Learning fatigue is real

Written by Staff Writer

July 7, 2021

Online learning took centre stage during lockdowns around the world, but clients now complain that their teams have learning “fatigue” and that the COVID marathon has left people too tired to learn. We know that many people are overloaded by increased workloads, and they report that they have no bandwidth for learning. L&D managers now ask for learning to help teams deal with overload and fatigue.

As an organisation that specialises in applying learning science to #ChangeTomorrow, we know when to learn and how to learn and what learning requires as a place where knowledge is created and personally integrated.  While L&D diligently turn to providers and specialists to provide the correct programmes to suit their needs, these are often out of synch with the lived experience of the users.  Perhaps thinking of learners as “users” helps clarify the space. They will use the programme and use the learning offered as their own or not.

Content journeys do take up bandwidth. If there is no connection between the paradigm and mindset required to integrate the new learning into expanded behaviour and results, it will certainly feel onerous to wade through an online programme because you have to. If the user of the online journey can’t see why they should bother to integrate the journey into their headspace which is invaded by new demands daily, they won’t.

L&D managers need to become ruthless in their selection of providers that can connect with, and enhance users lives through learning. The “why bother” factor and return on opportunity cost has to be loud and clear and the value of re-allocating time to learning has to be enticing every step of the way. Those steps should preferably not be linear and should give the user the ability to construct their personal journey through an experience that matters more than watching Netflix. It’s a big and vital ask.

Ultimately, learning eats time but so does investing in key relationships and getting enough sleep. When your team have embraced the idea that learning falls in the same flow of experience as other mindful life-enhancing endeavours and that going online to learn can be transformative, the grudge factor disappears. They start to say I am overwhelmed because I do not have a way to adapt – what should I do to fix this? Perhaps sleep. Perhaps learn, because I am a learner and a user of new knowledge.

Speak to us to get the best results from your L&D budget. We are serious about creating users.  

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