The future of employee engagement can be influenced by how a company incorporates modern learning techniques into their own leadership development programs, training scenarios, and various other offerings that will bring a learning value to employees. In a recent conversation with Rapelang Rabana, founder of Rekindle Learning, we discussed how to pull learning techniques into the future. 

Interview Summary

JH: Advances in neuroscience has focused the way we understand how the human learns. We can begin to see through functional MRI’s how the brain works under various teaching scenarios to gain insight into techniques that will produce the best retention of material (whether that is company regulations, standard operating procedures, upgrade training, safety courses, etc.). Tell us about some of the emerging techniques that you are looking into that would benefit all employees.

RR: Mobil platforms will be vital in engaging the employee. We can begin to adopt micro-learning, adaptive learning t create an “on-the-go” education platform that has proven to create a high retention stick rate. 

JH: Will this fundamentally change how we train employees in the future?

RR: Without a doubt. As we enter into the future of work, one of the most common phrases I hear is that employees must be skilled in adaptability. Because of this, we should train our people in this adaptability mindset as an underlying skillset. Even today, we face the reality that skillsets change so quickly that someone that spends four years getting a degree in a subject matter may already be outdated by the time they enter into the workforce. We must be prepared to pivot quickly. 

JH: I often talk to leaders and ask them what they believe are the new competencies that are required in the workforce of the future. It sounds like to me that you are saying adaptability, agility, and responsiveness.

RR: Micro-learning is one of the core ways we need to engage employees. To trigger the brain, we must utilize real-world challenges and experiences. Using mobile technology to re-imagine learning by creating bite-sized, interactive, adaptive learning experiences enables easy tracking of learning activity and transparently to show levels of knowledge retention. The mobile device can now be a personal learning roadmap, and we can define the material required and break it down into micro-learning lessons that stimulate the brain in the same ways we need in those real-world activities or challenges. It leverages the best we know about cognitive learning functions for overcoming the forgetting curve that would otherwise result in knowledge leakage.


Key Leadership Takeaways:

  1. (The takeaway is from Rapelang) The oft-used quote relating to the writings of Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change,” hints at what we need to thrive in the future. Darwin speaks to “responsiveness” being the decisive survival trait. Should we not then define intelligence, in terms other than IQ or EQ, and instead of our ability to respond to change, to react to the tasks of work and life, to demonstrate the agility we seek in businesses today?
  2. Techniques are always advancing based on discoveries within neuroscience as it relates to human learning. A leader should be situationally aware of these new findings. 


Leader Action Plan:

  1. Next practices: Do not fall into “best practices” but instead look out onto the horizon and discover the “next practice” mindset. New technologies and advancements in learning will propel your employee engagement into the range of effectiveness a leader needs to create a high-performing organization. 
  2. Has your organization spent time defining the required competencies needed for its future workforce? Now is the time! 


What are your thoughts on the neuroscience of learning? Post your comments below and let us begin building a tribe of people who have a passion for followership, mentorship, and leading!