How behavioural science is transforming corporate learning

corporate training

For many years, adult learning has been considered one of the most conservative and slow-changing sectors. The way teaching has been delivered to millions of people globally has stayed the same for the last 20 years, producing a low rate of knowledge retention and a low incentive to use that knowledge in both higher education and corporate learning.

It is only recently that research on behavioural science opened doors to the understanding of the role of the brain on the adoption of cognition and on designing change on human behaviour, which are ultimately the outcomes expected out of learning, more specifically in corporate training.

It is no secret that organisations that can continuously adapt to change are winning the market. Hence, the way people learn and how learning is delivered should also change. The suggested framework aims to support the transitions that are inevitable for organisations developing future talent.

According to KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook (2020), during the COVID-19 crisis, CEO’s have recognised that the lack of appropriate talent is the most significant risk for the future of their organisation.

The immediate actions have focused on resources (often with less budget) and reprioritisation of learning content. The priority was on skills to address the challenges due to the crisis, agility, and motivation for team members.

These types of skills and behaviour building need to have a different learning framework as it is reliant on using human mental power to unlearn previous practices, creating processes for psychological resources, and reducing the natural resistance of our brain for a change.

Also Read: The power of psychology in business with Jenny Gustafson

Using brain science for adult learning

Corporations strive to convert knowledge into sustainable behaviours; knowledge retention is not enough to make people want to use what is stored in their brains.

Influencing behaviours has been a significant contribution from BJ Fogg- a Stanford University professor and behavioural scientist.

The Fogg behaviour model is built on the theory that three elements should converge to either create new behaviour or restrict or refine an existing behaviour: Motivation, ability, and prompt.

In the context of adult learning, these principles can be adapted to nudge people to activate a positive attitude towards change and start producing actions or behaviours towards a specific intention.

Motivation

Motivation is a volatile element for humans as it may be temporary and often when we have a goal or intention. People may realise that these things take effort, and motivation could vanish.

The human brain has underlying drivers to motivate us:

Sensation principle: Seek pleasure and avoid pain, which can be enhanced by:

  • Recognition: We tend to engage in behaviours in which achievements are recognised
  • Closure: The anticipation of celebrating the completion of an action is a driver towards the completion
  • Challenge: Using levels to communicate progress and next expectations is a way to engage learners in the optimum flow where actions are kept in control: still within their capabilities but challenging enough. Both boredom (because the challenge is too easy) or anxiety (if too difficult) lead to disengagement.

Anticipation principle: Our intrinsic hopes and fears influence our emotions. It translates to

  • Autonomy: When we have control of our destiny, it reinforces our engagement- deciding on how to act towards a challenge in a risk-free environment enhances engagement in the learning. This is boosted by letting learners set their own learning goals.
  • Storytelling: The way a facilitator creates a narrative that is personalised, genuine and relatable helps learners engage in different perspectives than their own
  • Curiosity: When the content contains cues or teasers of exciting information, people tend to crave more

Also Read: How to use the psychology of gamification to grow e-commerce sales

Ability

Learners must be able to execute the desired learning actions or challenges. If the step is too difficult, the brain will activate ‘fear of change’ signals that will create friction; learners should be provided knowledge and practice where they are maintained in the Flow Channel as described by Csikszentmihalyi (1990).

The actions should be made simple during the training by minimising efforts such as time to accomplish, money, physical or cognitive resources.

There is a significant positive persuasion to learn and practice by simplifying behaviours such as shorter duration of training (micro-learnings) that will limit the physical and cognitive effort.

Learners do not need to maintain attention for an entire day: our brain bandwidth to focus and process information is limited within a period of time.

Improvements in ability are observed in designed behaviours that have the following characteristics:

  • Relevancy: the behaviour should be done in the context of their work and be tailor-made to the learner’s specific aspiration.
  • Simplification: learners should be able to perform short and effortless actions–for example, two minutes of planning for the three most important tasks of the day.
  • Consistency: repetition of micro-habits allows us to create rituals that become automated without cognitive efforts. If doing a target behaviour causes overthinking, then we do not see the behaviour as simple, which harms the brain processing fluency.
  • Feedback: Prompt feedbacks as learners interact to make it easier for them to adjust their behaviours and maintain their engagement

Prompts

Despite the fact we may want to achieve specific actions, we can forget to do the action. A learning programme should contain a recognisable context or situation that will remind the learner to trigger the practice of the new action.

The use of technology for notifications is not always the best way to convert a prompt into behaviour. It becomes distracting and inefficient in a world of high cognitive load.

The future of behavioural science in corporate training

Catering to today’s need for updated knowledge requires a model based on “learning how to learn” rather than simply transferring knowledge. Technology makes it scalable and measurable, but learning must also be relatable with a human touch, frictionless in the face of volatile human motivation.

The priorities within corporate learning have shifted: The World Economic Forum reported the top 10 skills required for the future, which included critical thinking, self-management, resilience, creativity, leadership, and emotional intelligence, amongst others.

Also Read: Use these psychology-based marketing principles to attract, convince, and convert more people

A few of these skills, such as self-management and resilience, were not on previous lists, giving us a clear picture of what organisations require to maintain their competitive edge.

In the Middle East, behavioural science in corporate learning has been pioneered by the edutech startup Bessern, with measurable results in organisations performance, wellbeing and employee engagement.

Learning these new priorities requires a shift in learning methodology, where crafting new behaviours is the only proof of success. People can only acquire these behaviours by consistent practice, personalisation, continuous feedback, and measurement of progress.

This is where the behavioural model framework has its most significant impact and potential to change individual learning and corporate cultures.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic.

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: rawpixel

The post How behavioural science is transforming corporate learning appeared first on e27.

,
corporate training

For many years, adult learning has been considered one of the most conservative and slow-changing sectors. The way teaching has been delivered to millions of people globally has stayed the same for the last 20 years, producing a low rate of knowledge retention and a low incentive to use that knowledge in both higher education and corporate learning.

It is only recently that research on behavioural science opened doors to the understanding of the role of the brain on the adoption of cognition and on designing change on human behaviour, which are ultimately the outcomes expected out of learning, more specifically in corporate training.

It is no secret that organisations that can continuously adapt to change are winning the market. Hence, the way people learn and how learning is delivered should also change. The suggested framework aims to support the transitions that are inevitable for organisations developing future talent.

According to KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook (2020), during the COVID-19 crisis, CEO’s have recognised that the lack of appropriate talent is the most significant risk for the future of their organisation.

The immediate actions have focused on resources (often with less budget) and reprioritisation of learning content. The priority was on skills to address the challenges due to the crisis, agility, and motivation for team members.

These types of skills and behaviour building need to have a different learning framework as it is reliant on using human mental power to unlearn previous practices, creating processes for psychological resources, and reducing the natural resistance of our brain for a change.

Also Read: The power of psychology in business with Jenny Gustafson

Using brain science for adult learning

Corporations strive to convert knowledge into sustainable behaviours; knowledge retention is not enough to make people want to use what is stored in their brains.

Influencing behaviours has been a significant contribution from BJ Fogg- a Stanford University professor and behavioural scientist.

The Fogg behaviour model is built on the theory that three elements should converge to either create new behaviour or restrict or refine an existing behaviour: Motivation, ability, and prompt.

In the context of adult learning, these principles can be adapted to nudge people to activate a positive attitude towards change and start producing actions or behaviours towards a specific intention.

Motivation

Motivation is a volatile element for humans as it may be temporary and often when we have a goal or intention. People may realise that these things take effort, and motivation could vanish.

The human brain has underlying drivers to motivate us:

Sensation principle: Seek pleasure and avoid pain, which can be enhanced by:

  • Recognition: We tend to engage in behaviours in which achievements are recognised
  • Closure: The anticipation of celebrating the completion of an action is a driver towards the completion
  • Challenge: Using levels to communicate progress and next expectations is a way to engage learners in the optimum flow where actions are kept in control: still within their capabilities but challenging enough. Both boredom (because the challenge is too easy) or anxiety (if too difficult) lead to disengagement.

Anticipation principle: Our intrinsic hopes and fears influence our emotions. It translates to

  • Autonomy: When we have control of our destiny, it reinforces our engagement- deciding on how to act towards a challenge in a risk-free environment enhances engagement in the learning. This is boosted by letting learners set their own learning goals.
  • Storytelling: The way a facilitator creates a narrative that is personalised, genuine and relatable helps learners engage in different perspectives than their own
  • Curiosity: When the content contains cues or teasers of exciting information, people tend to crave more

Also Read: How to use the psychology of gamification to grow e-commerce sales

Ability

Learners must be able to execute the desired learning actions or challenges. If the step is too difficult, the brain will activate ‘fear of change’ signals that will create friction; learners should be provided knowledge and practice where they are maintained in the Flow Channel as described by Csikszentmihalyi (1990).

The actions should be made simple during the training by minimising efforts such as time to accomplish, money, physical or cognitive resources.

There is a significant positive persuasion to learn and practice by simplifying behaviours such as shorter duration of training (micro-learnings) that will limit the physical and cognitive effort.

Learners do not need to maintain attention for an entire day: our brain bandwidth to focus and process information is limited within a period of time.

Improvements in ability are observed in designed behaviours that have the following characteristics:

  • Relevancy: the behaviour should be done in the context of their work and be tailor-made to the learner’s specific aspiration.
  • Simplification: learners should be able to perform short and effortless actions–for example, two minutes of planning for the three most important tasks of the day.
  • Consistency: repetition of micro-habits allows us to create rituals that become automated without cognitive efforts. If doing a target behaviour causes overthinking, then we do not see the behaviour as simple, which harms the brain processing fluency.
  • Feedback: Prompt feedbacks as learners interact to make it easier for them to adjust their behaviours and maintain their engagement

Prompts

Despite the fact we may want to achieve specific actions, we can forget to do the action. A learning programme should contain a recognisable context or situation that will remind the learner to trigger the practice of the new action.

The use of technology for notifications is not always the best way to convert a prompt into behaviour. It becomes distracting and inefficient in a world of high cognitive load.

The future of behavioural science in corporate training

Catering to today’s need for updated knowledge requires a model based on “learning how to learn” rather than simply transferring knowledge. Technology makes it scalable and measurable, but learning must also be relatable with a human touch, frictionless in the face of volatile human motivation.

The priorities within corporate learning have shifted: The World Economic Forum reported the top 10 skills required for the future, which included critical thinking, self-management, resilience, creativity, leadership, and emotional intelligence, amongst others.

Also Read: Use these psychology-based marketing principles to attract, convince, and convert more people

A few of these skills, such as self-management and resilience, were not on previous lists, giving us a clear picture of what organisations require to maintain their competitive edge.

In the Middle East, behavioural science in corporate learning has been pioneered by the edutech startup Bessern, with measurable results in organisations performance, wellbeing and employee engagement.

Learning these new priorities requires a shift in learning methodology, where crafting new behaviours is the only proof of success. People can only acquire these behaviours by consistent practice, personalisation, continuous feedback, and measurement of progress.

This is where the behavioural model framework has its most significant impact and potential to change individual learning and corporate cultures.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic.

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: rawpixel

The post How behavioural science is transforming corporate learning appeared first on e27.

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