field – including all the missteps, wrong turns and unexpected obstacles. Real learning is a messy business and getting 100% on an online, multiple-choice assessment is hardly a worthy substitute.

There are many learners that bail out of learning experiences because they ‘have no time’, ‘there’s too much real work to do’ and ‘they’re not in the right headspace’ (I could go on), but learning doesn’t have to feel hard. It also doesn’t have to be a ‘lone ranger’ affair. It can be business driven, leader driven and then, team driven. While people will be working on different skills and capabilities, the impetus to learn must be driven from the inside out.

When you build a learning culture, you set a precedent for learning as the norm. At Thinka, we offer team-wide sharing sessions, 1:1s and capability and strengths coaching. These are just a handful of the ways we help each other figure out what skills and capabilities we need to grow.

It’s more about actually growing these skills and capabilities as part of the work – building presentation skills, developing an eye for detail, or learning how to ideate when you’re in the thick of it – on a project, with clients and as part of the team. Thinka employees are Thinka learners first, and this helps each and every one of us design and deliver learning that is both audience-centric and real world.

We believe that to make work human, you first have to the make the learning human.

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