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The Importance of Personalised Learning in the Workplace.

by Cheryl Lyon-Hislop

Let's address the confusion first

We know that all learners have different abilities and experiences and will respond in unique ways to learning opportunities. Personalised learning has for a long time been recognised as good practice in education, although not so evident in the workplace until recently. But what is personalised learning?


If you research online, there are many definitions, and it is the lack of consistency that confuses many people. Personalised learning isn’t blended learning, nor is it face-to-face, or one-to-one learning. The downside is that the confusion impacts negatively upon the learning experience, which we believe, should be insightful, fun, supportive and interactive.


On our part, we consider personalised learning to be about creating a deep connection to an individual’s development, background, interests, and experiences, which provides an approach that broadly and equitably supports the effort to empower learners as unique individuals. That applies if the educator is a learning and development consultancy such as ours, or a college or university.

Personalised learning is gaining support

To bring heightened exposure of the role of personalised learning, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped by providing research into how personalised learning practice using digital tools can help educators to bring improved outcomes for learners. Even Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has invested tens of millions of dollars in schools adopting a fresh approach to personalising learning saying, “we think that personalised learning makes sense”.

At Supernova Soft Skills, we believe that online benchmarking assessments, learning and coaching as well as peer support groups set up via social media or shared group-learning channels, provides a rounded approach to embedding learning. This helps to personalise the learning experience, and it becomes part of the way of developing behaviours and skills on a day-to-day basis. We see success stories with our clients and employee engagement surveys have seen an increased improvement in morale and satisfaction with ‘opportunities to develop self in role’.

Let's add some research

In addition, Brandon Hall’s research into personalised learning and learning and development, found that only 6% of respondents are consistently creating personalised learning plans for employees. This is despite the wealth of evidence that in education personalised learning improves learner satisfaction and improved achievement. In response to the statement “My organisation integrates personalised learning with performance management conversations” only 4% strongly agreed. The research found that the top five critical items for effective personalised learning are:

  • Coaching and mentoring (78%)
  • Mobile learning (72%)
  • Social learning (69%)
  • E-learning modules on an LMS or other learning technology (66%)
  • Video learning (61%)

So, when thinking about developing your employees, take some time out to consider the link between current capability against future skills needs of the company, learning styles, providing that rounded approach to the actual development process, and be clear about your return on developmental investment.

Contact us at, or via Chat, if you are about to embark upon a developmental programme and are unsure of the right path to take. We can help you with a free, no-obligation consultation.

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