Memorable moments are the backbone of learning, whether formalized or not. If you think of any important lesson you have ever learned in your life, you are bound to relate it to an occurrence that had stayed with you and generated a lot of meaning.
A simple definition of memorable moments is: experiences that trigger a deep and lasting emotional impression, positive or negative. These events occur throughout life, from the early stages of human development, resulting in what the individual knows and perceives.
5 Types of memorable moments in corporate learning
Talking about corporate learning, all the people involved in the L&D process must be aware of the importance of these memorable moments and when these occur. Furthermore, it’s paramount that they are positive ones.
This, of course, mostly pertains to the learner’s perception, but much can be done to influence that. So let’s explore five types of memorable moments for employees and how they impact corporate learning:
The recruitment process
This is, for most applicants, a very stressful process. Even though it’s not considered a part of corporate learning, recruitment represents the first contact the individual has with the organization.
And as we all know, first impressions are difficult to shake. Therefore, it's imperative to make these first encounters as pleasant and as memorable (in a good way) as possible. Frequently, candidates give up during the hiring journey because they feel that it takes too much of their time and energy, compared to the benefits.
One way to improve things is to ask for feedback from recently onboarded employees and turn their input into an actionable game plan to improve the recruitment experience for candidates.
The beginning of the learning process
Most often, the onboarding program is yet another memorable moment. It’s important not to overwhelm new hires with lots of information and complex learning paths that probably make little sense to them at this point. There is a great need to set reasonable expectations from the very start and ensure that the presentations are both clear and relevant.
The foremost important thing for a new employee is to receive information at the right time and find instant applicability. There is no room for “this may come in handy later” when somebody is just starting out. It’s also good to acknowledge the possible distress this situation (although desired) might cause for the new hire.
Read more: Exploring the onboarding process
The learning environment
The learning environment itself has an enormous influence on the generation of memorable moments. Things like lighting, comfortable chairs, good sound, and a well-maintained room are obvious factors in a physical space. A selection of refreshments during breaks is also highly beneficial to a positive frame of mind.
In an online environment, it’s mostly about the user-friendliness of the interface, the level of interactivity with the material, and, probably most important of all, timely tech support. For example, if a learner has to struggle to log in, wait for a while, and then speak to more than one IT support person, often repeating the same story, it will undoubtedly dampen the desire to learn and the capacity to do so once the issue is resolved.
Interactions with the L&D department
These interactions happen throughout an employee’s journey in the organization. When talking about instructors and coaches, a good relationship built on assertive communication and trust is necessary. Moving on to the content, it has to be clear, relevant, and have a logical flow. The learners must have a sense of progress and get meaningful feedback to help them reach their goals.
Since the learning of new skills mainly happens through trial and error, learners must be given the space to do that (and the managerial support for it), and both their efforts and successes get recognized and celebrated. While it’s true that some people learn very fast under hardships, a safe environment is a lot better for continuous learning, so that's what L&D specialists should aim for.
Read more: The theory of psychological safety and what it means for your organization
This is what any organizational learning program is designed to achieve. These do not happen overnight; it takes a lot of skill on the part of the L&D specialists, the constant support of the managerial team, and no small amount of determination, motivation and discipline on the learner's part.
Since this is the most painful aspect of the learning process, it is also the most difficult to pepper with positive memorable experiences. The required changes have to be highly relevant for either the job role or the direction in which the organization is going. There’s a great need for space and support for experimentation. Recognition and celebration must become usual occurrences when called for.
Read more: What instructional designers need to know about behavioral change
L&D specialists and managers often agree that corporate learning needs to be a relevant, positive process, perfectly aligned with organizational goals. Things won’t happen through a simple assertion, no matter who is making it. Memorable moments need to be built into the experience and spread across the entire learning journey.