What keeps a chief learning officer up at night? An informal survey of INXPO clients outlined three common challenges. Here’s how to keep them from becoming nightmares.
Enterprise learning is evolving. Today, we must support on-the-job and moment-of-need training. Intense pressure to educate a workforce and keep skills current amid economic headwinds, travel budget cuts, and growing regulatory demands is the new norm. The resulting shift to online programming and automation requires a redesign and repurposing of classroom learning. For enterprises of all sizes, education must happen immediately. Let’s consider the following scenarios:
Challenge 1: How to modernize training programs for today’s new workforce — without starting over. Modernizing training is a huge, but necessary, undertaking. Instructor-led programs, in many cases, are being phased out. The average human attention span of just eight seconds is a major learning hurdle.
Solution: Content must be focused and engaging. A virtual/online delivery model shifts from a “push” to a “pull,” where the learner leads training. Trainers can no longer be trainers. Instead, they must become content development facilitators who understand subject matter, how people learn and how to make content “sticky.”
Challenge 2: Quicken time to value for new employees, while streamlining onboarding. Onboarding often takes longer than it should and is unstructured and immeasurable. Moreover, it’s largely treated as an administrative and compliance function.
Solution: Onboarding is a perfect opportunity to establish a foundation for ongoing engagement to reduce turnover and shorten time to value. In addition to satisfying HR and corporate requirements, successful onboarding helps new employees understand their roles and how they support the business. The best programs also integrate new hires into cross-functional groups and establish organization-wide connections. This helps to instill a culture and mechanism for learning as a daily function.
Challenge 3: Knowing what technology makes sense for my needs — without becoming a CIO. Knowing what a CLO needs is itself a full-time job. For instance, most enterprises only use a fraction of their LMS’s features due to the complexity of integrating with HR systems, content and communications technology like video and webcasting, or third-party authoring tools. Results are poor and create a disengaging learner experience. Systems with sophisticated features aren’t always necessary. Don’t get me wrong: posting documentation on an intranet and sending broadcast email can’t be trusted to get the job done, either.
Solution: A better approach exists to deliver strategic goals and leader-ship messages, role-specific training, and HR policy. Successful CLOs are driving value for their organizations. A global consumer packaged goods firm recently deployed an online portal of self-paced materials that a new hire can experience in preparation for onsite training. The portal includes engagement features and comments by other employees, connecting new hires with peers who can help them succeed. The same system delivers information about product launches and executive communications.
—The author, Emma King, is vice president of Learning for Inxpo, which markets enterprise video communication solutions. More info: www.inxpo.com