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

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.

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“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

Today’s workforce operates at unprecedented levels, with technology and an increasingly diverse workforce constantly reshaping the world of work. The changes affect multiple facets of the business, right down to people operations. The shifts experienced by L&D are so great that HR expert Jeanne C. Meister suggests that the conventional wisdom about work and the role of HR departments has become obsolete.

Todd Tauber, VP of Product Marketing at Degreed, recently caught up with Jeanne for a Q&A on the future of work and what our always-on economy means for the way organizations view learning.

Todd: You’ve recently written about the idea of “the serial learner” — what we at Degreed call “the career-long learner”. Can you explain what that means, exactly?

Jeanne: Serial learning is a term I coined in “The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules In Mastering Disruption In Recruiting and Engaging Employees” book to imply the need for continuous learning on the part of employees.

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As I noted in The Future Workplace Experience, serial learners possess some of the same qualities as serial entrepreneurs. They are intellectually curious, not satisfied with business as usual, always reaching beyond their current role to learn something new, making connections out of seemingly unrelated topics and seeking out different networks to continuously learn. I think the same concept applies to learners today. This concept is gaining importance as the half life of knowledge is doubling every 2.5 years across all jobs not just technical ones.

Todd: You’ve also said being a serial learner is becoming crucial for career growth. And we’re seeing echoes of that in lots of other places. Why is this idea suddenly taking hold?

Jeanne: I believe the reason serial learning is so key for ongoing career growth is the rate and pace of change in every industry have accelerated. Consider that 52% of the FORTUNE 500 organizations have merged, been acquired or gone bankrupt since 2000. Those companies that are still on the FORTUNE 500 list are responding to change by becoming what I termed in the book, “learning machines.” They are creating a culture of continuous learning and they are also quite transparent about the need for serial learning.

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Consider the CEO of AT&T, Randall Stephenson challenged AT&T employees with this: “If you don’t develop new skills, you won’t be fired but you won’t have much of a career at AT&T. For the company to survive, AT&T employees should be spending between 5-10 hours a week learning online on their own time, to avoid technological unemployment.” Sound harsh? It’s an honest assessment in the case of AT&T and the question for all of us is will we see more CEO’s putting out these types of challenges to their employees.

Todd: How does all this affect corporate training and talent development leaders? How are you seeing chief learning officers and CHROs adapt to this new normal …their people, their processes, their tools, and technology?

Jeanne: I am seeing a sea of change in how companies are dealing with disruption as the new normal in corporate learning. First and importantly, there is the changing composition of team members in corporate learning. When I was conducting interviews for The Future Workplace Experience, I saw a number of new roles in corporate learning, such as Learning Experience Manager, Curator, Employee Community Manager and head of People Analytics. These new roles speak to a new direction for corporate learning – one that is data driven, while taking into consideration the need to craft a new experience for learners, one that is personalized, anticipates their learning needs and is relevant to the strategies priorities of the business.

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The processes and technologies are also changing, Processes no longer start with ensuring efficiency and standardization in Corporate Learning, but now routinely take into account the needs and expectations of learners. A growing number of companies are employing design thinking to create a human-centered approach to learning and one that starts with understanding the needs of the learner rather than the Corporate Learning function. Finally, I am seeing growing interest in technologies which aggregate all of the learning an employee participates in not just the company sponsored learning. In addition to technologies that curate learning, I am also seeing more companies integrate adaptive learning allowing employees to learn at their own pace and participate in learning will best suit their needs.

Todd: So how does all this fit into the overall employee experience …or as you call it, Jeanne, the future workplace experience? What’s career-long (or serial) learning’s role in the bigger picture?

Jeanne: The overall workplace experience is one that mirrors the best experience a company creates for its customers. I like to challenge my Corporate Learning clients to think of their best customer experience, and then ask them to describe their emotions. Many share emotions such as happiness, joy, delight and surprise as they recount a particularly memorable customer experience. Well, that’s what companies are seeking as they create a compelling workplace experience for their employees.

Interested in learning more about serial learning? Join us at a Degreed: Focus event near you:

Jeanne is Partner at Future Workplace and co-author of The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules For Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees

 

 

Let’s get uncomfortably honest for a minute. CEOs are concerned about business results. They are paid to drive shareholder value, which is a function of three things: revenue growth, company profitability, and how efficiently an organization uses their assets.

Historically, that mentality has pervaded the way organizations value learning and how they invest. Most L&D organizations have been built for scalability, efficiency, and standardization.

Technology for most L&D teams is a way to deliver more, at a lower cost, with more consistency. The problem with that mentality is our learners aren’t one size fits all, or even one size fits most. It’s no surprise then that only 18% of employees would recommend their organizations training and development opportunities.

What this tells us is that the focus on efficiency, not engagement, doesn’t bode well in the workforce. The good news is that some organizations, like Caterpillar, are breaking the mold.

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If you go to industry events or keep up on articles and blogs in the learning space, you’re probably seeing increased conversation about engagement, and a whole new crop of tools popping up that are the result of solving the learning problems of today. While great resources, the most valuable information comes from those that have embraced the digital revolution, and are leading the charge to better the employee development experience.

Caterpillar’s Mike Miller, Division Manager of Global Dealer Learning, was interviewed by Todd Tauber of Degreed on his evolving approach to L&D and training. Here are some of our favorite excerpts from the conversations.

Todd: Caterpillar seems to be aiming for more of a balance between efficiency and flexibility in learning. How are your strategies and approaches for developing capabilities in your workforce shifting?

Mike: To be honest with you, Caterpillar has never really lost the focus that people are our competitive advantage. The big change that we have going forward and the shift that you’re seeing in our strategy is less of a one-way conversation where we put out packages to one that’s community-led.

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With a community-led strategy, we have turned on solutions and content that allows everybody to contribute, and so by having the population rather than a handful of people working on learning, we are able to obtain organization capabilities far easier because we have well over 300,000 people contributing.

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Todd: How’s Caterpillar rebalancing the people, the time, the money, so that you can manage less and empower more?

Mike: There are still formal programs at Caterpillar. But people were looking for the next step: what is past the formal program? We’ve moved to a three-tier approach on our content. It includes making all of our content easily accessible on our mobile phones. And then we want to have onsite support, meaning at the time you have a question and/or an issue, we really can help you solve that, right? And last, where we need to, we’ll still do instructor-led training because there are places we still need to do certification or accreditations.

If you look at these components, we’re really trying to do put an ecosystem together that allows people to contribute and consume on demand as they need to.

Looking to empower your workforce to consume content on demand like Caterpillar? Set up your Degreed profile today!

Organizations spend billions each year on formal training programs. Yet it’s estimated that only about 10% of what is learned in training is applied at work. This is likely a concerning statistic, but probably not all that surprising, considering learner behavior today.

Formal, L&D-led training is still a valuable part of how workers learn – around 70% of people told Degreed they take live, virtual or e-learning courses from their employers at least once a year. But these same people use informal, self-serve learning experiences to support their growth on a daily basis. According to Degreed research, 85% of workers said they learn things for work on a weekly basis by searching online, nearly 70% learn from peers or by reading articles and blogs and 53% learn from videos.

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This data makes it clear that people progress every day, from a variety of resources.  The same survey told us they already invest 3.3 hours a week on their own. But a source that’s accessed once a year versus a source that’s accessed daily tell us people want more than what they can find in the typical L&D course catalog, though.

As demand from the workforce grows, making learning easy, accessible, personalized is only going to get more important. And not just important enough to keep workers happy. So important that it will be the difference in retaining employees.  As Josh Bersin put it at Degreed Lens, opportunity has become directly correlated to employee engagement and tenure within organizations.

So what can the enterprise do about it? Prioritizing growth, development, and learning will create a culture that positions both the company and its employees for success.

There are many ways to emphasize learning as a central strategy but here are four that can take you to the next level and make learning a strategic advantage.

“Mastercard had a vision – to create the most innovative and enviable learning environment for current and future employees. We activate this strategy through three simple goals: growing skills, diversifying learning modalities and building a world-class learning infrastructure,” said Steve Boucher,  Vice President, Global Talent Development for Operations & Technology at Mastercard.

So how does a global $9 billion organization prove their investment in each of the 13,000+ employees, spread across more than 37 offices around the world?

By creating a learning culture, facilitating continuous personal and professional learning experiences for their workforce.

From a technology standpoint, Mastercard implemented an enterprise-wide learning tool, Degreed at Mastercard, where employees can discover, curate, share and track both internal and external learning resources on thousands of topics in a wide variety of formats.

The Talent Development team saw savings in curriculum and content development time, but the bigger success was an increase in employee engagement. Employees were growing their skills at will, contributing to organizational innovation, allowing Mastercard to remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry.

We are proud to be a part of the Mastercard learning journey, and congratulate them on their recent “Best Corporate University Program” award from HR.com.

To find out the 3 things Mastercard did to fuel a continuous learning culture, check out their case study.

 

 

Think about all the times you have launched a new program, tool or initiative in your organization. All the hype, excitement, planning, preparation, team members involvement, etc. Your launch comes and goes, but then what? How do you keep the hype going?

You have one major advantage straight out of the gate – your team is ALWAYS learning! In fact, they spend 4 hours a week on average on learning activities.

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Encourage them to keep going with our top 3 suggestions for increasing engagement after the launch of a new tool.

  1. A great way to keep your workforce engaged is by providing or facilitating  what they need to be continuously learning for personal and professional growth. Consider your day and how you learn and consume content. It’s likely you are reading articles, watching videos, listening to a podcast or audiobook during the commute to work, attending professional events, talking with peers or mentors…The list goes on and on. While potentially outside the scope of what our formal training programs might consider learning, all of this informal growth matters and counts. So…
  2. Keep your learners engaged by celebrating ALL learning and encourage them to participate in the organization’s offerings  by serving them up content that’s relevant to the individual, personalized, and matches how they are learning through different sources.
  1. Better support career development by creating a needs assessment within your organization.  Knowing what is being searched, learned or asked about amongst your team and learning technologies will allow you to better deliver  content that’s relevant to what will have the most impact for your learners.

Research tells us your workers are invested in their personal growth, so much so that they already spend $339 a year on it. To continue driving hype and excitement even after the launch, your best approach is meeting your learners where they are with what they want to learn!

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You are creating change and we thank you.

To find out more of what your workforce learned in 2017, check out the Year in Review. What will you and your team learn in 2017?

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