Establishing a Habit of Learning

In 5 Steps

Establishing a Habit of Learning

5 Ideas for Supporting Employee Learning

to Empower Your Learners

5 Ideas for Supporting Employee Learning

6 Ways to Learn When Your Interests Are Always Changing

6 Ways to Learn When Your Interests Are Always Changing

Alan Walton is a data scientist at Degreed, but he didn’t start at Degreed with that job title.

Alan

Alan got a degree in math, with a minor in logic, and then landed his first job as a developer. Data science is currently one of the hottest jobs in America, but the term “data science” has only recently emerged. It was not a career that Alan had even heard of when he was in school. Like most millennials, Alan tried a few different jobs. His first job out of college was working for a startup where he wore a lot of hats. He worked on integrations, technical support, implementation, and technical writing. Alan started at Degreed as a developer, then worked as a product manager, and now a data scientist.

Alan’s career agility is enabled by his passion for learning. While in college, Alan’s quest for knowledge led him to learn speed reading. But, when walking through the university library one day, a quick calculation led him to realize that even when speed reading, it would still take him 200 years to read every book in the library. He knew he needed an alternative way to focus his learning.

Before Alan started working at Degreed, he stumbled upon Degreed online and became one of its first beta users in 2013. Alan has now accumulated nearly 40,000 points on his Degreed profile, which might make him the highest point earner in the entire Degreed platform. To give you some perspective, I have 12,000 points on my Degreed profile, which is more than most people on Degreed.

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When Alan first became interested in the data science role, he leveraged Degreed to make the transition. He created personal pathways in Degreed with resources from within the Degreed library, online resources, books, videos, and podcasts. He built pathways for data science in general with additional lessons focusing on sub-topics specific to the projects he was working on and the technical tools for his job.

Alan is a member of the data science group on Degreed, follows other data scientists, and follows the data scientist role so the popular articles, videos, and books his data science coworkers are reading plus the resources the organization recommends for this role show up in his Degreed learning feed, which he routinely takes advantage of.

Takeaways

Will Alan be a data scientist for the rest of his career? I doubt it. He says he’s really interested in AI. If you’re interested in gaining the same level of career agility as Alan, Degreed has the development tools to help.

  • Enroll in a pathway on the topic, create your own pathway, or clone an existing pathway and customize it for your needs.
  • Follow experts in the role you are interested in.
  • Join a group.
  • Follow the role, which will automatically link you to learning, pathways, groups, and experts.
  • Interested in learning more about data science? Follow Alan on Degreed or enroll in the Data Science pathway in Degreed.

Already a Degreed client and interested in initiating a targeted development plan at your organization based on roles and skills? For more information, contact your client experience partner at Degreed.

If you’re just getting started, check out get.degreed.com.

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As much as we would like to believe it, and as nice as it sounds, we don’t develop our people out of the goodness of our own hearts.  Businesses have important goals and a bottom line, and in order to hit those goals, they need to make money.  And if they don’t, shareholders, customers, and employees are all unhappy because the business will likely fail.

It might come as a surprise, but employee engagement is nearly as important as the bottom line. Research from Gallup ties engaged employees to better customer ratings, productivity, sales, and higher profitability. These organizations also saw significantly less turnover, shrinkage and absenteeism and quality defects.

But only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.

Enlightened CLOs, like Sarice Plate of Xilinx and Susie McNamara of General Mills, focus on both the development of skills needed to get the job done as well as engaging employees. “When employees are excited to learn, they feel more empowered, engaged and productive, and they become more valuable to the business,” said Sarice Plate, Head of Global Talent Aquisition at Xilinx, at a recent Bersin by Deloitte and Degreed-sponsored webinar.

But meeting both short-term needs for performance as well as the long-term needs for development requires thinking about things differently, and creating a new learning strategy – one that’s centered around the learner.

“The first and most important thing is that we are anchoring our talent development strategy to the same strategy we use as a company for everything we do, which is called consumer first,” shared Susie McNamara, Talent Development Leader of General Mills. “So everything that we’re doing, whether we’re trying to meet their short-term needs to ensure that they’re successful in their current role or whether we’re thinking more longer term and ensuring that their development needs more broadly, has the consumer at the center of everything.”

“In re-thinking our strategy, we decided we needed to create an environment that empowered our employees to drive their own development and their careers in a more effective way,” added Plate. “Our learning environment is now learner driven, where employees are able to identify pathways and specific personal development needs, they can consume learning in that timely fashion that best meets their learning style.”

What does putting the learner at the center mean for your software and tools? It means utilizing systems that support natural human behavior like collaboration, ease of use and personal accountability.

“We wanted to inspire our learners and we want our learners to inspire others.  So are allowing learners to start learning groups, to share, to collaborate. But we also needed learners to feel more aligned around our competencies with access to understanding how they can grow those competencies and make connections.”

In both cases, these leaders put learners in the driver’s seat. Want to know more about the Xilinx and General Mills learning strategies? Check out the on-demand webinar, “Let’s Get Digital,” now.

 

 

 

In an effort to continuously honor our commitment to delivering our clients the best experience possible, Degreed recently hired a new Vice President of Client Experience, David Verhaag.

david vHe will lead the post-sale teams including Client Engagement and Client Support. Prior to his employment with us, he partnered with Degreed for 8 months in an advisory capacity. During that time, he learned “first hand about this amazing company and the mission-driven team leading a transformation in the way we think about education. When the opportunity to consider the next step in my career came, joining the Degreed team was an obvious choice.”

He will become a regular contributor to the Degreed blog through the “field notes”  series, sharing both career and client lessons learned. Degreed is proud to have this strong addition to not only our organization but also our client success efforts. A round of applause for his debut:

Start with Why

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” The message is simple. Simon Sinek’s incredibly popular TED talk and framework is an important way of thinking about sales and marketing. Like many people, I love the simplicity and clarity of “Start with Why”. It makes immediate sense the first time you hear it. Until recently though I didn’t apply this thinking to my own career.

Following Simon’s model, from the outside in my career looks like the following: “I build and manage high-performing Customer Success teams. We deliver exceptional product adoption, industry-leading Net Promoter Scores and customer retention. Want to hire me?”

As Simon would say, “Meh…”

This time around, I reversed my thinking to the following: “I change the status quo. I lead customers and my teams to a new way of thinking and operating. I do this by building high performing Customer Success teams that challenge the old ways of learning and managing talent and we provide the partnership and expertise to drive change. We do this by driving production adoption with industry leading NPS and customer retention. Do you want to change the status quo?” That feels better.

Challenging that status quo in talent management has been a big idea for many years. It is the exciting opportunity I was looking for when I moved from my career from being the HR Guy to a focus on HR/Learning Tech and Customer Success. When I originally joined SuccessFactors in 2004, software as a service (SaaS) for HR and the digital performance review was still a relatively new idea. We moved customers from the status quo of paper-based performance management to the innovative idea of digital talent management and ultimately to the breakthrough of SaaS.

In 2013, I joined HireVue to challenge the status quo in recruitment by moving talent acquisition from expensive and time-consuming in-person interviews and sales training to video-based interactions and assessments. The result was millions of people connecting with career opportunities in a way that enabled them to have their story heard.

The idea at Degreed is even bigger! I could not be more excited to be a part of the Degreed team to work with our industry leading customers to challenge a legacy status quo that negatively impacts far too many people and organizations: learning as measured by the college degree.

What are some ways you have challenged the status quo? Let us know.

If we look at a traditional education or career path, they might seem quite linear. Your journey likely consisted of going to college, and you might have even known what you wanted to do, which lead to a certain career ladder, lasting decades within a company. The learning resources were in a classroom, training manuals, one-way disseminations of content being pushed to you. The technology was not as flexible or readily accessible.

Fast forward to today. The average career path is no longer linear and probably looks a lot like mine – horizontal, zig-zag, winding, inconsistent – but full of purpose.

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No matter your journey, each step in our learning and career journeys have a purpose in which we are consuming learning content, gaining skills, expanding our networks and going through applied learning experiences that land us in roles and careers that we are (hopefully!) passionate about.

While less prescribed, the new career journey does not come without a set of problems. As learning and training personnel, we are especially aware of the challenges a 60-year career presents and the need to support our workforce in continuous re-skilling.

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It’s probably good then that the amount of content out there is exploding at the same time as new skills are being required for jobs faster than ever before, movement within companies is shifting on a quarterly basis, and competition for talent is at an all-time high.

And that content is being utilized. Degreed found that 70% of workers learn from peers or by reading articles and blogs every week, and 53% learn from videos in any given week.

The explosion of both content informal learning opportunities presents new challenges: where are we seeing the skills we are acquiring? Will we be passed up on job opportunities because we can not show, prove or articulate what we know? The list goes on and on.

So how do we solve for this? How do we make this learning we do matter? How do we show what we are learning from all the articles we read, videos we watch, experiences we have?

Meet Degreed. The New Way of learning has been a challenge, but being able to discover, consume, track, share all my learning within Degreed has helped me and millions of others identify passions, career development pathways, and make sense of all the learning that is happening online and offline to define more of my career path.

We all have a learning journey like mine – all over the place – and Degreed helps make sense of that. We ALL are learning all the time, now it is time to get credit, create purpose and love what you are learning and doing on a daily basis.

Be a part of the new way starting today.

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Career development is more complex than it’s ever been. There’s no longer a straight ladder with prescribed steps. Employees are changing jobs at a record rate, and the change can now be lateral, diagonal, up or down, and jobs that require new skills are popping up all the time. 91% of Millennials expect to stay in their current job for 3 years or less, which means they will have 15-20 different jobs over the course of their career.

Here are three ways Degreed helps today’s workforce target their development across the roles, skills and learning they need for the jobs they currently have and want in the future.

  1. More relevant learning. Traditional approaches to development rely on conventional tools of the trade – things like classes, courses, and competencies, which are rarely reinforced, often forgotten or inconsistently applied. Which means lots of waste; 45% of L&D-led learning is wasted. All that wasted time, money and effort add up fast – more than $24m a year for every 10,000 employees for a typical Fortune 500 company [CEB]. To make learning more relevant, you need tools that target learning at the skill level. Degreed connects learning to skills, and skills to roles, giving individuals and organizations the ability to identify what skills they have, what skills they need, and the pathway to bridge the two.
  2. More self-directed learning and coaching. By a 3.5 to 1 margin, people tell us they believe their own self-directed learning is more effective in helping them be successful at work than the training provided by their employers. Degreed connects all the best learning experiences, both internal corporate resources and the world’s largest collection of professional learning content – making it easier than ever to promote a self-directed learning and a learning culture. In addition to self-directed learning, Degreed facilitates the touch points between managers and employees so conversations around development can happen more easily.
  3. More options to enable the lattice approach to career development. Gone are the days of the corporate ladder. Ladder careers had one direction of growth. The lattice career path moves laterally, diagonally and down as well as up. Skills are relevant and common to many job roles, in ways that are not always linear or obvious to the individual, and to the organization. By tracking at the skill level, individuals are able to see career progressions based on the skills they are strongest in and map those to the roles they are also qualified for. Degreed can help employees understand the pieces of parts of the role, help to educate people on what skills are needed for specific roles and then provide them the learning they need to achieve those skills.

Takeaway

When you search in Degreed for a topic like “leadership”, you’ll not only get connected to content like articles but also specific pathways, job roles, and groups where those skills are relevant. You’ll also be able to follow people who have accumulated expertise in those skills and browse providers with content that’s been tagged as relevant. Clicking on roles, like “new manager”, for example, will highlight specific pathways, mentors, and content and related to those roles.

Degreed is a professional development platform that helps organizations and people target learning at their skills gaps — however and wherever they build those skills. Degreed integrates everything your people need to build their skills – internal and external systems, content and experts, including the world’s largest collection of free and low-cost open learning resources – so it can all work better together. Your team can curate, personalize and measure it all. And they can discover, share and track all learning happening across the organization, all in one place.

Interested in practicing a more targeted development plan at your organization based on roles and skills? For more information, contact Degreed.

Digital technology has drastically changed the way we learn and consume content. We gravitate towards solutions that are quick and easy, and as a result, informal options – social and on-demand learning – account for the bulk of workers’ development.

The most advanced L&D teams are embracing the trend towards informal, collaborative and social. According to the latest Bersin Corporate Learning Factbook, the best L&D organizations deliver significantly more on-demand resources like articles, videos and books, and up to 20% fewer hours via formal training (ILT, vILT, e-learning).

The general lack of insight into informal learning activities has many L&D leaders asking “How do I know employees are spending time on the right things?”

“We have to start trusting the learner. They know what they need and when they need it, and they’re going to find it,” suggested Jason Hathaway, Director, Content & Learning Solutions at CrossKnowledge.

But truly measuring the value of informal learning can be tricky. At Degreed, we believe in the bigger picture and recommend optimizing for utility and outcomes by asking ”Is the learning people are doing helping them become better at their jobs?”

How can you get an accurate measurement of how informal learning is working when results are not instant and much of the learning people do is happening outside of your company’s LMS?

Let’s say, for example, a salesperson spends lots of time watching product videos and reading about selling techniques. Certain tools allow you to capture data on the use of learning resources, but what you, as the manager or learning leader don’t know is if they are applying those ideas in practice.

So you look to their behavior and results. Are they setting more appointments? Are they closing deals faster? Are they closing bigger deals? Are their customers more satisfied? This is data you might be able to find in CRMs, ERP systems – maybe even in the talent management systems. But the one place you will definitely be able to see results (or not)? Observation.

True learning program success means observable behavior change. It’s a different way to think about ROI, but it’s a KPI’s that really matters.

Additionally, you can focus on the experiences you’re facilitating. “You can’t control what people do, but you can control the environment you provide them. Give learners easy access the best resources, including other peers, ” suggested Todd Tauber, VP of Product Marketing at Degreed.

Most workplace learning infrastructure doesn’t really work for today’s workers, partly because the current systems are built primarily for structured, formal training. But the key to empowering your learners and increasing engagement is recognizing, facilitating and measuring what’s happening in-between those formal learning settings – all of the informal learning that is happening whether it be reading an article, a conversation with a mentor or peer, attending an event, or taking a course.

Ready to start measuring your informal learning experiences? Create your Degreed profile today!

Once you’ve determined your organization needs a new tool or technology, how do you build the business and investment cases to show leadership the clear path towards the changes that need to occur?

Dani Johnson, VP of Research at Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting, recently spoke with 3 learning leaders from Disney, AT&T, and Airbnb to learn more about their individual journeys with technology.

Those on the journey to finding or implementing new tools and platforms likely have one thing in common: the current solution isn’t working.

We had a traditional learning management system that was written for one context and one moment in time, so it was very, very clear that it wasn’t working. We addressed it, which tied to a strategy that reevaluated some of our larger HR investments, including learning,” revealed Chris Trout, VP of L&D at the Walt Disney Company.

While larger organizations might have the bandwidth and budget to be flexible and try multiple solutions, sometimes it’s best to start fresh. Such is the strategy behind the learning success at Airbnb: ”We took a bold move to ‘divest’ rather than invest first, to turn off a lot of the learning infrastructure that was already there in order to almost start from a baseline,” explained Barry Murphy, head of Global Learning at Airbnb.

Of course, it’s not that easy for every organization.

For a monolithic-type project of large scale, Amy Rouse, former learning leader at AT&T, knew she had to find a way to streamline numerous disparate platforms and get rid of old technology to make room for what they needed.

AmyRouse

“Our business cases were not easy, but they’re a necessity. We wanted to create a personal learning environment, but you’ve got to prove why you want the business to invest a lot of money into something new or better. So we identified what could be eliminated from our learning architecture, what we could eventually sunset including the LMS, and by when,” said Rouse. “This timeline strategy informed how turning off old investments would offset the costs of the new technology. This helped other leaders in the organization see the true cost of staying with old technology, and the benefits of transitioning to new solutions that better suited the business case.”

The one thing all 3 organizations had in common? Starting with a vision.

“We looked in a few places, including how technology was happening at the time, how HR and learning technology was happening and knew we wanted to pursue a technology that was going to help us get to that vision,” said Trout.

Airbnb started working against their vision of a learning ecosystem, in search of the technology that could do what they wanted.

“Being able to explain the vision to stakeholders is probably one of the most important things associated with making that business case,” added Johnson.

Here’s how you can start to build your business case:

  1. Start with a vision and keep the “end” in mind. Many organizations get caught up in having the latest and greatest technology. Instead, choose what will help you achieve your long-term vision.
  2. Create a timeline. This can include when you’ll turn off old technologies when you can scale up the new technology, or important events in the business that will require the use of the new technology.
  3. Divest before you invest. Know what isn’t working, get rid of the tools and platforms that are not producing ROI, and then re-allocate those resources to things that do.

What are some ways you have made the case for implementing a new technology at your organization? Let us know in the comments.

Want to know what else the presenters talked about? Access the full webinar through Degreed here.

Among consumer websites, Facebook is king when it comes to personalization. Stories and posts appear in the Facebook feed based on an algorithm that hides and promotes stories for each user based on their interests. Users can influence this algorithm by updating their settings and by “liking” content they want to see or choosing to hide content they don’t.

This feed, and the algorithm that populates it has a huge effect on the Facebook experience. If you’ve ever unknowingly been sucked into Facebook, you can appreciate its power.

Degreed believes in the power of personalization. Engaging, personalized enterprise applications that employees use because they want to- and not because they have to, are the future.

Degreed has a personalized feed for learning content designed to target the development of each individual user. With the explosion of content, it’s getting harder than ever to weed through the noise to find the specific content you need, when you need it. The most efficient way to target someone’s development is to use technology to automate the delivery of content to each individual.

Based on user experience research and interviews, Degreed, like Facebook, continually improves its feed and algorithm. We are constantly looking at engagement and usage statistics and researching what hooks users to keep them coming back.

We’ve been refining and simplifying the user experience to make it easier for users to find relevant content they want and need to target their personal development. A year ago, action points were spread around the system. Now they are more centralized, simplifying the user experience.

What you’ll see today when you log into Degreed is one place to find all the learning you’re interested in. Based on our user research, we’ve found that more items in the feed lead to greater engagement with the content, so now you’ll see a longer list of items. If you don’t like the suggestions at the top of your list, more learning content is just a scroll away. Dismiss any item that isn’t relevant.

The Degreed feed includes system-generated recommendations from any source, in a variety of formats including articles, videos, books, and courses. You’ll see content that has been recommended by peers and managers, popular items from your network, roles you are following, content from pathways you’re enrolled in, and items you’ve saved for later.

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The learning feed gets smarter the more you interact with it. Users can continue to personalize and influence the recommendations by using features in Degreed such as:

  • Adding your learning interests and career goals to your Degreed profile.
  • Enrolling in learning Pathways – focused on topics or skills you want to develop.
  • Joining groups of people with similar learning interests.
  • Saving learning items for later.
  • Following people.

Organizations can influence these recommendations as well by:

  • Adding content to your content management system.
  • Selecting preferred providers for your organization.
  • Customizing pathways for your organization and auto-enrolling employees in pathways.
  • Adding roles and skills specific to your organization.

Takeaways

Most L&D leaders want to use data to improve and personalize learning in their organization. Degreed provides the tools to make this possible.

Content is everywhere, but finding and delivering the right content at the moment of need for each individual is impossible to do on your own. Let Degreed do the work of finding and delivering all the relevant content so you can target the development for each employee.

To learn more about Degreed visit get.degreed.com.

 

 

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Mobile devices now account for nearly 2 of every 3 minutes spent online, and 72% of workers say they do at least some of their learning on a smartphone or tablet [Degreed, How the Workforce Learns].

This is good news for organizations who are making the most of this trend. Degreed has recently released substantial improvements to its mobile app, bringing the native iOS and Android experience more in-line with the functionality of Degreed’s web application – making it even easier for L&D to make learning an everyday habit.

Here are 5 reasons to get excited about the Degreed mobile app.

  1. Get credit for everything you learn while on the go

This is one of my favorite things about the Degreed mobile app. As soon as you install the Degreed app, you can get credit for what you’re learning from other apps, like online videos and articles, and podcasts you listen to. Simply share these items with the Degreed app to get credit, save the item for later, or recommend it to someone else.

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  1. Full search and browse

Run a full search of your organization’s internal catalog or search Degreed’s library of 3m+ external resources – both from inside the mobile app.

  1. Complete profile available

You can get the complete profile view for your own profile or see others’ profiles from the mobile app. You can see items you completed or the completed items of those you follow. You can also modify your learning interests to further personalize the experience in Degreed.

  1. Organization branding

You can now customize both the Degreed site and the mobile app for your organization.

  1. Notifications to stay informed

The Degreed mobile app supports push notifications for recommendations, which can be configured by the user. Push notifications will appear even when the app is closed.

Takeaway

Nowadays, having a mobile-enabled learning solution is critical. Check out the Degreed mobile app for IOS or Android, or get the mobile experience by just loading the Degreed site from any device, and start getting credit for everything you learn, no matter where or how you learn it.

 

 

Spending a lot of time with organizations, at conferences, and reading industry research and blogs, I see the phrases “out of sync” and “learning revolution” being thrown around a lot in reference to the current state of corporate learning. There might be some truth to those words – only 18% told Degreed they would recommend their employers’ training and development opportunities.

But a more accurate statement is that there is a massive shift happening in the way people are learning in their jobs.

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The fact is, most workers do spend time learning every week, and they progress every day, in all kinds of ways – not just sometimes, in courses or classrooms. This means that the L&D environment should enable self-directed development as well as formal training – and it should do that through both micro and macro-learning. Equally as important, we as L&D leaders, have to make the vast array of learning content and experiences more meaningful by curating the right resources and tools, providing context, and by engineering useful connections and interactions.

We call this a learning ecosystem. We are in an exciting time where technology, the gig economy, the vast demographics of our workforce have given us the opportunity to rethink our approach and the possibilities! So what does a culture of continuous learning that includes formal and informal, job training and career development, L&D and self-service, look like?

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You need a comprehensive ecosystem of systems and tools that include the following capabilities:

  • curate many different types of content
  • Allow learners to explore indefinitely
  • Aggregate data from all over the organization without manual work into one tool
  • Dashboards to monitor activity deeper than completions
  • Analysis without spreadsheets or data scientist

Perhaps most importantly, embrace APIs, and standards compliance using Tin Can/Experience to ensure that all of your tools will plug in together.

There is also no one-size-fits-all for tools, but platforms like Degreed and Bridge help facilitate L&D’s expanding requirements through their support of required, recommended and self-directed talent development, allowing organizations to meet the needs of a changing workforce.

Learning and development opportunities are a critical factor in making employee engagement (and more importantly, performance) happen. Today, people expect utility, relevance, and personalization, and you create that through a comprehensive learning ecosystem.

Want to know more about the Degreed and Bridge ecosystem? Check out the PR on their new integration.

Co-authors: Sarah Danzl – Communications & Content Marketing, Degreed & Katie Bradford – Director of Platform & Partner Marketing, Instructure

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