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What Did You Learn at Work Today?

The Powerful Advantages of a Learning Organization

by Emily Wilson | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 4

October 1, 2014

It has been proven that companies with a strong learning culture outperform their competition. So why aren’t more businesses taking advantage of this opportunity and providing education to their workers? Read this article to see how you can implement a two-pronged strategy that improves both the content delivered and the way employees consume it.

 

Millions of families spend time around the dinner table discussing what their children learned in school that day. The expectation is not the same for adults. Why do we assume that learning stops once we leave the classroom? 
 
Workers in all levels of a company seek information every day — whether they are looking for a new restaurant on Yelp or a handyman recommendation on Facebook. The truth is that in today’s fast-paced, global world, to stay ahead every organization must be a “learning organization.” 
 
According to Bersin by Deloitte, organizations with a strong learning culture are 46% more likely to be first to market, enjoy 37% greater employee productivity, and are 58% more prepared to meet future demand.1 Most important, they’re 17% more likely to be the market share leader. 
 
However, learning can be costly, training professionals are in short supply, and there is so much information on the internet that some organizations question the return on investment (ROI) for education initiatives. So how can organizations ensure that the courses they offer employees are aligned with their objectives, increase effectiveness, and ultimately demonstrate significant ROI? They need to demonstrate a two-pronged strategy that improves both the content delivered and the way the employees consume it.

Overhaul Content

Relying on limited content sources can yield content that is unable to cover all of the organization’s learning needs and is at risk of becoming obsolete. Today’s economics of learning are broken, as content creation costs have now jumped to $1,772 per hour of content.2 
 
Training departments are under pressure to make sure they effectively engage the workforce and drive performance. Organizations are incorporating new content sources, like massive open online courses (MOOCs) and interactive, game- and story-based formats in a wide variety of mobile and social environments.

Improve Learning Delivery

Learning opportunities should be accessible and visible to all types of learners. Going forward, content delivery will be more open and integrated, available on any device, anywhere, and at any time. Peer-to-peer training options will include in-person and online study groups and social networks. Content formatting and delivery options will be customizable by company choice, project-specific needs, and individual learning preferences.
 
To improve visibility and awareness, the learning discovery process will be much richer and all resources will be connected so that searches and social discovery can mine multiple sources with a single query. In many cases, search won’t be necessary, as learning recommendations will be pushed to users based on recent activity, job description, corporate events, or other triggers.

QuickGuides provides short how-to training for workers on the go. Learn about the SuccessFactors Learning Solution at http://bit.ly/SFLearning.

Figure 1 — QuickGuides enable users to create job aids with their PC or iPhone

SuccessFactors is committed to providing capabilities for learning professionals and employees to ensure that they continue to be lifelong learners and teachers, such as QuickGuides, which provides short how-to training for workers on the go (see Figure 1). Learn about the SuccessFactors Learning solutions at http://bit.ly/SFLearning.

1 Bersin by Deloitte, “Building the Borderless and Agile Workplace” (January 2012; http://marketing.bersin.com/rs/bersin/images/predictions2012_final.pdf). [back]

2 Association for Talent Development, “Workplace Learning Remains a Key Organizational Investment” (October 2013; www.astd.org/publications/magazines/td/td-archive/2013/11/workplace-learning-remains-a-key-organizational-investment). [back]

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Emily Wilson
Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson (emily.wilson@sap.com) is Director of Solutions Marketing for Learning at SuccessFactors. Emily works closely with organizations worldwide to learn how they are transforming the learning and development in their organizations.



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