In the past, employees learned to gain skills for a career; now, the career itself is a journey of learning.
The “Concept of Learning” is changing
As companies build the organization of the future, continuous learning is critical for business success. For today’s digital organizations, the new rules call for a learning and development organization that can deliver learning that is always on and always available over mobile platforms.
Leading companies are embracing continuous learning delivered digitally. GE created Brilliant U—an online learning platform that features video sharing and offers employee-driven learning across the enterprise. In year one, more than 30 percent of GE employees developed content and shared it with their peers.
Only a decade ago, companies were content to build virtual universities and online course catalogues. Today, we see the learning function as a highly strategic business area that focuses on innovation and leadership development by delivering a world-class learning experience, promoting lifetime learning for longer careers, and bringing multifunctional teams together to connect and collaborate.
The goal is a learning environment adapted to a world of increased employee mobility. Interdisciplinary skills development is critical because these capabilities align with the organizational shift to networks of teams. Learning should encourage, and even push, people to move across jobs.
Today, as companies operate as a network of teams, careers and learning are strategic, and companies are shifting from “jobs to work” in their operations, the need to align goals, provide feedback, and coach for performance is real-time, continuous, and multidirectional. In addition, several organizational changes have made developing a more agile process important:
- Employees want more regular feedback. Informed by their experiences in social media, people want to get and give feedback regularly.
- Employees and organizations expect continuous learning. New performance management practices (and tools) facilitate regular discussions about capabilities and skills, helping employees learn where to focus and what learning to adopt. New learning solutions are creating an “always-on” learning environment to support this need.
- A critical goal in PM experimentation is to devise ways to align it more closely with business outcomes. As organizations become more team-centric, PM is also beginning to shift from focusing just on an employee’s individual achievements to evaluating evaluating her contribution to a team and the team’s impact on driving overall business goals.
Ratings are still widely used, though often with qualitative measures instead of numbers. However, today’s new practices look at performance curves and ratings based on richer data, using input from many sources, and in the context of a continuous discussion about things that happened all year—rather than delivering a simple “end-of-year report” that often loses sight of all the things that happen over that 12-month time period.
How Flourister can support this journey
Flourister helps accelerate the development of employees through carefully orchestrated on-/near-the-job learning and reflecting experiences. Learning journeys can easily be linked to strategic business goals, following the CEO’s agenda convincingly.