by Crystal Kadakia
18 Jun 2019
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How AI gets employees hooked on learning
There are two reasons why people learn: 1) because they are told to and 2) because they choose to. Historically, learning and development teams have been focused on delivering the former. The highest priorities tend to be those that mitigate the biggest business risks: compliance, performance, leadership, management, and general onboarding. It’s all about telling people what they need to know to be most successful in their jobs and when and where they can get that training.
Now, it’s time to retool how we train employees. In addition to being company-centric— delivering what needs to be known (i.e. company priorities)—it’s time to take on an employee-centric approach, delivering content that your employees truly want to know more about. As a starting point, a good part of this involves creating a company culture that celebrates learning for everyone, all the time.
Simply creating a learning and development library isn’t enough. Despite the advances on public search engines like Google and Bing, searching internal training repositories can be frustrating. In a world of Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube, personalized is not just a perk, it decreases the time to learn. That’s where AI can help. Artificial intelligence can create an experience that feeds people’s intrinsic need to grow in an ongoing way. Here are a few ways to go about it:
Suggested for You: “The Alice in Wonderland Effect”
Do you start a brand-new search from scratch every time you look for news, information, entertainment, and more? For example, when you’re looking to watch something new on TV, do you start by searching Netflix’s entire library for a particular movie or series? Or do you first start with what’s been suggested to you and then continue your content-seeking journey from there? This is essentially how AI functions in the context of learning: it recognizes other videos or courses that might be relevant to you and surfaces them organically to pique your interest. AI also helps bring diverse perspectives up, front and center to encourage a deeper dive into particular topics or skills most important to your employees.
The more you can create the environment for curiosity, the better off both employee and company will be. A learning management system (LMS) with suggested learning matches the experience your people (especially millennials) are having in the real world and have come to expect. Falling down the “recommended” rabbit hole isn’t just for cute cat videos, it can take employee learning to the next level within your company.
My Learning Playlist: Leveraging Front Line Curation
There’s something that only other BTS fans understand: what other songs I might vibe with. On apps like Spotify, users create playlists based on moods, events, genres, and other artists. The same can be done for learning and development libraries with the help of AI. Learning “playlists” allow employees to categorize and even share the training content that’s been most useful for them in closing a particular skills gap. Learning playlists enable workers to learn in a personalized way. A modern Learning management system can now offer the ability for employees to create learning playlists for themselves that can also be shared with co-workers looking for the same kind of training.
Let’s face it: there is an incredible amount of information out there. With the ongoing demographic transition from Boomers to Millennials, there is more knowledge to be transferred than can be organized into curricula for classroom and e-learnings by learning & development. That’s why putting the power of the playlist into employee’s hands can be such an invaluable tool for building a culture of learning. As employees share playlists, learning becomes part of your company community. A great playlist can promote conversations and act as a tool for knowledge sharing and staying up to date on the latest and greatest within any field of work. Not to mention that a playlist curated by a senior-level employee is a smart way for lower level employees to engage in the kind of learning that will open up career mobility and promotions in the future.
Hand your employees the power of a playlist and set the precedent that sharing is caring (and part of the culture).
Modern Learning Needs AI
77% of HR professionals say personalized learning is vital to employee engagement. That’s because employees struggle to feel engaged when they have to sort through information on their own to find what training modules will be the most meaningful for their role and their career. Suggestions and learning playlists, powered by AI, are features that benefit learners. To make advances, consider how your L&D team can partner with IT and bring in vendors to help. Also, consider enrolling your L&D team in courses to gain proficiency in the area of AI and learning design. By leveraging AI, L&D creates choices for employees who want to learn and a culture of ongoing learning.
About the author:
Cornerstone contributor, Crystal Kadakia, is a two-time TEDx speaker, Power 30 Under 30 award recipient, best selling author of The Millennial Myth, and organization development consultant. She explores topics like learning, relationships, inclusion, productivity at the edge of workplace culture as we know it. She is the co-creator of the Owens-Kadakia Learning Cluster Design Model, a new approach for designing learning in a digital age. Her consulting work empowers companies through new frameworks for training design, inclusion strategy, and self-leadership for a digital age. Past consulting clients include General Mills, Southern Company, Monster.com, and Wells Fargo. Crystal has a bachelor's in Chemical Engineering and a master's in Organization Development.