Senior Client Partner, Global Sales, Leadership & Development Outsourcing
Strength in numbers
Thanks to emerging new technologies, learning and development (L&D) functions have shifted away in recent years from providing structured, one-size-fits-all programs toward offering highly customized, informal learning paths. But as the needs of today’s workforce evolve, the pendulum of learning has started to swing somewhere toward the middle. L&D professionals are being challenged to find the right mix of approaches that build the skills and capabilities employees need to succeed now and in the future.
Given the demands of today's disruptive business climate, L&D leaders cannot afford to overlook the value of providing cohort-based programming. After all, research shows that cohort learning helps engage workers, foster networking opportunities, and nurture a community of agile professionals. And as more and more colleagues become separated by thousands of miles, the shared experiences, connections, and insights gained from a collective learning pathway can deliver significantly more value to an organization than offering the content alone.
The benefits of cohort-based learning
Of course, learning in a cohort is nothing new. From the earliest days of primary school, people have become accustomed to learning in real-time with a group of peers, led by a teacher. But with new collaborative tools and virtual learning options, today's cohorts can include students from around the world, and various walks of life, further enriching the experience.
As L&D functions consider different development strategies, here are four benefits of cohort learning for leaders to consider:
How to make cohort-learning work for everyone
For the full benefits of cohort learning to be realized, it’s important to understand that learning styles are different for everyone. And it’s critical that leaders seek to understand the ways in which their colleagues learn to put everyone in the best position possible to succeed.
While cohort learning may prove beneficial for many, some may feel increased stress within a group setting. It’s important that the learning groups have a foundation of open communication and psychological safety, a characteristic Korn Ferry has deemed key in enhanced teams. This means fostering a learning environment where participants feel they are in a safe physical and mental space to learn, where they feel included, confident to contribute, secure to challenge the status quo, and free to ask questions. Creating a safe space for teams to learn is crucial, but at the end of the day, some people simply don’t learn best in groups.
In today’s fast-paced business world, L&D professionals are seeking the right learning paths to keep up with the new sets of skills and knowledge that will be required of the future workforce. The world is changing quickly, leaving L&D in high demand. Coming out of a time of isolation and virtual learning, many professionals may opt for cohort-based learning opportunities, and the benefits that come with those experiences continue to prove worthwhile.
For more information, learn more about Korn Ferry’s Leadership & Professional Development capabilities.