In my last post, I kicked off a series meant to open a dialogue about the challenges with corporate learning technologies and what we can do to fix them. I received a lot of great response and feedback. There are clearly a lot of people who see the same challenges and are motivated to dig in and find some solutions.
Let’s first step back a bit and clearly define what the problem is…what’s really broken.
At mLevel, we’ve done a lot of research, worked closely with hundreds of clients, and collaborated with countless industry experts and feel the problem with current corporate learning technologies comes down to 3 main things…what we call the “3 E’s”:
Engaging – Pushing aside the marketing material, the stats don’t lie – the vast majority of learning available to employees isn’t used. Looking at the training that is used doesn’t make you feel any better. It’s almost always the lowest rated tool provided to employees. When you ask employees about it, they say that it’s boring and they do whatever they need to in order to get their “check” of completeness. Training today IS boring. Why would people want to use it? That needs to change. Learning needs to engage people. It needs to be enjoyable. People should want to use it.
Effective – Due in large part to the lack of engagement in learning, corporate learning today isn’t effective in actually helping people retain information and learn. Stats here are again dismal. Retention of learning after just a few weeks is almost zero. A lot of time and money spent to get almost nothing in return. And if people aren’t actually learning, then how can we expect any real change to occur in the business? How can we expect any change in business results? Learning needs to drive behavioral change to be effective. There is minimal evidence that current learning actually impacts that kind of change.
Easy – Learning needs to be easily accessible to users, but equally important, it needs to be quick and easy to design, build, publish, and refresh. The vast majority of learning technologies today require specialized skills, take months to build courses, and are extremely hard to refresh. That drives costs sky high and is completely at odds with the ever increasing pace of business. Companies are releasing new products and services and a faster clip than ever. Information changes instantly. Learning needs to be agile and keep pace with the business. What’s the point in learning something months after it’s happened?
These are the challenges that we focus on at mLevel everyday. Everything we do ties back to one or more of these. We believe that if these challenges are solved, corporate learning will be in a much, much better place. Our mission is to make that change and our vision is that it’s possible.
What do you think the problem is?