THE POWER OF COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IN TODAY’S CHANGING HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE
Open communication and sharing
of best practices are absolutely critical in the day-to-day operations of healthcare. The way learning is provided should be the same. How can a collaborative learning design work for healthcare organizations? How can you encourage staff to share ideas, discuss, and learn alongside their peers?
These five best practices
were presented in a webinar on June 7. The entire webinar can be accessed at ModernHealthcare.com/Collaborative.
1 Most employees decide whether to leave an organization within their first year.
High turnover negatively impacts organizations, but why do employees leave? Three primary reasons: First, new employees find they didn’t fully understand the organizational impacts around benefits and compensation. Second is the “boss effect.” “People leave jobs because of disagreement, or just plain dislike for their supervisor,” said Steve Dobberowsky, Principal of Thought Leadership and Advisory Services for Cornerstone OnDemand, a workforce recruiting and training company. And finally, employees feel their training and development needs are not being addressed. Engagement dips, and they’re not given the opportunity to move laterally or upward on the scale.
2 Online learning can bring interprofessional teams together across a healthcare organization.
Online learning systems are a valuable tool for health systems with large geographic footprints. Through online learning, interprofessional teams can work and learn together around similar topics and initiatives. “At Sanford Health, we have more teams coming together to collaboratively offer our patients coordinated healthcare services,” said Linda Heerde, Enterprise LMS Operations Manager of Sanford Health, an integrated health system with 43 hospitals and 250 clinics. “This model is not only emerging here at Sanford, but also across the country.”
3 The modern learner seeks autonomy and collaboration.
Traditionally, workforce training is provided through a build-and-push strategy, but today’s modern learner seeks more of a “pull” approach where the resources are made available for self-consumption. It is expected that when employees go to a classroom training, they apply the learnings as they come back to their jobs. But a just-in-time, short consumable, on-demand training is more effective for knowledge retention over the long term. Learners can only retain 5 percent of what they hear and 10 percent of what they read. However, they remember more than 50 percent of what they learn through discussion and interaction. Adopting a continuous collaborative learning model leads to greater retention by employees, and continuous employee development through a steady stream of learning that reinforces new ideas.
4 Measure engagement from collaborative learning initiatives.
Each collaborative learning initiative should be measured for engagement. “At Sanford, we measure engagement through the number of community members in the environment on a frequent basis, the number of views, postings and comments, and the quality of discussions employees are having with each other,” Heerde said. To spread the benefits of collaborative learning, it needs to be marketed to additional groups within the organization.
5 Organized collaborative learning initiatives are the most successful.
It’s important to designate a project manager for each initiative, as project managers are responsible for keeping project timelines moving, and serve as a point of contact for employees who have questions or ideas. It’s also important to plan out the content of a learning environment—what should be included, and how it’s organized. Make sure the environment is easy to use and access, so employees get a streamlined experience. If the environment becomes overwhelmed with too much content, or irrelevant content, people will not continue to use it.