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Implementing 70:20:10 framework with Employee-generated-learning

The 70:20:10 framework explains how employees learn new skills and information in the workplace. An Employee-generated Learning approach to this model is the only sustainable way of performance support, knowledge sharing, and formal training – and so, of fostering 70:20:10 in your organization.

Kasper Spiro
70-20-10 employee-generated learning

The 70:20:10 framework explained

According to the 70:20:10 framework, when employees learn new skills, up to 70% of what they learn comes from on-the-job experiences. Up to 20% comes from asking co-workers for help and sharing knowledge, and about 10% comes from formal training.

The combination of performance support, knowledge sharing, and training makes this model so complete. Applying the 70:20:10 framework at your organization is a great way to provide employees with unified learning experiences. It also helps in improving employees’ performance, engaging employees, and retaining knowledge.

70:20:10 and Employee-generated Learning

Many organizations working with a central learning department, or third-party or off-the-shelf training, face issues with speed, cost, and maintenance.

That’s because they work with a complex process of content creation and heavily rely on others. Creating and maintaining learning content within the organization itself is an excellent way of solving these problems.

In fact, one of the most sustainable ways of fostering the 70:20:10 learning framework within your organization is by converting knowledge that lives inside your organization into content, resources, and training.

We call this way of working Employee-generated Learning. With this method, employees capture their knowledge and share it with co-workers. They can use their knowledge to create informal learning resources, like templates, how-to’s, and videos. And to make content for formal learning, like training and e-learning.

Unlock a culture of knowledge sharing

Speed up the circulation of knowledge in your organization by enabling employees to create content themselves.

By having employees create content, resources, and training, you automatically cover all three parts of this model. The 70% part because you offer performance support, the 20% part because employees share knowledge, and the 10% part because employees have access to formal training. Here is what a combination of Employee-generated Learning and the 70:20:10 model could look like:

  • 70% – create a knowledge base of internal experience and learnings, where employees can self-serve their knowledge discovery.
  • 20% – create a culture of knowledge sharing, making it easy for employees to ask others for help and to collaborate.
  • 10% – empower the subject matter experts in your business to create training courses.

6 tips for applying the 70:20:10 framework and Employee-Generated Learning

Applying the 70:20:10 learning framework and Employee-Generated Learning can be a challenge. Getting your team to contribute to Employee-Generated Learning might require a significant cultural shift. That’s why we have a few practical tips for implementing Employee-generated Learning.

1. know your crucial knowledge sharing players

We’ve talked to dozens of learning managers for major companies. They all tell us that step one is to start small pilot knowledge-sharing programs and cherry-pick select individuals who are best at motivating their fellow team members to get involved. Employees are far more likely to stay engaged if you base the knowledge-sharing process on strong relationships within the team.

2. Incentivize capturing and sharing knowledge

Organizations that incentivize knowledge sharing and creating learning resources enjoy greater success in implementing Employee-Generated Learning and the 70:20:10 framework. Also, they can set up highly cost-effective learning programs. Offering small but lasting rewards is a great way to motivate the rest of the team. And to thank employees for their contributions to user-generated learning content.

It’s essential to avoid putting too much pressure on employees. Avoid making capturing content and sharing self-made resources and training overly formal. Instead, include it as a topic in employee evaluations. Above all, be sure to communicate how valuable employees’ knowledge is to the team’s success.

3. Negotiate roadblocks

When you introduce a new way of working in your organization, people need time to adapt. That is no different for Employee-Generated Learning and the 70:20:10 framework. Watch out for any roadblocks that slow down the flow of knowledge and address these promptly and openly within the team. Anticipate barriers, and prepare to overcome them by having the right counterarguments ready.

4. Give your co-workers time to create resources

Give employees time to capture knowledge, create resources and training, and share it. If you want to reap the benefits of the 70:20:10 framework, you have to devote time to it. Let your employees know that you see contributing as productive time. That is especially important in commercial settings and consultancies, where employees tend to measure their value in terms of billable hours.

5. Implement the right tools

It would help if you had the right tools to facilitate and successfully implement a 70:20:10 and Employee-generated Learning approach to learning. Your knowledge sharing and content creation tools must be user-friendly and inviting, or else employees won’t be inclined to use them regularly. They also need to provide instructions and information in a high-impact, engaging way. No one wants to download and flip through boring old presentations and memos.

6. Get started

The last tip might sound obvious, but we can’t state it often enough: get started. The sooner, the better. You’ve already got the main ingredients for the 70:20:10 framework success: your dynamic team and its wealth of knowledge. Now it’s up to you to create an environment where performance support, knowledge sharing, and creating training are easy, effective, and appreciated. Read our full guide about the 70:20:10 learning model.

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Kasper Spiro is the Co-founder and Chief learning strategist of Easygenerator and a recognized thought leader in the world of e-learning. With over 30 years of experience, he is a frequently asked keynote speaker and well-renowned blogger within the e-learning community.