Jim Warner, chief learning officer at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), says the most powerful and rewarding aspect of his career is to work with midcareer professionals who are developing themselves by advancing their professional knowledge. At VHA, this means providing educational opportunities for a large, diverse, and distributed workforce.
The healthcare professionals at VHA care for veterans who served from World War II to the ongoing fights against terror around the globe. They are motivated to learn new skills and hone their existing ones. Their industry is evolving with new knowledge and techniques almost daily, and they want to stay ahead of it.
In an interview in the March 2017 issue of The Public Manager, Warner explains what it takes to facilitate nimble learning on such a massive scale. He discusses the importance of engaging learning communities and the role new training technologies play at VHA.
For instance, Warner says that VHA employees are not only looking for the new and better ways to learn, but now they also create and share them in the workplace. The VHA must have support tools in place that enable employees to respond to changes and generate solutions that improve performance. What’s more, they have to capture that and disseminate it to the rest of the employees. “Knowledge sharing is key,” says Warner. And he also notes the call for more “point-of-need” learning.
Read the complete article to learn how the VHA is building just-in-time learning for the thousands of employees at VHA.
If you want to learn about more innovation happening at the VA, be sure to check out the session “Transforming Culture, Collaboration, and Employee Engagement” at the ATD 2017 Conference & Exposition. This session will explore how the VA's online collaboration platform is connecting staff across an organization to facilitate streamlined information sharing, staff development, and knowledge management on a large scale.