Jan 22, 2019

A recap from the CLO Exchange: Personalized learning is in

Last December the Lingo Live team joined L&D leaders from all over the country for a two-day conference at the 15th CLO Exchange in Carlsbad, CA.  After attending multiple presentations, roundtables, and networking sessions, it’s clear that as technology innovations accelerate, Gen Z enters the workforce, and new training concepts like gamification emerge, it’s imperative that learning solution providers adapt their strategies in order to keep employees engaged and satisfied.  The most common 2019 learning strategy discussed was creating a strong personalized learning program.


No More One-Size-Fits-All, Provide Personalized Learning

Training in the past has typically focused solely on a “one size fits all” curriculum which engaged some employees, but not all.  Employees yearn for content that fits their individual needs and interests so they feel a greater sense of belonging. That’s why a hot topic at the event was creating a learning content strategy that goes beyond the traditional classroom approach and focuses on providing personalized content when and where the employee needs it.

Lingo Lives co-founder, Mike Giordani, held a panel, How, Why & In What Ways Personalization Impacts Corporate Learner Engagement,  with panelists Sheila Jagannathan, Head of Open Learning Campus at The World Bank, Detlef Hold, Global Strategy Director Knowledge Cycling & Learning at Genentech, and Kaye Hacker, Assistant Vice President L&D at State Farm as they shared their viewpoints and ideas on personalized learning and what it looks like at their organizations.  They all agreed that as L&D evolves over time, personalized learning strategies, curriculums, and pedagogy will be more important than ever.

“I am sure that Digital Learning and Knowledge “Cycling” (as we call it) will find ever more synergies, as technologies and future work practices evolve. Once we have embedded our transformation efforts in our organization, let’s see what comes next,” said Detlef.

At Lingo Live, personalized learning is what we do. We connect multilingual employees to a personal language and communication coach to help them contribute as their authentic selves with more confidence via task-based learning.  Unlike other language learning providers, we provide a one-on-one experience with a live coach who has a nuanced understanding of global workplace culture and can customize lessons to the learner’s needs as they arise, in-the-moment.


Three Approaches To A Personalized Learning Strategy

A successful personalized learning strategy provides training content for the employee as needs arise in-the-moment. This helps companies attract, engage, and retain talent. Due to a plethora of tools, vendors, and different types of learners, it’s not easy to implement the right strategy.  There are three approaches L&D leaders are focusing on:

  1. Content Curation
  2. Inclusive Learning Culture
  3. Just-in-time Learning


Approach #1: Curating Content

According to IDC, the average employee spends about 9.5 hours every week just hunting around for information, a huge waste of learner time. Not every piece of training content is relevant for everyone. If content is built around the employee, they’ll spend less time disengaged and more time learning the skills they need to be productive at work.  L&D leaders discussed how they’re refining their strategies to aggregate, filter and contextualize their content so it offers engaging and valuable content to employees; putting the employee first.


Approach #2: Create Inclusive Learning Culture

Similar to curating content, attendees discussed the importance of promoting an inclusive learning culture as an effective personalized learning approach.  An inclusive learning culture assesses every individual’s needs, preferences, and goals so they feel valued, included, and comfortable in their environment.  Through regular feedback loops, group work, and 1-on-1’s, both employees and their respective managers can gather qualitative feedback on each other to maintain a positive environment.  Employees will know their peers strengths and weaknesses and managers will know the working styles of every individual so they can collaborate better on projects, improving productivity.


Approach #3: Just-in-Time Learning  

One of the greatest takeaways from the event was realizing L&D leaders are no longer creating courses and pathways, and focusing all their energy on just-in-time learning.  Every employee is different. One engineer might be working on a quality control project for a pharmaceutical client whereas another one might be working on scheduling software for a digital publisher client. They have different projects, skill sets, cultural expectations in learning and hopes and fears in their careers. That’s why their training needs to be customized to their individuals needs as they arise in -the-moment.


Final Thoughts

The CLO Exchange brought some new thoughts, processes, and ideas into corporate learning. In 2019, we’ll see shifts in strategies that all focus on one thing: the employee’s needs. Personalization is going to go beyond learning and touch every aspect of the employee experience. Multilingual employees with language and communication barriers need more than corporate training. They need the cultural and communication skills to be more confident and productive in their jobs. That’s why at Lingo Live, we connect employees to a personal coach who helps them communicate with confidence through one-on-one, personalized lessons. Learn more about our services here.



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