Gustavo Linares
Expert Contributor

Learning How to Survive in New Working Environments

By Gustavo Linares | Thu, 12/24/2020 - 12:22

So far, 2020 has been a year like no other, which has taken us out of our comfort zone. As HR professionals, CEOs and managers, we should emphasize helping all employees focus on learning, not only to reflect on this year's positivity and negativity but also to help them be more resilient and overcome challenges. But what are the best learning models or strategies?
In my professional career, I have learned different models and methodologies. The 70:20:10 model indicates that learning is more effective if the person dedicates 10 percent of their time to face-to-face or online training courses, 20 percent is obtained by learning from other people, such as colleagues, co-workers, mentors or other professionals – this percentage is based more on exposure – and finally, the remaining 70 percent of learning is acquired within their workday. However, if you ask me, that model is outdated and unhelpful. In my opinion, to excel both in your personal life and in your work life, you have to adopt the Continuous Learning model and thus remain at the forefront.
But what is continuous learning, and why is it important? Continuous learning means literally what the name says; keep learning no matter where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. Fostering a culture of continuous learning is essential for any company since, as I have commented in previous articles, HR is evolving and the staff is evolving alongside the changes and the direction of the company as well; that is why it is essential to be continuously learning. And continuous learning does not necessarily mean you have to be 100% studying in a classroom; you can do it wherever you are, and with the method that best suits your needs. It offers the advantage that it does not give you percentages or any obligation to learn from a specific topic, in a particular time.
Continuous learning can be done anytime and anywhere, from listening to a podcast while on your way to work, reading a book, talking to your colleagues, and even by reading this article.
While living in New York, I was invited to discuss the new Talent Development methodologies and strategies that would be applied in the organization. While having a coffee among colleagues, one of them said, “this is also continuous learning. I’m learning from you and you from me, and we do not necessarily have to be in a classroom.” Hence, the organization or the HR department can’t measure or control this type of knowledge we are learning. We are always growing and learning at all times.
However, I am still a true believer that a strategic learning plan should be developed and implemented in any organization, independent of whether a culture of continuous learning is implemented in your company or organization. With a strategic Talent Development Plan, you can measure company learning requirements. What do I mean by this? Companies have internal policies that require all of their staff to take mandatory courses such as ethics, sexual harassment, and health and safety. As the owner of your own company or head of human resources, you know that staff members must take these courses, so it is vital to keep track of these learning requirements. That is why, although a culture of continuous learning gives you more freedom to learn where you want and when you want, it must also meet any need that companies request from their employees. 
You can adopt any learning strategy or methodology in your company or organization that best suits your needs. Whether you adopt a culture of continuous learning, the 70:20:10 model or the 3:33 learning model, you should emphasize developing talent no matter what, especially during these times where we are all learning how to survive in new working environments with different tools and different environments.

Photo by:   Gustavo Linares