AOB’s Tips for a Better Learning Culture - Academy of Brain
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New changes in AOB’s communication and customer support

We’re revamping the ways we support your communication and marketing needs by compiling the Academy of Brain resource bank. This aims to provide ready-made materials and enhanced support for your internal communications!
Within this resource bank, you’ll discover tips for both internal communication and building a culture of learning, the latest trends in L&D, and common challenges in the field.
All materials are available on this website for you to revisit whenever you need.

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How to use this material?

You can gather ideas, concepts, or entire text segments from here and add them to your communication channels! If you’re crafting a communication plan or seeking inspiration for promoting training, this material can provide valuable insights! Just remember to include the link to the specific training if the courses are on your learning platform.
By clicking the colourful links below, you can explore content recommendations and communication tips on different areas!
Scrolling down the page will lead you to our Learning Success Managers’ blog discussing topics relevant to the HR and L&D fields!
If you have feedback or topic ideas, please send them our way so we can continue improving our service! Thank you!
Tips for Leadership Skills

Here you’ll find our content suggestions for supervisors along with ready-made texts for communication!

Tips for Collaboration Skills

Here you’ll find our content suggestions for developing teamwork and communication skills!

Tips for Self-leadership Skills

Here you’ll find our content suggestions for self-leadership, mindset and wellbeing!

Which topics are trending?

Below, you’ll find publications from our Learning Success Managers discussing topics relevant to the HR field.
We’re adding new publications and articles every month, so stay tuned!
Looking for recommendations on other topics?

Strengthening Development through collaborative learning

01.03.2024 – Samuel

Collaborative learning is a great tool for HR to facilitate the flow of knowledge throughout the organization while also distributing some of the responsibility for learning to teams and supervisors. In collaborative learning, the focus is on reflecting on what has been learned together and creating new practices to support collective work. Reflection strengthens memory traces, transforming learned information into actions. It also helps individuals and teams identify the most important aspects of development for themselves. Through discussion, areas for improvement in one’s own actions are often identified, making it easier to implement concrete changes.

What are the benefits of collaborative learning?

1. INCREASED MOTIVATION TO LEARN

2. EXPOSURE TO DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

3. MORE EFFICIENT LEARNING

4. INCREASED SENSE OF COMMUNITY

💡 Tip

When selecting training programs to study, involving supervisors in the selection process is beneficial. This way, supervisors are more likely to commit to the entire training process. They also know their teams best, making it easier to find the most relevant training programs for the target audience.


Collaborative learning typically involves three stages:

1. Training

Training can be conducted in two different ways, collectively or independently.
In the first approach, no one needs to prepare in advance. The idea is to agree on the content beforehand, which will then be collectively discussed during team meetings or other occasions.
The second approach requires preparation. The idea is for each individual to go through the agreed-upon content on their own time, and then discuss it in a group setting.

2. Discussion

In collective discussions, it’s essential that everyone feels heard. The facilitator can utilize various techniques, such as Me-We-Us, or simply streamline the discussion by asking prepared reflection questions.

⚙️ Me-We-Us  method

In the Me-We-Us method, participants are first guided to reflect on the topic independently. If individuals write or contemplate on their own first, it improves the quality and focus of the discussion (ME). Secondly, discussions take place in pairs or small groups. This allows participants to delve deeper into the conversation. Three-person groups work well for small group discussions (WE). Finally, there’s a group-wide discussion where a simple discussion round about what was learned, insights gained, and reflections is conducted, ensuring each individual or small group shares their views, with everyone given the same time, such as 1-2 minutes per group. (US)

🙋 Reflection Questions

For instance, these four questions deepen learning:

  • Facts: What was the topic? What stuck with you?
  • Emotions: How did it feel, what emotions linger?
  • Significance: How does this affect you? Us (teams)? What important lessons were learned?
  • Action: What do you plan to do, what could we do (teams)? How can we apply this in our work?

3. Continuity

After the session, participants should be informed about what happens next. When is the next meeting, and what will be studied then? What needs to be studied between meetings? Are there any other interim tasks? For example, if a successful idea is discovered during training, there’s often a desire to practice it. Gathering feedback is also important. How did the meeting feel? Was the allocated time suitable? Generally, 30 minutes is a good time for joint learning via videos, and it’s easy to adjust this time for future meetings as needed.


This was just one way to implement collaborative learning. You can also read about how collaborative learning was successfully implemented in the Tampere University community (in Finnish).
We also recommend exploring the following training programs: 
More ideas for collaborative learning from our customers (IN FINNISH)

Forget about carrier pigeons – Navigate Communication with an Annual Plan

01.02.2024 – Samuel

A good plan comes a long way! Creating a communication plan directs you to build a consistent learning package that covers essential and useful content for your personnel. Additionally, it reduces the workload during the implementation phase when you have clear steps in mind on how to engage employees in training.

What to Communicate?

A good way to start creating an annual communication plan is to consider what is already on the calendar. For example, new projects, development discussions, vacations, and holidays can provide insight into the challenges employees are facing at any given moment and what skills might be most useful. For example monthly supervisor coffee breaks could be an excellent communication opportunity or even a chance for collective learning.

1. EXAMINE WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE YEAR

Vacations, development discussions, summer interns starting, weekly coffee breaks—all these have the potential for leveraging learning! Mark the times when online training could be beneficial.

2. Note down the skills needed at each specific time

For example, before development discussions, it might be good to review skills in receiving and giving feedback.

3. note who needs these skills.

Not everything needs to be communicated to everyone; some skills may be useful for experts, while others are more relevant to supervisors.

4. Choose training that matches the skills

You can also ask help from your Learning Success Manager 😉

At each step, it’s essential to critically assess whether there is too much information and prioritize the most important things. From the organization’s perspective, it’s also crucial to examine strategic goals and consider whether training could support their achievement.

How to stand out with a message?

To make a message stand out from the crowd and the information flood in the workplace, it’s important to communicate as impactfully as possible. This can be achieved by using the AIDA model. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action:

1. ATTENTION

Capture interest. Make the message distinctive. Use, for example, images that catch the eye. Communicate in channels where your target audience is most receptive and present. An intranet alone is rarely enough.

2. INTEREST

Entice reading. Especially in headlines, use strong or unusual word choices that make the message stand out. However, avoid excessive use of figurative language in longer texts, as playing with too many metaphors can become tiresome. Stay clear and concise. Enhance readability by highlighting key messages in the headline, introduction, and subheadings.

3. DESIRE

Demonstrate personal benefits. Why should I invest my time in this, and what benefits will I gain as a learner? The message should make promises: you will get, you can, you learn, you understand, you develop, you know, you notice, you strengthen.

4. ACTION

Provide clear instructions. Encourage immediate action and tell the recipient what to do next. Specify who to contact for more information. Give the opportunity to see who else has registered.

When and Where?

When communicating about training, using multiple channels is advantageous. For example, post a longer message on the intranet and shorter highlights via email and internal discussion channels (e.g., Slack or Teams). Repetition is the mother of learning, so messages should be reiterated. Even if it may seem to oneself that sending messages on the same topic repeatedly, employees often appreciate reminders. Repetition increases effectiveness and ensures that as many people as possible see the message and act accordingly.

READ MORE FROM OUR ARTICLE (IN FINNISH) WHERE SALOMAA GROUP's Mari svahn shares their ideas

Strategy and Learning – How to Identify Learning Objectives?

01.01.2024 – Iines

A picture of a trophy
As the world rapidly evolves, learning has become an increasingly crucial aspect of organizational success. Nowadays, learning is a strategic issue. It offers various benefits; when we learn something new, we can make more creative solutions, increase efficiency and productivity, as well as enhance employee satisfaction and engagement.
How is skill develeopment visible in your organization? How is the organizational strategy implemented in daily operations? How do you enable and support the change towards strategic objectives?
Let’s discuss these topics! 

Organizational Strategy and Learning

When creating an organizational strategy, we examine both internal and external factors. We listen to the staff, their current state and (hopefully) well-being, explore workplace and market trends, contemplate potential scenarios, threats, and opportunities. These elements then form the organization’s strategy. How does this relate to learning and development? Let’s explore this through an example.

DEPARTMENTAL GOALS WORK AS GUIDELINES

In this example organization’s strategy, the aim is to enhance the organization’s brand internally and externally. This means different things for different departments: marketing considers communication, IT ensures data security and product development, sales and customer teams focus on improving the customer experience. From this overarching theme of improving the brand image, specific departmental goals are developed and communicated.

TEAM LEVEL GOALS CREATE THE BIG PICTURE AND A SHARED GOAL

Let’s dive deeper into improving customer experience. If an organization wants to offer the best customer service, what does it require? Quite a few things! They need adequate tools that enable smooth work. It requires good practices and clear guidelines on how to handle customer situations, resolve issues, and respond to customer requests. Additionally, the organization and its people should possess strong communication skills to foster a good atmosphere and work with customers towards a common goal. It’s also crucial for them to have a clear understanding of the product, service, and goals. Improvement could focus on these areas: what works well, what needs development, what to add, and what to eliminate. This leads to team-specific goals: what different teams need to do to move towards strategic objectives.

PERSONAL GOALS AID SUCCESS

Next, we assess the current status of these matters. Perhaps we notice that the communication skills of the customer service team are excellent, but the systems and tools are lagging. Or vice versa! There’s likely a bit of variation – some excel in challenging communication situations, while others understand the tools better. Hence, personal goals should also be considered.

Developing Skills and Iteration

To ensure we’re heading in the right direction, the strategy should be continuously reviewed, and feedback from the staff, the customers, and the market should be constantly considered. This allows for quick and agile responses to any situation. This requires iteration.
In an organization focused on improving customer experience, teams might continuously assess their progress in terms of development. Perhaps a new tool has been successfully integrated into their daily operations. Perhaps they’ve also clarified their shared goal. Maybe they’ve identified a new development area: a new tool might better recognize why a certain customer relationship ends while others succeed. The next step is to react to this.
So when the organization progresses towards the goal, they recognize new areas of improvement. When they stop and reconsider the goal and the current state, they are likely to notice new things they hadn’t thought of earlier. Hence its worth a while to reassess the situation and actions on an individual, team, and organizational level. The process is iterative; reflect, create goals, make changes, and repeat it again and again.

What to do now?

If you’re now dealing with a new strategy or pondering the current situation and the future, I suggest starting with these steps: Where are we now? Where do we want to go? And what is already in progress? You can use the following questions:

1. WHAT’S CRITICAL RIGHT NOW?

Are there things that need immediate attention? For example, poor results in the well-being survey or strain caused by a bigger change?

2. WHAT TAKES US TOWARDS STRATEGIC GOALS?

How much progress has been made regarding the strategic development areas? What should be maintained or started? These themes aim further into the future.

3. WHAT HAVE WE ALREADY PLANNED?

Is there a well-being week in the calendar? Development discussions? Something else? – How can you provide even more support in these situations?

Two people laughing
With these questions, you can identify multiple development areas and opportunities to support learning! I encourage you to spend at least 15 minutes on thinking about strategy. Or grab a colleague and discuss the topic together!
Start small and stay tuned for future posts where we’ll discuss practice in more detail.
Looking for tips and recommendations on other topics?
Tips for leadership skills
Tips for collaboration skills
tips for self-leadership skills

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The Experts behind
Academy of Brain

The Academy of Brain has assembled its own team of experts to ensure that the soft skills online training content is based on strong expertise, scientific research and hands-on experience.

Ville Ojanen

VILLE OJANEN

Ville is a psychologist with a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. He has more than a decade of experience in the areas of change management and psychological working-life skills training.

Minna Huotilainen

MINNA HUOTILAINEN

Minna is a professor of educational sciences at the University of Helsinki and at CICERO Learning Network where she uses neuroscientific methods to understand the role of memory and attention in learning. In addition, she leads the international Master’s Programme in Changing Education.

Jarmo Manner

JARMO MANNER

Jarmo has a master’s degree in economics and is an executive coach and organizational consultant. He has 15 years of leadership experience and 20 years of coaching experience with individuals, groups and organizations.

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