Well, yes. The question of how to put together a learner-centric corporate training strategy is one of those questions that a Corporate Training Manager cannot escape. Right? ?
Because – to paraphrase a well-known bank advertisement – a corporate training “with the Learner at the center” is capable of actually supporting the growth of the organization as a whole.
The issue is that strategies aimed at achieving “learner-centric” corporate training often fail in execution.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – Peter Drucker
Let’s begin here. From the end.
In order to get results, you have to start with Organizational Culture. There are no shortcuts and it’s not easy. In short, it’s a matter of mindset: it’s necessary to create, to graft, a Culture of Training into the organizational context. This is the challenge to achieve concrete, long-term results.
And, after this spoiler, let’s go find out what are the “strategical” factors that can contribute to achieving learner-centric Corporate training. ?
1. Improve the Learner Experience
Improving the learning experience of our Learners is a great starting point. The issue is that the process often stops here, not considering that it’s just the beginning!
We explain ourselves more clearly.
Focusing solely and exclusively on building a modern Learner Experience doesn’t determine the step forward that you as a Training & Development Manager wish to achieve.
That’s because it’s necessary a second ingredient, so that your Corporate Learning project is truly focused on the Learner.
2. Aligning corporate training with business performance
In addition to improving the Learning Experience of our Learners, it is important to aligning training with the Company’s business objectives. In short, to design and implement a training strategy that can concretely support the company’s mission and business objectives.
Corporate’s business goals are the “compass” that allows for correctly orienting the training strategy, and therefore for strongly customizing the training content based on role, team, down to the individual…to the single Learner.
Wow! Correct, but this still isn’t enough. We’re only halfway through.
3. Anticipating input e feedback from Learners
Involving users – by promoting the ability to provide input and feedback on training provided and/or to be provided – is crucial.
We can say that this good practice is now consolidated in most companies, which therefore collect feedback from Learners and invite employees to provide input and guidance.
But there’s a problem.
Often these feedback and input remain in the drawer (it’s the Organizational Culture that eats strategy for breakfast).
The bar is too far shifted towards training aligned exclusively with company business goals
According to the recent research “Exploring the Learner Experience” conducted by Brandon Hall Group:
- less than 50% of the surveyed Companies have a training strategy that is also attentive to the professional goals of employees;
- only 1/3 of the Companies take into account the input and feedback of employees, to build training paths contextualized to their needs;
- Only 30% of the Companies provide employees with training that is also inclusive of personal and non-professional learning goals.
- over 68% of the Companies adopt a company training strategy that is aligned with company goals.
This is a clear sign of how Corporate Learning is not yet fully Learner-centric.
The scenario that emerges from this research is that of a company training certainly consistent with company and business goals, but still little attentive to the professional and personal training goals of employees.
But modern learning must consider both aspects.
In short: it’s essential to make company training consistent and contextual 360°, aligned with the business goals of the Company and the training needs of employees (professional and personal growth).
4. Answer is: Learning in the Flow Of Work
If as the Head of Training and Development of your Company you want to concretely embed the “training moment” in the “operational moment” (we talked about it here), it’s important to contextualize learning and ultimately put the Learner at the Center.
Collecting feedback and asking for input from employees helps to obtain useful information for customizing learning. Very true. But this information represents only part of the amount of data that companies – and therefore L&D Heads – can now use to customize employee training.
Data are everywhere
In the era of Digital Transformation, our employees expect to experience a more and more personalized and contextualized learning experience – exactly as happens when they access Netflix, Amazon or Spotify: where the content is increasingly personalized, contextual and consistent.
The Digital Transformation we are experiencing – which is magnificently improving the world of company training – provides L&D Heads with the opportunity to implement a learning embedded in the flow of work and able to respond “just in time” to the professional and personal learning needs of employees and to support company goals.
It’s precisely the opportunities offered by the Digital Transformation that – overturning all corporate paradigms – can contribute to evolving the organizational culture towards a Learning Culture.
Modern learning is Learner-centric!