Employees work hard, long hours, week over week, yet 70 percent of employees feel disengaged. It’s very clear that employees want to continuously learn and seek opportunities for development and growth. Therefore, in addition to recommending MOOCs (Massive Online Open Course) and sending employees to industry conferences, companies are creating internal learning databases.
These learning databases are the culmination of knowledge inside a company. When an employee or a member of the C-suite gives a presentation, it’s recorded and saved in the database. When a new training document pertaining to a specific skill is created, it’s saved and archived.
Here are six ways learning databases provide value to the company and its employees:
- Provide anywhere, anytime access to resources. “Recording a past training session (be it a webinar, a live talk etc.) and posting it to our learning portal enables employees to access the content at their leisure,” says Jeff Miller, manager of learning and development at Cornerstone.
- Foster the confidence and flexibility to expand skill sets. With the flexibility and control to push boundaries either by sharing a skill or learning a new one, employees are encouraged to be change agents, or what innovation expert John Seely Brown calls “edge dwellers.”
- Let the youngsters teach the veterans. Keeping a fresh, updated learning database requires constantly leveraging the knowledge of new and old employees. When employees are put on the same pedestal regardless of their tenure at the company, a true learning culture is created.
- Build an employee’s development curriculum. Managers can assign a group of new employees a set of learning resources or can select specific resources for an individual employee that needs development in a particular skill.
- Break down information silos between teams. Often the expertise that employees are looking for is available from an employee a desk or two over, yet knowledge of those skills isn’t transparent. Let employees voice their areas of expertise and be the leaders of learning opportunities.
- Learn what resources are most loved. With training resources on the company’s internal database, the company can monitor which topics and sessions employees are most interested in and tailor future content in that direction.
While external resources can provide additional value that may not be available within the organization, many organizations neglect one of the most valuable and accessible sources of knowledge – internal talent. Learning databases and infrastructures that offer multi-media data sharing from internal talents, content archiving, direct connection between individuals and workgroup setting features are foundations to evolve to the future learning trends that embrace social, crowd-sourcing and gamification.