Posted on 6th July, 2018 by Ben Miller
Delivering learning to an extended enterprise can be complex and challenging, but the right external training strategy can play a major part in meeting business goals.
With today’s organisations operating as multi-layered global enterprises, the makeup of workforces and their training requirements are changing.
As well as exploring how to effectively support learners outside of an organisation, LEO Learning’s new ebook considers some of the challenges and opportunities this change creates for businesses.
The concept of the ‘extended enterprise’ surfaced during the 1990s, and it’s now used to describe companies that rely on a network of partner relationships.
These relationships may include suppliers, resellers, partners and customers. Each of these groups represent new audiences for organisational learning.
Providing external training to these audiences is a vital part of L&D’s role. Training a logistics partner effectively, for example, can be critical to the effectiveness of a supply chain and business operations.
A new kind of workforce
One key trend among these new-look workforces is the rise of contractors, freelancers and so-called ‘gig workers’.
The increase in these types of employees is reflected by the findings of a recent Deloitte survey. Of the companies taking part, well under half said their business primarily consisted of salaried employees.
Supporting a contingent workforce can potentially provide some complicated challenges for learning teams.
These include minimising risk around data protection and security, communicating business culture and values to temporary staff and incorporating more just-in-time performance support.
Minimising risk is also likely to be a prime concern for businesses, as well as increasing speed to competency.
Seizing the opportunities for extended enterprise learning
Organisations that have created the right learning strategies for these dispersed cohorts of learners are seeing significant benefits. Brandon Hall research shows that:
- Seven out of ten businesses say extended enterprise learning helps increase the awareness of their products or services in the market
- Two-thirds feel it improves customer relations
- 61% credit extended enterprise with playing a part in improved sales
The most successful external training strategies for these groups tend to lean towards digital content that can be localised easily.
Our work with one automotive manufacturer, for example, created groundbreaking digital product knowledge learning that’s tailored for learners in dealerships in different parts of the world.
Making learning easy to access
A more diverse and transient workforce requires new ways of accessing learning. As well as wanting access anywhere and on any device, in some cases groups of learners may require external training without a sign-in.
For example, contractors in the aviation industry often need to access training rapidly but cannot always be granted access to the LMS of the company they will work for.
Without email addresses, it can become very difficult for organisations to engage with this valuable workforce, particularly in light of the new data regulations in place.
LEO Learning can address these challenges by giving learners access to training through self-registration, QR codes, direct links and a variety of other convenient routes.
In turn, these options mean that learning courses can be shared and tracked via email, social media, an Intranet or other distribution forms.
The right strategy for external training
Against a backdrop of increasing globalisation and complexity, every organisation faces unique challenges.
In order to reach external learners effectively and ensure success, a holistic strategy needs to be developed.
That’s why LEO Learning’s approach is solution-agnostic and our teams find the best option based on clients’ existing ecosystem.