BRIDGE

A newer entry into the LMS market, Bridge does not market themselves as an LMS. They are really an LMS Lite, resembling more of an LMS App. A very simple mobile centric learning platform, Bridge does not have the visual or image heavy environment most platforms host. With mobile first being Bridge’s mantra, they focus on organizations with mobile workforce, distributed teams or/and retail organizations where a laptop or PC is not readily available for learning.  Built on Ruby on Rails, the user does not see a dashboard upon sign-on, only a list of top priority tasks based upon due date or urgency. The learner can access content from internal and external sources within Bridge. The focus is on accessing, completing the component and moving on-all on the mobile phone.

Bridge also has a rich text editing and authoring tool. Not the robust features of Storyline or Captivate, but it does support video streaming with data tracking on viewer activity.  With the recent acquisition of Practice, Bridge users will have access to live video recording of ‘their pitch’ within the LMS, which is saved and viewable by managers and peers for instant feedback and collaboration. This is a plus for field sales teams and managers.

Reporting on Bridge is focused on the learner’s progress; which tasks are over-due, in progress, completed within a date range. Cadence is also measured; how the individual or team is progressing toward a specific goal. For example, at the individual level one can see progress toward a career development goal.

Performance measurements focus on career development goals, achievements and 1 to 1 assessments. These include skills assessments, evaluations, team mentors and learning courses to improve. Visit: www.mybridge.com

NOVOED

Developed by Stanford University Educators and ex-EdX staffers, NovoEd was built to improve on the learner experience. Touted as a Learning Experience Platform built on mobile-first practice, NovoEd has a mobile UI with embedded social collaborative component to improve learner engagements. According to a Stanford University study, a student is 16x more likely to complete a course when engaged within a team vs. 2% if taken alone. The collaboration component is critical advantage with NovoEd. It enables social live interactions within course context, project galleries, and on individual learning profiles that support peer to peer feedback.

NovoEd also hosts real-time reporting and management tools tracking learner engagement and content quality. Unlike other systems, the social engagements are tracked from posts, to active discussion participation to team specific interactions via their native google analytics integration.

NovoEd also integrates with enterprise systems supporting single sign-on, data integration, and system security.  NovoEd is SaaS based and priced using a per user per month model. Visit: www.NovoEd.com

CEREGO

New to the learning market, Cerego is a personalized learning platform designed based upon brain science principles. They say, “imagine a system that can visualize what employees retain from training and provide insight into their knowledge on any subject any time.”

Cerego’s learning engine incorporates distributed learning with retrieval practice. Distributed learning is "spacing out learning across time [to] improve long-term retention." Retrieval practice, known as "testing effect" is to "actively attempt to re-call previously studied materials [thru testing]." Cerego allows learners to focus on content they don’t know rather than review content they do.

In studies conducted at NYU College of Dentistry, use of Cerego replaced 96 hours of class teaching time while students scored 2.6 standard deviations above the national average on the State Board exam. Fifty-six percent of students said, “using Cerego to review mate- rial was worthwhile.” All, 100% of students using Cerego passed the board exam.

How was this accomplished? Cerego’s learning solution incorporates content authoring tools based upon their learning science practices. Content is imported into a PPT like portal to improve effectiveness

and increase engagement thru digital experiences. Customized courses are drop and drag. Instructional templates and quizzes are available to help create and edit courses.

Performance data and analytics are collected in a visual dashboard to track what learners know and retain. Content metrics provide red flags where adjustments may need to be made. The Knowledge Bank provides insights into individual learner progress as well as comparisons to peers. All analytics are in real-time accessible via mobile device. Visit:www.cerego.com

Published in New Products

Some stalwart brands are re-imaging their platforms like Skillsoft's new Percipio. There are four components of the new Percipio: User Experience, Courses, Reporting and Personalization.

User Experience (UX): The interface is simple, has all content channels available but is prioritized based upon urgency and learner personalization. Benny Ramos product manager, provided the tour of Percipio. Launched in English only, French, Spanish and other languages are to launch early first half of 2018. The platform is an “all you can eat” content model offering 50,000 programs. Users can create a personal playlist from all channels-leadership, project management, etc. Plus, learners can choose to read, listen or view the content.

Content: More than 21 new course modules are launched each week. New content is less than 30 minutes long and viewable in 2-3 minute sections to fit anytime viewing. Consistent characters appear across the programs i.e. Toby as host, Maria the Type A character, etc. There are thousands of new assets aligned to key business needs.

Dashboard: New performance dashboards are available in Percipio for managers, mentors or self-management. Learning must have impact and the dashboards report value of the learner's gain as well as the mode of learning improvement i.e. Instructor led classroom vs. e-learning. Business alignment is a goal assigned for each task.  Managers can assign topics to different business goals like Employee Engagement by assignment and or topic. Content consumption can be viewed via drill downs by team or individual performance.

Personalization: Personalization closely followed engagement as top business drivers for investing in Learning and Development according to the study.  Percipio can personalize learning to content, interest or career. Think Netflix for personalization and Amazon for transactions.

If you are on Skillsoft/Skillport, should you change? According to Ramos, Percipio offers the full catalog of courses vs. channel selections on Skillport. The pricing models are slightly different but still rely on the per user per year license model. While some may want to stay with what they know, you should consider Percipio to enhance the learning experience. If you are ready, make the transition to Percipio. Visit: www.Skillsoft.com

BRIGHTSPACE BY D2L

D2L was founded in the education space with a focus on the learner. This perspective gave D2L an early advantage in personalized learning and mobilization. D2L took the best of the LMS for education and reimagined it for Enterprise.

Brightspace Enterprise offers a rich platform with robust feature sets including personalization which taps Artificial Intelligence to predict and present the most relevant content to the learner. They also offer analytics tools to review top line data on usage, time within content, failure points and more. These edge capabilities are built on a platform with a consumer-like UX. The personalized dashboard the learner sees upon login provides a snapshot of the most relevant and timely learning activities. Collaborative streams are incorporated into the dashboard, quick or important videos as well as updates on ones learning path. With one click, the learner can access the content now. The experience is also ubiqui- tous for PC, laptop or iPad users.

Performance Plus (PP)module gives organizations the power to improve employee performance through adaptive learning and predictive analytics. The tools in Performance Plus help L&D and business leaders proactively identify and close knowledge gaps, to ensure each employee attains a high level of competency.

PP uses predictive analytics to understand each employee's performance trajectory in a course and identify those that need additional support or training. The intuitive dashboards transform learner data into easily-identified patterns of performance and engagement. The integrated workflows make it easy for managers to reach out to high-potential employees or provide help to low performers. With a better understanding of which employees need extra support, leaders can ensure everyone finishes the course with a higher level of competency. Visit: www.D2L.com/Enterprise

BLACKBOARD LEARN

Blackboard, a top brand in awareness according to the 2018 Learning & Talent Buyers Study, has made some recent changes to their platform as well. The web conferencing experience was re-engineered and branded as Black-board Collaborate Ultra. The claim is the new environment makes "learners forget they're not in a physical space". The solution features interactive whiteboard, multi-point video (new) with application and desktop sharing (new). While we didn’t get to see it at work, it is nice to see Blackboard Collaborate improve the platform to compete with others in the market given the size of their user base.

Blackboard also launched Blackboard Ally, a new 508 compliant accessibility service. If your organization must be 508 compliant, this new service from Black-board will make identifying violations early easier. The solution integrates with the LMS and workflows. It will automatically check all course content for accessibility issues, provide alternative formz ats and provide feedback and guidance. The outcome is to provide a comprehensive report and action plan that will aide organizations to be proactive, benefit employees and provide a score on the accessibility spectrum. Visit: www.Blackboard.com

Published in New Products

ISOtrain’s family of products provide an Ambient User Experience for the Administrative and Employee End Users improving the quality of life in the learning management space with a variety of behind the scene services.  The ISOtrain LMS is a Decision Making/Knowledge Based System focused on appropriate utilization of educational scheduling and intelligent management of resources allowing the Users to focus on essential assigned tasks.

The ISOtrain Ambient User Experience has personalized interfaces with intuitive displays, accurate confirmation and responsiveness to user input; supporting real time interaction that delivers essential training, assessments and reports.

As an Administrator, ISOtrain allows you to make training assignments that comply with your training requirements and the employee’s work schedule reinforced with tools to proactively manage and automate the process.

Employee End Users can perform their job responsibilities concurrently incorporating training requirements from ISOtrain complete with visual aids, prompts and reminders.

Leverage your investment by linking ISOtrain to other products like human resources, document management systems, manufacturing systems, time and attendance for a piece of mind that employee data is current and they are qualified to perform their job.

Take it a step further to incorporate mobile devices and biometric readers across your global enterprise for the ultimate Ambient User Experience that eliminates language and cultural barriers.

Whether you are searching for a replacement or an initial LMS, look at ISOtrain for a platform that provides a secure, compliant, Ambient User Experience to support your Heterogenous User Group.  Learn more at: www.isotrain.com

Published in New Products

The 2018 Learning & Talent Platforms Buyer Study conducted by Elearning! Media Group via an online survey of learning professionals reveals the current trends and purchase plans for 2018. These findings were tabulated from 441 responses across corporate, government, education and non-profit organizations. The study was conducted industry-wide and includes Elearning! subscribers and community members.

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Discover Must Have Features, Brand Ownership & Awareness, Buying Process and Roles in 2018 Learning & Talent Platforms Buyer Study Download Free Report at:  http://bit.ly/2tDfzWH

Published in Trends

The annual Learning! 100 award program honors public and private sector organizations for innovation, collaboration and learning culture that drives performance.  Applications can be submitted at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Learning100

“The Learning! 100 award winners are an elite team of high performers. From small to large enterprises, this award honors those that push the limits of learning and development, to over achieve by exceeding performance expectations,” says Catherine Upton¸ Group Publisher, Elearning! Media Group. “Learning is at the core of their success. Every Learning! 100 winner inspires us with their innovation, passion and performance.”

Previous Learning! 100 honorees include: T-Mobile, Amazon Web Services, American Heart Association, Salesforce, NASCAR, Defense Acquisition University, and Scripps Health to name a few. Application deadline has been extended to April 15th.

Learn More: http://bit.ly/2FjrEon

Published in Latest News

Do you believe in the science of evolution? At Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), we do because we’re witnessing it.

Over the last two years JPL has embarked on an innovative journey of self-discovery with the aim of enhancing the quality and quantity of learning opportunities while significantly enhancing the user experience. The continually evolving approach is referenced in many ways but is often characterized as a shift in the “Learning Ecosystem.” As in nature, evolution constantly changes and relies on innovation; such is the case at JPL. Another similarity exists in that evolution in nature relies on the ability to effect change among the norm. JPL’s learning evolution is also shaped by the ability to influence cultural norms and must successfully navigate barriers to change all the same.

Change management involves difficult and complex processes, and precisely – it is inevitable. To effectively implement change on individual and organizational levels requires a new model for change, new thinking, and a new framework to ensure smooth implementation of the desired change.

WHAT IS A LEARNING ECOSYSTEM?

Rosenberg and Foreman comprehensively describe the learning ecosystems and the interrelation of people, processes, tools and outcomes in their paper titled, “Learning and Performance Ecosystems.As Rosenberg and Foreman point out, “learning ecosystems provide value by enhancing individual and organizational effectiveness by connecting people, and supporting them with a broad range of content, processes, and technologies to drive performance."

The key characteristic of today’s ecosystems remains in their ease of use; technology is transparent to the user and facilitates user interaction and communication. Moreover, an ecosystem provides access to a mentor and allows the learners to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge in real-time.

JPL’S NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES

The continuing mission of JPL is to lead as the U.S. center for robotic expansion of the solar system, earth science, and space-based economy. The JPL human resources (HR) and learning and development (L&D) team serves as the primary JPL organization responsible for satisfying leadership, organization learning, and development as well as technical training needs of over 6000 JPL personnel and 7000 contract affiliates.

Like many technical organizations, JPL faces challenges in managing the transference of deep technical and institutional knowledge while experiencing an unprecedented growth in JPL mainline mission and a drastic shift in its multi-generational workforce. JPL must address the changing learning styles of new and existing individuals and the constant employee expectation of a commercial-like learning experience.

Prior to embarking on its learning renaissance, JPL provided training and employee development utilizing an experience-based apprenticeship model. The legacy model was extremely successful and enabled remarkable achievements in space exploration. While the mentor and experiential model historically served its purpose well, it wasn’t designed for today’s world of exponential information, and technology torrent. While the legacy model may not remain the primary mode of professional development, one cannot discount the result and would be ignorant to discount its role in future training. The reality remains that JPL had a pressing need to transform the training model to a technology-based model that uses technology to develop skills and knowledge that connects communities’ efficiency.

DESTINATION 2025 BEGINS

In 2015, JPL’s Chief Human Resource Officer Cozette Hart formed the “Destination 2025” working group dedicated to exploring and advancing the future of working and learning at JPL. Over the course of the following year, JPL’s business case for modernization of learning was contextualized. The primary areas of learning modernization were identified as:

>>  Modernization of the JPL learning environment; consistently improve on the availability and quality of training while enhancing the learning experience.

>>  How to significantly modernize talent acquisition and management in the most technically advanced place on Earth.

Change awareness was raised among stakeholders through early communication related to JPL’s needs for change in learning technology and its rapidly evolving capabilities. At JPL, the scope of change was full employee development and a new training ecosystem. The change team provided support and resources and set the direction for various efforts to increase value in specified business areas.

To bring resources together, integrate processes, and communicate effectively, goal-oriented change management was designed to guide individuals and organizations at JPL. The desire for change was reinforced through employee engagement and participation with the aim to overcome resistance through a cross- functional sponsorship program.

NEW LEARNING ECOSYSTEM

The proposed learning approach was designed to provide flexibility and support which compliments the capabilities of JPL’s unique workforce. The learners of today expect a digitally rich learning environment, and implementation of new technology enabled a personalized learning experience to JPL employees anytime and anyplace in real-time. The HR team and its laboratory partners prepared to shift and integrate resources by focusing on the new learning ecosystems in terms of the operational support, technology and curriculum. Each pivot area evolution was based on application of advanced technologies and approaches such as:

>>  Use of a learning portal that provides personalization and support of individualized learning styles.

>>  Migrating from formal to informal learning environment resulting in collateralized credit for learning and experiences.

>>  Embracing self-paced learning and personalized learning environment so that learners choose when and where they learn. The classroom of the future was developed virtually, supporting personal exploration and providing an interactive environment in support of continuous lifelong learning.

>>  Development and integration of a robust framework of learning systems, tools and capabilities which remain transparent to the user, thus ensuring a streamlined and positive user experience.

>>  Development of a knowledge capture and transfer system designed to support the transference of critical knowledge and expertise during normal Lab business.

>>  The ability to scale the learning envi- ronment and its offerings commensurate with the increase in project work and competing personal priorities.

>>  Development of digitally rich learning and implementation of in-house and contract augmented learning content production.

>>  Introduction of a wide array of live and virtual training methodologies.

NEW PROCESS, SYSTEM AND STRUCTURE

To support the new concept and change design, new process, system, and structure were deployed. To provide the right training to the right employees at the right time, our team worked on several key activities including the implementation of a new organizational structure, internal processes, pilots of learning technology and overall modernization of the learning framework. Through organizational analysis and input from stakeholder groups, we determined the best approach to enable success within a decentralized organization was with enhanced processes,offerings, and services such as:

>>  Restructuring technical learning, improved design, development and delivery of learning capabilities.

>>  Investment into user experience tooling (i.e. Degreed learning portal).

>>  Streamlined business processes to reduce redundancies (annual call for training).

>>  Virtual classrooms.

>>  Creation of hybrid online/ physical learning cohort utilizing virtual classrooms technology.

NEW TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCES

The new learning environment was based on the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), and XAPI standards. These standards reflect the current and evolving best practices for developing, sequencing, and packaging learning contents. For learners, the easy access to learning content was made through a common repository and portal. The new portal became the one stop knowledge shop where learners can search, find, and utilize learning objects. Moreover, trainers were able to publish learning content using a multitude of delivery formats (e.g., micro-learning, curated, custom built, instructor-led, case studies, eBooks, wikis, podcasts, video snippets, case studies, etc.)

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IMPERATIVE

Knowledge management is a systematic creation, acquisition, integration, distribution, application, and transference of knowledge used to drive behaviors which support organizational objectives. Knowledge management captures and transfers both existing and newly created information and knowledge.

The JPL process of knowledge management was based on the aggregation of institutional knowledge which can be distributed, shared and accessed by all employees when and where needed to perform assigned tasks, solve problems and engage in innovation.

Embracing knowledge management and becoming a modern learning organization requires a culture change across JPL. To mitigate loss of critical institutional knowledge because of employee retirement, JPL focuses on every employee contributing to the body of knowledge at individual and organization levels. The explicit and implicit knowledge capabilities facilitated resources coordination and enable deployment of state-of-the-art institutions and technical learning. Better communication across the organization improves stakeholders’ understanding of training requirements. Therefore, increased coordination refines the development and execution of training requirements, ultimately creating better contents.

BENEFITS OF NEW SYSTEM

The introduction of a new learning model has shifted the learning environment from a directive inflexible model to one that empowers and provides individualized learning and development capability. In addition to greater flexibility, today’s best practices models reduce the cost to train while increasing the ability to scale resources to meet a larger workforce’s personalized learning needs.

Advanced learning content management approaches introduced new methods of curriculum development and deployment. JPL’s HR L&D piloted enterprise learning content development efforts within their own teams while harnessing the experience and resources of the greater decentralized JPL learning and development workforce. Studies have indicated that new approach can reduce the learning content development time between 25% and 60% while enabling self-paced and individualized learning approaches.

With a mix of live, virtual and constructive education and training, an optimum mix of virtual e-learning environment enables live training and optimizes content delivery. We leverage the use of new technologies to supplement and, where appropriate, replace hands-on training to maximize availability and scaling. However, certain aspects of JPL training cannot be performed virtually due to the high degree of complexity associated with lab-based scientific training.

In the context of growing demand for training resources and the speed at which knowledge is being created and evolving, the learning ecosystem enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of the training and provides flexibility to deal with the ever-increasing velocity of changing procedures, systems, scientific methods and equipment at JPL.

SAVINGS GENERATES INVESTMENT

The technical training organization’s formula to create an effective organization has changed over the years, but the fundamental ingredients include the right organizational structure and processes, technology and infrastructure, and people to develop the best workforce at the lowest cost possible. This approach enables JPL to invest cost savings derived from efficiencies in its training system into the future of scientific and engineering training. JPL experienced major cost savings by contracting many of the training developers and have reinvested back into the training program. The JPL L&D learning plan is comprised of multiple approaches designed to elicit outcomes which create positive results in the areas of individual growth and flexibility, opportunities for experiential learning, and a greater efficiency which allows expansion of learning offerings.

FUTURE CHALLENGES

The new learning ecosystem has and will change the context of how learning takes place. Learners experience real-time and pushed recommendations for learning. The information available is dynamic, technically applicable, visually engaging and easy to locate. In response to the growing training needs, the L&D shift has enabled and empowered self-directed learning.

JPL must sustain easily accessible systems for learners to access information from a myriad of sources. The additive value of the learning organization of tomorrow will be in the identification, validation, and creation of high quality technically accurate learning content. JPL L&D will still be responsible for the production of high quality, engaging learning material. As the need for information and the number of JPL employees expands, L&D must refine its ability to scale its training development and support services.

Training development and support services will take on many forms in the days ahead ranging from exclusively virtual learning environments to live constructive hybrid and instructor-led environments augmented with technology-based presentation and subject matter interactive channels.

CONCLUSIONS

HR and L&D enables and empowers learning. The aim was to develop resources, sustain people, processes using tools and technology to provide individualized training content to the right employees, at the right time using contents of the highest technical quality.

Resulting, JPL workforce maintains a world-class level of technical competencies and on-the-job performance.

>>  The new learning ecosystem ensures individual and organizational competencies for technical workforce while focusing on people.

>>  Greater availability and access to learning opportunities at the existing funding levels.

>>  Reduced cost of training and re-distribution and reinvestment of training dollars.

>>  Reduced time spent with curriculum development and delivery through repository.

>>  Enhanced opportunity for employees to experience advanced simulation and made training technology available both inside and outside the traditional classroom.

>>  Preservation and focused use of instructor-led and hands-on training and less time required to fully develop early career hire employees.

—Anthony Gagliardo is a Learning! Champion award-winner for thought-leadership. His program to re-imagine the learning ecosystem at JPL inspired this honor. Gagliardo is head of HR & Technical Training at NASA’s JPL and is committed to supporting the training needs of those at NASA and Caltech Institute.

Published in Top Stories

According to McKinsey Global, 32% of U.S. jobs will be replaced by automation by 2030. This is a small percentage across the global front. McKinsey estimates that 400 million to 800 million people will need new jobs as automation and machine learning creep into industries all over the world. Of that number, McKinsey suggests 375 million will have to switch occupational categories entirely.

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“It’s going to take a shift in mindset,” says Susan Lund, a leader of the McKinsey Global Institute. “People need to expect they may not only have entirely different employers, but entirely different occupations. We talk about lifelong learning, but in the next five to 10 years, we’ve actually got to make that a reality—it will require changes from employers and policy-makers, but also individuals, on how we think of jobs.”

Published in Latest News

Sixty-nine percent of organizations are using Artificial Intelligence in IT functions today says Infosys study.  While 75% are currently or planning to replace workforce resources with AI technology, 80% of organizations will retrain or redeploy displaced employees.

How Companies Are Preparing Staff

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McKinsey & Company claims that AI can automate as much as 45 percent or more of any particular job – allowing workers to focus on higher level, mission-critical activities.

With 76% of senior executives saying AI is fundamental to their organization’s success, AI will only grow in adoption over the next 3 years.

Source: http://infy.com/2CT3CLG

https://www.infosys.com/aimaturity/Documents/amplifying-human-potential-CEO-report.pdf

Published in Latest News

Simply put, learners in teams are more engaged. Research Eesley conducted shows that collaboration in online classes significantly improves learning and engagement and course completion.

According to the study, students who worked in teams were 16 times more likely to pass the course. As a baseline, of the 23,577 students working individually, only 2% (501) passed the course. However, 32% of all students on teams graduated-1500% higher. Of this, 21% of students working in teams without mentors and 44% of students in teams with mentors passed (See Figure 1).

Similarly, students in teams were more engaged in the community and contributed more to class discussions and peer evaluations. For example, students on teams accessed the course five times as often. On average, learners working alone logged in once per week, but students in teams (no mentors) signed in 4.9 times per week, and students in teams with mentors signed in 5.5 times per week (See Figure 2).

COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS

The completion rate of individuals working alone resembles that of most free, open courses on traditional learning platforms. It is clear that basic “social features,” such as discussion boards, messaging, and social network sharing, are insufficient to drive higher engagement.

The benefit of social learning comes when students feel responsible as part of a learning community. One can achieve this with a combination of team-based assignments, mentorship, reputation systems, identity transparency, community moderation, and the like. This ‘felt accountability” is a powerful intrinsic motivator that is effective at increasing course persistence and learning outcomes. This type of networking drives significantly higher engagement and completion rates.

CONTEXT AND RESEARCH

This research was conducted at Stanford University from 26,248 students in Technology Entrepreneurship, an eight-week free course. The analysis utilizes a multivariate regression format, with dependent variables of various engagement and satisfaction measures, independent variables including collaboration type, and control variables for demographics, engagement level, etc.

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Published in Insights

As organizations reorganize for speed and agility to stay competitive, authority is becoming less centralized than in the past. Teams constantly form, disband and reform according to the needs of specific projects and customers. Information and communication technologies have helped make it possible to stay coordinated as people become more mobile and their job descriptions are less permanent. But these changes also place different demands on employees.

Employees need to be more adaptable and self-directed, better able to identify teams and projects that would allow them to excel and maximize their value to the company. In turn, employees need a higher level of self-awareness to navigate their careers amid organizational environments that are more fluid than ever before.

STRENGTHS-BASED MANAGEMENT DEFINED

If there is one area of focus with the potential to transform entire organizational cultures to help meet these needs — and deliver improved business outcomes, too — it is a strengths-based approach to management.  Don Clifton pioneered the study of strengths in the workplace, affirming through decades of research that employees who use their strengths on the job are more likely than others to be intrinsically motivated by their work, simply because it feels less like work to them.

Among a host of benefits individuals experience when they know and use their strengths, employees who say they use their strengths every day are 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their jobs. They are also more likely to strongly agree that they like what they do each day.

The natural talents we all have can be turned into strengths through investing in their development — time spent practicing and developing skills. Focusing on innate talent as a foundation has become increasingly important as the pace of technological change has quickened, because in many industries specific skills and knowledge have a shorter lifespan than they once did.

Employees need continual learning and development opportunities in order to stay up to date. Understanding their strengths gives them a basis for choosing the developmental paths that are most likely to help them sustain a long, successful career.  A program that includes coaching and development provides a sense of their “true north” — helping them stay oriented for high productivity amid shifting workplace needs and varying career trajectories. But as more businesses restructure their processes around team-based work, the benefits of a strengths-based culture for group interactions also becomes more important.

Team members who know each other’s strengths more effectively relate to one another, avoiding potential conflicts and boosting group cohesion. Strengths-based development immediately changes their conversations. It creates more positive dialogue, and it boosts the team’s overall engagement and performance.

Gallup analysts recently conducted a study of 11,441 teams in six organizations where at least 30% of employees had completed the Strengths assessment. They determined that team members’ awareness of their own strengths — and each other’s — was more strongly related to higher engagement and performance than was the specific composition of strengths on the team.

MANAGER’S ROLE

The manager’s role changes substantially in a strengths-based culture. Namely, they’re the key conduit to implementing a genuine strengths-based development approach and maximizing the potential of their workplace’s talent. Managers become more like coaches, dedicated to helping team members understand and cultivate their talents, thereby achieving high levels of productivity and fulfillment. This change aligns with research by Gallup and others showing that younger workers — particularly millennials — want and expect their managers to work with them on personal and professional development opportunities.

As organizations figure out how best to implement these changes, they need new ways to help teams retain cohesion, and to ensure that the right talent can flow to projects that will make the best use of their skills. As Gallup research has demonstrated time and again, organizations that adopt a strengths-based culture will have a powerful advantage on both fronts.

– Steve Crabtree is analyst and lead editor of Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report. Download summary at: http://news.gallup.com/reports/220313/state-global-workplace-2017.aspx?

Published in Insights
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