Fries and other stuff that makes my work fun!

People ask me regularly: What makes working as a learning specialist so much fun?

Well, one of the great things about my work is that I get to ‘taste the different flavors’ of organizations. For example, during the past year I got to taste the flavor of Farm Frites. An additional advantage: I do not just mean this figuratively! Farm Frites operates worldwide and recently opened a production site in China. To train the new employees, trainers from China joined factories in Europe for several weeks and upon return, shared their knowledge with new employees. The learning question from Farm Frites to YouKnow was: How can we optimize this working method to train new employees in China?

We now get into another part of what makes my work so ‘tasty’: Analyzing the learning question. Is the information taken by the trainers relevant? Is this information also applicable in China? More importantly: is the current solution actually the right solution? Each trainer from China appeared to have their own way of interpreting the processes in Europe, and therefore was the knowledge that was transferred to the new employees quite varied. Moreover, even the knowledge about the processes between and within the factories in Europe proved to be unclear. In addition, there were a lot of experts working at Farm Frites who all had specific knowledge in their heads that others did not know about. This analysis shifted the learning question of Farm Frites: How can we train current and future global employees in a structured and uniform manner?

Another ‘appetizer’: To come up with and design the right fitting learning solution! No worries, I realize that not everyone will find this as interesting as I do, so I will keep my explanation short: Together with external and internal content matter experts, we have developed approved content for the global target audience. After investigating the right fit between Farm Frites and a learning platform, we have placed this content, existing of footage with voice-overs and practice questions in different languages, in a sustainable learning platform. Learning analytics form the engine for continuous development of the platform.

This sounds perhaps a bit ‘dry’, but for me it came down to: meeting many interesting people with a lot of expertise in their own field, wearing a very charming safety outfit and exploring all sorts of potato processes in various Farm Frites factories, listening to different employees about their work, getting acquainted with the Chinese culture, working together with a video production company, even playing a supporting actor in 2 of the 98 five minute videos, attending recordings of voice-overs in a sound studio, learning all the ins and outs of a specific learning platform, and eat loooots of fries …

So, I expect that I have answered the question about what makes the work of a learning specialist so much fun. If this answer raises other questions, then I of course would like to see these appear in my mailbox: chiara@youknow.nl

 

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