Employee learning is one of the most important and rapidly changing
functions of HR today. Digital technologies, mobile apps, video and the accelerating pace of work have reinvented
what corporate education means. Let
me briefly explain.
What started with instructor-led
training online (the early days of e-learn-ing) has evolved into competency-based
curricula, video-based tutorials, massive
open online courses (MOOCs) and now
micro-learning modules, which deliver
instruction in short, specific bursts. HR
leaders have had to deal with all this disruption while at the same time trying to
build learning platforms and programs
that are up-to-date.
As technology and content have
changed, so too have employees’ expec-
tations. Today, workers have about 20
minutes a week to devote to learning,
according to research from Deloitte, and
most of them are so overwhelmed with
other tasks that even this time is con-
stantly interrupted. One client told me
recently that “even TED Talks are now
too long for our people.”
As the new world of digital learning
begins to take shape, HR professionals
have an opportunity to help their orga-
nizations adopt corporate learning and
development (L&D) strategies that ben-
efit their employees and the enterprise.
Of course, there is no replacement for
getting away from your desk to go to
a training or offsite program and then
having a chance to focus, reflect and
apply its lessons. Deloitte’s research
indicates that effective organizational
leaders understand the value of allow-
ing employees to take a break from their
day-to-day jobs to explore new ideas,
courses end. In addition, while workers
gain great exposure to company culture
through classroom experiences, they still
need on-the-job training.
This is where what I call “digital
learning”—in other words, embedding
just the right amount of educational
content into your digital environment—
comes into the picture.
Employees at many organizations are
embracing digital tools in ways that suit
their individual needs by:
• Accessing an easy-to-use portal that
recommends content and shows them
what others in their business function are
using for L&D. Vendors Degreed, EdCast
and Pathgather have these capabilities.
• Getting help finding courses that can
advance their skills in a particular area.
Lynda, Skillsoft and Grovo provide this
option. Other vendors, including ed X,
allow users to earn micro- or nano-
degrees in a new topic.
• Allocating 10 minutes a day to dig
into precisely what they need to know
for machine maintenance, manufacturing processes or safety, accompanied by
regular timed activities built into their
schedules that allow users to apply their
newly acquired knowledge. Axonify
By Josh Bersin
Employee Learning Enters the Digital Age
It’s time to give employees access to content when and where they want it.