Companies and digital learning

Companies and digital learning

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A Deloitte report from 2016 shows that one of the most important source of competitive advantage for a company is their corporate learning strategy. Companies are currently developing innovative types of learning platforms, and their new aim is to drive employees towards the road of self-driven learning.

Technology is advancing, and digital and mobile are conquering today’s tendencies. The new idea in learning is to give employees every possible tool to teach themselves. Mobile, social, and web-based platforms can help delivering on-demand learning content. The best systems can easily integrate any type of digital content and allow learners, as well as professionals and business managers, to add and suggest content. Tools like Google, YouTube, Workplace by Facebook, Slack, and others have totally changed the learning landscape, so now it is all about delivering learning to the place where people are.

These tools are reinventing the digital experience of learning at work. They include integrated tools for content discovery, communication, messaging, and AI-based intelligent access to content.
Money and ideas are pouring into this sector and investment is directed at tools to harness video, new mobile learning apps, and an explosion of content marketplaces. Employees are like customers: they need to be satisfied.

Learning is becoming an employee-centric process, where the people are at the real center of the mechanism. Traditional learning management system companies are rapidly evolving in their ability to deliver a modern experiences for learners, where employees are helped to “learn how to learn”. 

Defining a new and up-to-date is time saving and enhances productivity. Many organizations are struggling in order to keep up with the changes and the challenges, while others are seizing the possibility to promote a new culture in terms of learning, twisting the traditional models of how employees have always been trained. These organizations are adopting new mind-sets, fundamentally rethinking what “learning” and “development” mean in the context of their business.

Best practices

At learning is highly considered. Their core idea is that if employees are encouraged to learn, also their performance and the way they serve customers will improve. Their method of learning can be defined explorative approach, which also means team members are mentored one-to-one, with managers tailoring next steps to suit both personal goals and business objectives.

At Dropbox they are not for boundaries: they firmly believe people give their best in a creative and free environment. They always encourage employees to grow and learn, by giving them many chances to do it, like the Hack Week, which allows everyone to return to their roots by poking around code or pursuing a professional interest. This system makes learning less frightening, creating an open environment and generating inspiring solutions for employees and the office itself. Many parts of Dropbox  we all use (Dropbox for Business, read-only shared folders, Recents, and file requests) were actually born from Hack Week projects.

Unilever is the company behind brands, like Dove, Lipton, or Ben & Jerry’s. One of the benefits that Unilever employees appreciate the most is the company’s generous Tuition Reimbursement Program, which gives the chance to team members to broaden their skills and gather new knowledge: people have studied a long list of disciplines, like management, entrepreneurship, and business.

At Philips, leading health tech company, employees are provided with a large degree of independence, and that includes stepping out of their comfort zones and roles. Philips actively encourage every team member to feel supported in learning, and they do this by sending people abroad, making them travel and work on specific challenges with different groups of people. This is the scenario where the learning really happens.

Philips Lighting believes in helping employees to grow as professionals. Whether it’s pursuing an MBA or attending technical workshops , there’s always an opportunity to increase their knowledge. The company supports employees’ professional development through initiatives like Philips Lighting University, which helps employees build expertise with real-time learning. There’s also on-the-job and in-the-field training every single day.

Airbnb shows how much it cares for employees development through Fireside Chats: these internal events bring in industry leaders who share their insights on a certain topic. Managers, musicians, artists, all those who have something to say are valuable and precious to listen to. In 2016 the company also created  a new program, Airbnb Connect, intended to improve pathways to careers in engineering and data science for people seeking for a transition into tech. Airbnb Connect makes it possible for experienced professionals selected from a variety of disciplines to spend six months learning the skills needed to transition to the tech industry.

At Etsy is possible to attend the Etsy School, where employees teach and learn in classes on a wide range of topics, from tap dancing to how to navigate a difficult conversation. The Etsy Learning and Development team helps people find a focus for their career development. While some of the classes are traditionally corporate, like building your own mobile app, others teach how to connect with the Etsy community by building a traditional craft.

Learning creates value, and for a company value means success and productivity. There are many new ways of learning in this digital era, and there are no excuses to avoid the change. With the help of technology, it has become possible for companies to provide a right amount of learning that can help employees achieve more and more in their daily activities. The important is never to forget that employees are the cornerstone and center of the entire process, the key players of the revolution.


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