A decision to use eLearning as a tool to strengthen the organization’s culture is an important strategic step. It needs to be conceived as a journey in relation to deepening understanding and commitment to equality and diversity and unlocking insights into unconscious bias and ultimately establishing a truly inclusive workplace.
As the journey takes place leader involvement is crucial. The choice of eLearning, which is largely undertaken on an individual basis, does not mean that this activity should operate in isolation. The leader, as part of strategic planning for implementation, must ensure that eLearning is part of a broader engagement on these subjects within the team. To achieve this, initial orientation of participants in person is vital.
Do not simply send an e-mail notification or directive to complete the assignment. The leader needs to initiate discussion on the need for adoption, pros and cons of choice of this technology and address any concerns. This will establish readiness and frame expectations. It is also optimal to set deadlines for completion so that all participants are at the same stage of eLearning when follow up discussions take place.
As eLearning creates a simulated work environment, including structured scenarios, case studies, instruction, feedback, videos, assessment or other models, it needs to be brought back into the real world through in person subsequent dialogue.
We want to ensure learners apply themselves conscientiously to the content rather than simply adopting an approach of completing a mandatory task. The objective should not be to get through the eLearning in the quickest time frame and to have absorbed simply sufficient information to pass the assessment at the end of the course.
As such, eLearning must be positioned by the leader in the proper strategic context together with a personal commitment and rationale associated with its value. To receive the leaders genuine stamp of approval it is a good idea to ensure the leadership are exposed to the eLearning programmes in advance of their teams.
To be successful all details, from the big to the small need addressing. These include whether the learners are new to eLearning, their levels of computer literacy as well as any basic knowledge required to adopt and adapt to new technology. The leader must be alert to any barriers to learning efficacy and learner motivation.
Challenges to the use of eLearning need to be resolved and awareness created on its merits and level of sophistication to grapple meaningfully with the issues of diversity, equality, unconscious bias and inclusion in this format.
There is always the option of facilitated eLearning. Leaders need to champion adopting new technology for learning and influence levels of enthusiasm and interest. Through taking accountability for the success of the eLearning strategy, leaders set the stage to change the culture of the organization in respect of equality, diversity, unconscious bias and inclusion. They reinforce their desire to follow through. In this way they will continue to focus on achieving the behaviour change required long after the various eLearning courses have been completed.
Through this approach to eLearning the team’s cohesion will be built with a strong focus on collaboration during the journey. At each learning milestone the team will have a sense of accomplishment and a deepening sense of respect and belonging as progress is celebrated.