How Virgin Pulse’s Engage Work Transforms Employee Development into DOvelopment
September 17, 2018 / Organizational Culture
“Companies that embrace a learning culture can adapt, reorganize, move into new product areas, and grow in a much more sustainable way” – Josh Bersin
Effective employee learning and development isn’t just something that employers want for their workforce, it’s something that employees crave as well. But keeping pace with technological advances and the ever-changing ways that people work has been challenging for L&D organizations and HR leaders alike. According to employee learning expert Josh Bersin:
“(Organizations) must build a set of small, easy to absorb, highly-interactive learning experiences, content, and interactivities that drive a learning outcome.”
Instead of responding to these needs, L&D services have often taken the training of prior years, training that usually culminated with in-person learning, and “digitized” it. Rather than developing employee training that felt natural, it often becomes about checking boxes. In the end, of course, this is not only detrimental to the employee but also the employer.
Furthermore, it’s just not how people learn.
Here’s an example – think about how medical school students become practicing physicians. First, they learn by reading textbooks, attending lectures and taking exams. Then they enter residency, where they practice what they’ve learned through repetition. Only after practicing are they ready to undertake medical procedures on their own.
The current status quo for learning and development jumps straight from medical school to the operating room, skipping over residency! This means that while an individual may have “checked the boxes” of learning a new skill, they aren’t ready to implement that skill on their own or apply it to their current work habits.
Why We Believe in Learn-Do-Become
For the past 3 years, we’ve worked with leading behavior change researcher Dr. BJ Fogg. Fogg is a founder of Stanford’s Behavior Design Lab and a member of Virgin Pulse’s Science Advisory Board.
According to Fogg’s behavior change model, these are the steps for long-lasting habit formation and change for employees:
- Focus on the Right Behavior – the key is to match employees to the behaviors they want to and are ready to change.
- Make it Easy – break behaviors down into easy to understand and easy to do actions
- Trigger It – create the spark to change those behaviors
- Reward Success – cement habit change by celebrating success
- Practice and Repeat – build new skills with daily repetition and practice
Learning from Dr. Fogg’s research, as well as the data from our own clients, we’ve designed a proven behavior change framework we call “Learn. Do. Become.”
Learn Do Become is the foundation for our newest product, Engage Work.
The goal? Supercharge your organization’s culture, connect employees to your mission and values, and transform learning and development into DOvelopment.
The result? Business outcomes that seriously affect your bottom line and justify the investment.
The Learn Do Become model implemented in Engage Work understands that culture is driven by the daily behaviors of individuals within your organization, and stems from the mission and values enacted by organization leaders.
What Does This Look Like in Practice?
Let’s walk through an example.
John is a shift leader and a Virgin Pulse member working at an organization where Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is a key strategic initiative. It’s important to the organization, and to John, that he creates a diverse and inclusive team and environment, but he’s not sure what actions he can take today, and every day, to make diversity and inclusion an integral part of the culture at his workplace.
Here’s how he might use the Learn Do Become behavior change framework within Engage Work to incorporate successful D&I practices into his daily routines and foster them across his team:
- Learn – John receives quick tips and promos for the D&I program on his Virgin Pulse app where’s he’s already working on his health and wellbeing. For example, he’ll learn that being inclusive requires boosting his interpersonal intelligence and get quick tips on how to do that, like thinking about his coworkers’ responses to his actions, thinking before speaking, listening to others and asking good questions.
- Do – John receives daily habit-tracking alerts on the app where he’ll be reminded to take what he’s learned into action in small ways, every day. For example, he can set a goal to make considering another person’s point of view a habit and track his progress every day.
- Become – through the platform, John will be rewarded for adopting these habits into his daily routine and see himself becoming a leader who fosters diversity and inclusivity.
With a rich, science-backed library of habit-building content, Engage Work’s powerful behavior change framework drives many other essential work habits, including:
- Personal effectiveness
- Team effectiveness
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Corporate Values
- And any other company-specific initiative
By bridging the gap from learning to becoming, by doing, we can help organizations create the cultures they seek and exhibit the values the believe in.