3 stages of work in Modern Workplace Learning

The work of a modern L&D department is is no longer just about designing, delivering and managing training experiences, but about enabling and supporting continuous improvement, learning and development..

The work of the Modern Workplace Learning Practitioner falls into 3 stages:

  1. Prepare and Promote
  2. Enable
  3. Support

Stage 1: Prepare and Promote

Preparing the organisation for a modern, continuous approach to workplace learning involves helping managers and employees acquire a new organisational learning mindset, i.e. one that recognises that

  • learning takes place in many different ways for, at and through work, and that
  • the role of the L&D function is not just about designing and delivering learning experiences for people to take – but helping individuals to organise and manage their own self-improvement and self-development.

This stage involves explaining the rationale for this approach (for both the organisation and employees), as well as the principles of modern learning, and the new practices involved (for both individuals, their managers and L&D).

Stage 2: Enable

This stage involves two aspects:

  • helping managers to understand how they can operationalise this new approach to workplace learning in their teams, what it means to them, and how the Modern Learning Practitioner can help and support them.
  • helping individuals to acquire or hone their modern learning skills so that they can get the most out of (and learn from) their daily job as well as from the Web, as well as organise and manage their own self-development in a more structured way (particularly if their manager is supporting them). It means helping them understand how to learn in new ways, develop new learning skills, as well as select the tools and services that will bring them value.

This stage will involve working with managers and individuals in very different ways, offering a personal and bespoke service that fits the needs and preferences of the manager and his/her team – rather than adopting the traditional, one-size-fits-all top-down approach.

Stage 3: Support

Some people in the organisation may well already be effective independent modern learners, whilst others will need continued help to become so.  In this stage, the Modern Learning Practitioner takes on an advisorial and consultancy role:

  • promoting sharing of learning, new knowledge and skills in work teams, as well as coordinating events to showcase new talent across the organisation.
  • providing bespoke advice and support to managers or employees, as and when required –

The role of the Modern Learning Practitioner

The Modern Learning Practitioner will therefore need to be someone who can “walk the talk” and demonstrate what it means to be a modern learner.  He/she

  • will have established a habit of continuous learning, and makes a point of learning something new every day
  • makes the most of (and learns from) everyday work experiences – through problem-solving, interactions with their own manager, and their own team
  • manages their own self-improvement and self-development
  • has grown their own professional network
  • continuously keeps up to date with their industry or profession

The attributes of a Modern Learning Practitioner

The Modern Learning Practitioner will therefore be:

  • a Specialist, Expert and Master of modern learning – demonstrating modern learning attitudes and practices.
  • a Guide and Helper to individuals – empowering and supporting them to self-improve and self-development in many different ways.
  • a Partner and Consultant to managers – helping them to understand and how to adopt a continuous learning mindset, as well as how to build an effective social team.

Whilst some L&D professionals are already taking on the work of a Modern Learning Practitioners  – especially in smaller organisations – for other (larger) organisations this will require a big change in terms of their work, but the following sections of this resource will provide guidance on how you can take on this new work.


Modern Workplace Learning Technology

Last updated: July 11, 2020 at 9:16 am