Corporate universities have been around for a long time, dating back to 1956, when General Electric opened its first management school. These universities were initially created to align the training arm of the company with its overall vision and strategy, and they fared well for a long time. In today’s context, when millennials and Gen Z are joining the workforce in large numbers and the gig economy is on the rise, corporate universities need a re-vamp to keep up with the demands of the modern-day workplace and its employees.
As a result, we need to move from a culture of training to a culture of learning. The corporate university must be more than a training center guided by the L&D team. It must become the go-to place for every individual within the organization seeking answers.
The role of the learning and development team now is not just to manage an LMS loaded with content and ensure employees take courses. Instead, L&D must determine how to develop an efficient workforce that impacts the bottom line. The good news is that most learning and development professionals are taking on this challenge successfully, trying new ways to provide a seamless learning experience.
The learning platform and content remain at the heart of the “corporate university 2.0,” but we must design them to talk to each other to create personalized and powerful experiences. Here are six best practices.
1. Provide a Seamless Learning Experience.
We all are used to the YouTube and Netflix experience, where we can search for information, and the system shares the best of the relevant content, along with recommendations based on our profiles. Why not design learning experiences in a similar way? Learning experience design allows learners to search for information by getting to the core of what they are looking for. This type of design requires a smart platform and bite-sized, searchable content.
2. Create the Ability to Recommend Courses.
The learning platform in the corporate university 2.0 can recommend courses based on an employee’s knowledge level and profile. For example, employees and their managers can share the competencies they need to develop, and an AI engine assesses the gaps in the learner’s knowledge and then recommends content based on those gaps. This approach makes each employee experience unique and personalized based on the employee’s actual learning needs.
3. Present Content in a Variety of Forms.
Using technology, the corporate university 2.0 presents the same content in multiple ways. For example, you can tag course content and then only recommend those pages or modules that the employee really needs. There are tools that convert text to audio content, and you can also curate content from third-party sources.
4. Reinforce Learning Through Spaced Repetition.
How many times do you visit a website when searching for information and then keep seeing an ad for that website in multiple places? In a similar way, the corporate university 2.0 creates interesting ways to reinforce content to learners. The platform already has information on what courses or modules the employee has participated in. Using this information to design a learning experience in which the employee receives microlearning short daily mobile quizzes can go a long way in reinforcing learning. One can again, you can use technology to create such content quickly. For example, quizzes play an important role in learning, and you can use AI to quickly generate questions based on online course content.
5. Use Chatbots for Just-in-Time Learning.
When you have a quick question, you probably don’t write an email to someone and wait for an answer; you probably do a quick internet search to try to find the answer quickly. Similarly, when employees need a quick answer, a chatbot can be a great way to help them find what they need. It not only makes the L&D team’s work more efficient, but it also creates a great learning experience. You can use chatbots to recommend a course, answer questions using a content library, or even understand the exact need of the employee and then share that information with the L&D team.
6. Use Advanced Analytics.
The corporate university 2.0 goes beyond traditional data and reports from an LMS using xAPI. Detailed reporting and analytics capabilities enable the platform to push appropriate content to the employees and, at a business level, generate insights that help the organization make strategic decisions. And why not share some insights with learners, as well? Data can be a great motivator. It helps drive the culture of learning, motivating employees to engage with the corporate university, participate in discussions, share and rate content, and take quizzes for reinforcement.
Today’s learning and development teams have been tasked with the important responsibility of creating a culture of learning within their organizations. If your corporate university can keep up with the demands of the next-gen workforce with 2.0 enhancements, you can accomplish far more than you ever have achieved in the past.