The Online Learning Org Helping Companies Upskill Their Teams with In-Demand Skills
Learn how You Can Now is helping teams level up their skills in a remote-first world with Whereby.
You Can Now (YCN) is an aptly named organization. As a learning and development partner to growth-oriented firms, startups, and charities, they offer training to meet ever-changing needs.
Having already delivered half of their future-ready content virtually before the pandemic, YCN was well primed to help organizations continue upskilling their teams even during the most challenging time in recent history.
Here’s how You Can Now delivers empathetic courses that cover material essential to today’s work.
Training for the future of work
“YCN began in 2001, which feels like a long time ago now – especially given all the changes in the world of work over the last year,” says Nick Defty, founder of You Can Now, whose courses feature amazing subject matter experts alongside YCN facilitators to help people learn from the best.
Their content is meaningful and timely. Nick explains, “The aim is to link all sessions back to our three core values – YOU, an emphasis on the individual, and recognising that a one-size fits all approach fits no-one. CAN, a bias towards learning by experimenting and doing, and NOW, continually reflecting what’s relevant at any particular time, whether that’s the topics we’re exploring, how we frame them, or how we bring them to life visually.”
To achieve these goals, YCN offers a rotating series of content, and is currently upskilling teams in areas including:
Leading and managing in distributed times
Becoming hybrid ready
Storytelling in the digital age
But the content isn’t the only thing that makes YCN special. They’re also unique in how they deliver that content.
Staying relevant (and empathetic) with trainings
“There’s an interesting behavioural insight called ‘The Ikea Effect’, that we learned from our friends at Coglode, showing that we’re more likely to engage in something; and place more value on it – if we’ve had a hand in creating it,” explains Nick. “So getting a learner’s input on the shape of a session, and how they’ll apply what we cover in it to their own world, ahead of it has made a big impact on participation.
YCN’s subject matter experts and facilitators also strive to create warm and open spaces where people feel comfortable. “Setting expectations is so important. We give people clear pre-work to enable them to more confidently and purposefully speak up during the session,” says Nick.
How organizations can learn to accept all working styles
By helping to supply the training that innovative organizations need, Nick has learned a lot about how people work. The biggest lesson is that everyone is unique, and not all of these styles are respected.
“One of the topics we’ve explored extensively in the last two years is that of neurodiversity, and how different thinking styles can best be supported and harnessed at work, and how we can best help each other to play to our strengths together in learning environments,” says Nick.
Not everyone works best in a collaborative environment. Many people are better suited to working independently. “You need intentional, simple tools through which teams can share what makes them tick and what they need. These tools can drive inclusion.”
One such tool that Nick recommends is Manual of Me, a shareable doc that covers what a person needs in terms of work environment, briefing, and feedback. Create a culture where people feel comfortable, sharing their needs so that managers can accommodate them. The truth is that there's the right sort of work for everyone’s working style.
Creating more engaging online sessions with Whereby
To keep participants engaged during virtual training sessions, YCN doesn’t default to dull video conferences. Instead, they use Whereby, which has features that help people feel more comfortable and willing to participate.
There are multiple virtual ways to interact, not just by sharing verbally but also with emoji reactions and short, distraction-free comments that disappear after a short while.
“We love the way we can control the meeting space visually, the way that Whereby has humanized how people ‘virtually cross a threshold’ by ‘knocking’ on the meeting room door,” says Nick. “We also love how Whereby meaningfully drums up the emotion and energy in the chat function. You get a real visual burst when people are reacting to something, rather than a dull feed of chat text. And the breakout feature is incredibly useful, especially since we can choose who is going into which breakout rooms.”
From choosing topics that solve today’s work challenges to facilitating engaging sessions, YCN knows how to innovate professional development.