In a corporate world where core technologies change rapidly, the need for continuous learning is more acute than it has ever been. There was a time when employee training ended with the onboarding process, but those days are over. In the modern technology landscape, employees need to continuously update and polish their skills to stave off obsolescence – both their own and that of the organisation.
There is no question that businesses need to build a culture to support and encourage continuous learning, but how will these initiatives be addressed? Will your IT department need to create a database of learning resources for employees to access on the Digital Workplace? Is your HR department going to assess the skills requirements for every position to identify gaps and recommend training programs to fill them? Should employees take it upon themselves to work on continuous learning in their off hours or between projects?
It is probably going to take a combination of the three to meet your training needs. In addition, organisations must build a culture that reinforces the value of continuous learning, leveraging the intranet to share resources and celebrate achievement.
Promote Independent Learning
Your Digital Workplace can be a valuable resource when it comes to building a culture of learning, both as a gateway to educational resources, and as a tool to share success stories.
When employees feel empowered to take control of their own development, it is a boost to the entire organisation. With senior executives encouraging participation and leading by example, team members will be motivated to engage with training resources.
Get started by putting some budget aside to promote learning and development. Get early adopters to spread the word by encouraging them to post course summaries or make short video summaries that can then be posted to the intranet.
Traditional training models that involve a day or two at a training center can easily fall short. While knowledge retention levels may vary depending on a wide range of factors, studies have shown that people tend to forget most of what they learned shortly after the training has ended.
It can also be difficult to identify training needs and to act upon them quickly which can leave employees with inadequate or insufficient skills for rapidly changing demands. There is a strong case to be made for having resources that are always available and ready to be accessed when they are needed. A company’s intranet is the ideal home for this sort of on-demand learning platform.
With an intranet-based learning program, employees will be able to do more than just find quick answers to simple questions or search and view resources. It should engage employees with recommended training resources and automatically update completion to the individual’s HR profile. It could also recommend further training to help maximize the employee’s development opportunities.
Your SharePoint intranet may already have an array of features that make it an ideal platform for sharing and working with learning resources. There is also a range of Learning Management Systems (LMS) that come ready to integrate with SharePoint.
User-generated content has proven to be an effective way to convey information on the public internet, and that concept could be translated to a company’s intranet. Much in the way that you may learn about colleagues and competitors on LinkedIn or get updates about friends on social media sites, user-generated content can be valuable resource for sharing information at all levels of your company.
Traditional education and learning will always have its place but situational, on-demand learning is growing in importance. With your intranet as a resource for continuous learning, you can leverage existing organisational knowledge while also encouraging and engaging your employees in the process.
About the Author
Marcus Dervin Managing Director, WebVine. With more than 20 years’ experience in the tech industry across three continents, Marcus Dervin is passionate about improving the way organisations work. Marcus is a recognised thought leader in the Digital Transformation space, contributing regular articles to the technology and business press.1