Why Understanding Your Employees’ Learning Preferences Is Key To An Agile Workplace
Learn how to understand and influence different learning preferences in this article.
The Primary Problem With Agility In Many Workplaces
Most people probably wouldn't assume that agility can be a challenge
in the workplace. But I've found that it's become an increasingly
challenging issue among employees struggling to attain a level of
harmony as they work alongside one another. The idea behind agility is
to get everyone working well enough to create a seamless, stress-free
process that leads to greater productivity and produces great results.
Unfortunately, this becomes a struggle when people aren't on the same
page due to different learning preferences.
Learning differences among employees impact a workplace for several reasons. For example, one individual on your team might not process the information given to them the same way as someone else, so they may react differently or take a unique approach when using that new information to take on tasks at work. In some instances, these learning differences might eventually lead to misperception, workplace conflict and cause an output delay. This then becomes a struggle for businesses looking to reach high-yielding goals.
Agile Adoption Organizationwide: Not Just For IT
Businesses often want to experience the rewards of agility, such as speed, productivity and engagement, but they don't always look at the bigger picture, such as the changes they'd need to make to achieve those desired results. If they're willing to look at the bigger picture, business leaders can create a more welcoming work environment that functions more effectively.
The Importance Of Understanding Unique Learning Preferences
Everyone has unique learning preferences. The sooner business leaders have a detailed understanding of these, the sooner they can expect to build productive teams with individuals who excel at their jobs.
Speed isn't everything, especially if companies are not providing the best learning environment. In some cases, it's necessary to slow things down and set a pace that works for all employees based on their learning preferences. When you understand the learning preferences of your employees, you can group people based on how they learn, which can help with the cohesiveness of your team. Once you've mastered the art of communication among employees, you can focus on improving other components that lead to agility, such as speed.
In other words, knowing a team member's learning and communication preference is an insight that helps business leaders rethink structures and processes used daily in the workplace. They can then align these structures and processes with their team's strengths. If business leaders are willing to dive deep into this, I believe they can improve efficiency and productivity without miscommunication and frustration delaying the output.
Using Learning And Communication Preferences To Accomplish Goals
Learning and growing in work environments requires self-awareness.
Taking the time to identify each team member’s ability to learn and
communicate provides a number of opportunities for leaders. If each team
member can optimize the way they connect with individuals, they can
ultimately improve communication within the team.
A great starting point is to meet with your employees and discuss
their key learning attributes, their sweet spot for taking in new
information and the strategies that accelerate their capacity to learn.
For instance, someone might like to brainstorm practical solutions with
real-life examples and find it useful to write personal and group action
After connecting on a team level, you have the potential to unlock
the collective power of the group by mapping these preferences across
your team. Create a matrix that articulates and showcases the different
learning and communication preferences within the group. When
individuals are empowered with this knowledge, they can consciously
apply it to daily interactions and improve the influence of their
emails, meetings, business reports and presentations. In my experience,
improving communication can result in people feeling heard, understood
and appreciated. It may even help boost morale and optimize productivity
in the workplace.
While some struggle with agility, the right influence can provide change. The best way to impact influence is to become a strong communicator with everyone within the workplace. Success and learning agility are driven by individuals collaborating as teams with a shared skill of learning, processing information, connecting with others, communicating and ultimately influencing.