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September Learning Month

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

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The Institute for Performance and Learning is celebrating all things performance and learning throughout September. And celebrate we should. We’ve made it through the past 18 months which, for many, have been an ongoing lesson in just-in-time learning: how to work, pivot and adapt in an uncertain and constantly changing environment. Kudos!

We asked Benchmark team members what they are doing to champion and support I4PL’s mandate this month. Here are 20 actions we hope will inspire your thinking around ways to promote learning and improve performance.

What we are doing with and for our clients

1. Reminding them that performance problems are not always solved by training alone – especially in a COVID world. Non-training factors like work environment, tools, processes, capacity and expectations need to be considered.

2. Keeping inclusion and diversity top of mind; recognizing the value each team member brings to the table and incorporating this into learning/elearning design.

3. Thinking of things from the learner’s perspective – and taking different work environments into account when designing learning.

4. Aligning training design with action-oriented calls to action.

5. Considering new ways of working and engaging team members, and promoting new tools for both learning and collaboration.

6. Focusing on upskilling and expanding learner approaches to finding new and novel solutions to problems.

7. Incorporating best learning practices and techniques with proven learner benefits into recommended solutions.

8. Being on the lookout for opportunities to partner with value-adding subject matter and service experts.

What we are doing internally and within our communities

9. Creating space for others to lead by providing opportunities for them to grow, supporting them and standing aside while they pursue their goals in a way that makes sense.

10. Volunteering for I4PL/serving on I4PL’s certification committee.

11. Volunteering learning expertise in charitable endeavours (facilitating learning sessions for seniors on internet safety and online meeting platforms, hosting COVID Q&A sessions, designing job aids for an animal rescue organization, creating Best Practices for online learning for elementary teachers).

12. Mentoring and coaching students and young professionals.

13. Teaching: two modules in I4PL’s Master Certificate in Performance and Learning program and Instructional Design & Development course at George Brown College.

What we are doing for our own professional development

14. Being curious! Asking colleagues about the work they are doing to learn about our clients and how they are tackling performance problems.

15. Joining “stretch projects” in order to develop new skills and gain experience with new tools and processes.

16. Keeping on top of emerging trends, new technologies and great examples of great Instructional Design.

17. Being a forever student: enrolling in courses and online workshops and discussions, watching podcasts, signing up for daily emails. Current topics include Change Management and Operational Readiness, Anti-racism, Indigenous History, Inclusion and Diversity, Performance Improvement, Negotiating and Feeling.

18. Reaching out to clients and colleagues and asking what they have learned in the past year and a half; keeping a daily list of lessons learned.

19. Listening to others, and in particular to less experienced people because they bring a much different perspective to what learners want and need, and offer unique ways of how to address these.

20. Being more diligent about “unplugging” after work in order to “refill my cup.

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to reach out to any of our Benchmark team members. We’d love to meet you for a virtual coffee and share ideas!


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