AOB’s Tips for a Better Learning Culture - Academy of Brain
Varaa demo
Lataa Sisältökatalogi

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.

Want a reminder to your email? – subscribe to our newsletter

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?

No One Wants to Learn During Summer – Or Do They?

03.05.2024 

Summer is quickly approaching! We often hear our clients pondering that everyone is on vacation during the summer and nobody wants to watch videos during that time. However, only one part of that statement holds true – indeed, many people take vacations during the summer.
 
Nevertheless, our activity data shows that a significant portion of our users actually watch videos specifically during the summer months. Perhaps this is related to easing off on everyday work and people having more time for self-improvement.
 
Therefore, we encourage you to reconsider whether you could also recommend self-improvement during the summer! However, it’s wise to carefully select the themes you recommend. Content emphasizing well-being, recovery, or other personal benefits may be more appealing. In addition to courses and videos, you can also recommend interesting books, studies, and articles.

The summer months might be the most active months for watching AOB’s courses and videos!

Some of our clients have successfully launched summer campaigns in previous years. Below are some ideas for you to consider!

EXAMPLE 

Focus on well-being and take part in our giveaway!

Watch one or more videos or courses, read a book, or scan other materials supporting your well-being and recovery during the summer. Write on this channel which material you engaged with and share the insights you gained with others.
 
Among all participants, we’ll raffle a *well-being-themed* prize!

Participation takes only a minimum of 5 minutes of your time!

 
Watch, for example, one of the following videos, share your insights, and you’re already participating in the raffle!
 
  • More Energy with Recovery Techniques (6min)
  • Encounters Enforce Mental Recovery (2min)
  • Self-Compassion (3min)

CONSIDER THESE 

  • It’s worth mentioning what the prize is and communicating it clearly. Or perhaps you can offer several small prizes!
  • You can also share good book recommendations and other materials you like!
  • It’s worth keeping the topic alive by reminding, commenting, sharing your own experiences, or highlighting good tips.
  • Towards the end, you can promote short videos again and encourage continued self-care!

Here was one idea for a summer campaign that probably doesn’t feel burdensome to anyone!
Feel free to try this or something similar! Drop us a message if you’d like to brainstorm further on the topic, and we can create a suitable plan together!

Wishing you a pleasant wait for summer from the AOB team! ☀️


The Responsibilities of competency management can be decentralized – how to engage supervisors?

02.04.2024 – Iines

Employee development is not a task for an individual, rather it requires the participation and involvement of multiple parties. Competency management – the current buzzword in the HR world – aims to align the organization’s strategic objectives with the desires and needs of individuals and teams.

🤓 Get to know the concept – competency management

Competency management involves identifying the important and required skills that an employee needs to perform their job. Additionally, competency management aims to align an employee’s and team’s skills and goals with the organization’s strategic objectives.

Regardless of your role, take a moment to consider the following questions:

1. How would you like to develop?

2. what kind of skills does your team need?

3. what strategic objectives does your organization have?

Did the answers come readily, or did you find some particularly challenging? How about this bonus question:

What are some development desires or needs of one of your colleagues?

If any of the questions felt challenging, you’ll understand that competency management and development require the involvement of others. Even if you and your team do excellent work, it’s nearly impossible to know the needs and desires of every individual in constantly changing situations. What could help?
Competency development should be an organizational matter! Strive to engage not only senior management, supervisors, and team leaders but the entire staff. Senior management provides broader direction and goals, supervisors and team leaders support the team’s progress and listen to challenges and desires, individuals reflect on the current situation and future desires and needs both for themselves and their team. Everyone is needed!
It can be challenging to motivate individuals to engage in learning. Here, supervisors can be of significant help, but how do you get them engaged amidst their busy schedules? Below are some ideas, and perhaps you’ll have more thoughts!
1. COMMUNICATE CLEARLY ABOUT BENEFITS

Highlight how competency management leads to more efficient, effective, and meaningful work.

2. PROVIDE TOOLS

Offer supervisors adequate tools and opportunities for development so they can succeed in competency management.

3. LISTEN AND SUPPORT

Listen to the situations, needs, and desires of supervisors and strive to provide support.

4. INCREASE AUTONOMY AND FLEXIBILITY

Act as a guide and coach, giving supervisors freedom and responsibility, instead of offering rigid preconceived notions.

5. APPRECIATE CURIOSITY AND ALLOW ROOM FOR EXPERIMENTATION
Much is learned through trial and error; mistakes may happen, but aim to change the general attitude to one of learning: This happened, what did we learn from it?

Supervisors are one step closer to team members and individuals than, for example, the HR team or management. When you get supervisors committed to competency management, your organization is one step closer to success and continuous learning in the workplace!


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

Blogit

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.

Tilaa tunnukset
KIRJAUDU