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What Exactly is Enterprise Learning?

Most of your life’s organizational learning happens at work. Think about it this way: Depending on your highest level of education, you may go to school for anywhere from 12 to 18 years. Then, let’s say you enter the workforce and continue to build on and master your skills until you retire another 40 years later.

That means you’ve spent more than twice the amount of time at work as you have at school. If you forego a formal education, you may spend even more of your time learning at work. Either way, you are participating in enterprise learning structures whether you know it or not.

But, what is enterprise learning? More than just the things we learn at work, enterprise learning is a comprehensive set of principles and strategies that teach information and support training across an organization. More than just teaching your team skills, enterprise education is about ensuring your team has the right skills.

The goal of enterprise education isn’t just to make learning accessible and impactful to employees. It also often involves providing customers, partners, and clients with the knowledge they need to thrive. 

Ultimately, initiating enterprise-wide learning should help an organization meet its goals and maintain a competitive edge. You achieve this by creating a learning framework that quickly integrates into your existing company structure and makes new information and training accessible.

How Do Successful Organizations Approach Enterprise Learning?

There is no single best approach for enterprise education. Instead, successful programs often use a learning management system that allows for significant customization and scalability for:

  • Storing and sharing information assets
  • Creating a corporate wiki or knowledge base
  • Developing courses and assessments
  • Delivering information and training in ways that work for all stakeholders

With that said, there are some common elements in nearly every successful enterprise learning initiative. To create a successful educational framework that benefits your organization, customers, and partners, think about your:

  • Company culture
  • Existing instructional content
  • People
  • Technologies
  • Processes and procedures

Without fully understanding these elements, you will find creating a truly holistic training program nearly impossible.

Why is Enterprise Learning Important?

Without an enterprise approach to training, people in an organization often take a passive approach to learning. Essentially, they learn when information becomes available to them. When teams do learn, it’s generally during formal training programs or when their work leads them to new information.

With enterprise education, the approach is different. Employees and others can access and use learning content proactively and independently. This approach creates a culture of learning and development where people can understand things outside of their primary duties or field. The challenge is in creating an environment that facilitates that.

To meet this challenge, organizations partner with learning platform providers to decentralize training and information. Companies give some of that power back to learners with things like personalized learning tracks and on-demand access to the resources they need. 

Enterprise Education Challenges and Roadblocks

Many businesses struggle to implement this kind of company-wide initiative fully. They often struggle because they lack the resources or technology to do so. As a result, companies end up with a piecemeal approach, where some elements of enterprise learning are implemented, in some business areas, some of the time.

Another issue is that enterprise learning programs sometimes forget to address how they align with the company’s overarching goals. Necessary components, such as goals, competencies, and assessments, are often missing.

What Is the ROI?

Enterprise learning gives individuals the power to create and pursue their career growth and development paths. Organizations communicate that they value their human resources enough to invest in that development by implementing this. 

When people in an organization believe their success is a priority, they are more likely to stick around. This feeling of security and appreciation leads to reduced turnover rates and lower hiring costs.

In addition to that, workers who can pursue training on their own and easily access the information they need to do their jobs will be more engaged. Independence translates into more innovation and better customer service.

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Principles of Enterprise Education

What does a successful, company-wide learning initiative look like? Here are some guiding principles:

Reframe training

Enterprise learning isn’t traditional training, nor does it throw traditional training out the window. Formal training programs have their place in a holistic training framework. 

What enterprise learning does is allow the organization to take that training and do more with it. For example, consider a comprehensive training course on customer support. That program might contain a wide range of videos, guides, infographics, best practices, checklists, and other course materials

All of this can be mined and made available to those who need help. Maybe some need refreshers in different areas of customer support or access to specific blocks of information on the topic without immersing themselves in a days-long training program. 

Use a data-driven strategy

There’s more to all of this than simply creating learning assets and providing access to them. Ultimately, the only successful learning strategy creates outcomes that benefit your organization, its people, and your customers. The only way to measure that is to generate and analyze data, then use that information to make improvements. 

You can collect the data in different ways, like formal and informal assessments, participation and interest numbers, and surveys. For example, if a set of training videos fails to receive much interest, they may not be as relevant as initially thought. This lack of interest might also indicate that there is a lack of awareness of the material.

Encourage a collaborative approach to learning

While educational materials are vital, they aren’t the most valuable learning asset in an organization. Instead, that asset is the people in the organization. That’s why a successful program must include processes and technologies that encourage communal problem-solving, information sharing, and collaboration. In many cases, the best approach is to integrate a learning platform with collaborative software, such as Slack.

This collaborative approach should also include sharing information across different business areas and organizational levels. Sharing helps you avoid creating information silos. Finally, enterprise learning initiatives must identify subject-matter experts and encourage them to share their knowledge.

A Platform for Building Enterprise Learning

Learning can be the center point of an organization’s growth and success. When you empower learners to gain information effectively and efficiently, you’ll see the positive results of enterprise education almost immediately. This kind of learning initiative aligns amazingly well with someone’s ability to quickly locate and consume information before finding ways to integrate that knowledge.

Ultimately, it’s up to organizational leadership to understand the best learning initiative for their team members. However, to create and implement a strategy that works, you need to have the proper infrastructure in place. 

That’s where Continu comes in. We offer more than just your average learning management platform, empowering teams to engage in training and create, track, and measure success. 

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