Having spent the last two decades of my career in the HCM technology arena, the evolution of the learning landscape has certainly been interesting to watch. While formal training remains a critical organizational requirement, and is certainly not going away, today’s employees increasingly want the opportunity to learn and develop on their own terms.
In fact, it’s safe to say that regardless of whether or not learning professionals actively support it, “learning in the wild” is happening whether we like it or not.
The rise of informal learning presents some challenges for learning professionals—how can you embrace your employees’ thirst for informal learning AND still be able to track and measure it all?
You see, it’s the very nature of informal learning that makes it so valuable to employees—and at the same time, what makes it such a beast to tackle for L&D leaders who still need to measure learning effectiveness, and its impact on organizational performance.
The key is to enable employees to learn the way they want, while still keeping that experience connected to your overall learning strategy, and the goals of your business.
Introducing Saba Discovery
Saba Discovery is the latest learning innovation from Saba. It’s designed to enable organizations to track, manage and analyze all of the learning and development that their people experience—whatever and wherever it is. In short, any informal learning activity—from podcasts, to blogs, to online videos—can be managed, tracked and measured right alongside formal training courses and content.
I really like how David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst at Brandon Hall positions the value of Saba Discovery:
“Information on any topic or skill is literally a click away for an employee with a smart phone and that’s how they’re learning more often than not. The question for talent leaders is how do you manage and track this type of informal learning without destroying what makes it so effective.
With Saba Discovery you’re still able to harness the engagement, agility, and collaboration informal learning fosters for your employees, while at the same time ensuring relevance and connecting it employee and business performance.”
How Saba Discovery Works in 3 Steps
One of the great things about Saba Discovery is how easy it is for both L&D leaders and employees. Here’s how it works in three steps:
Employees use the Saba Bookmarklet in their browser to share any external learning content socially or add it to their personal bookmark folder, with either action saved to the learning record store (LRS) within Saba Discovery. It’s a super easy-to-use download widget – simply drag it from Saba and drop it into your bookmark bar.
As an example, if I come across an article on Chief Learning Officer’s website that I find useful and want to refer to later, I can quickly add it to my personal bookmark folder. I click on the Saba Bookmarklet and choose where and how to share my learning.
Once the content is shared to the Saba community, these resources can be organized, shared, rated and followed by other employees and teams from within the Saba Learning platform and their experience with it is in turn captured in the LRS. Employees get credit and recognition for the information they sourced and consumed, providing valuable insight back to the system about where they found helpful information.
So, if I watch a TED Talk I think will be interesting and informative for the rest of my product management colleagues, I could choose to easily share it by adding it to our team’s collection:
And on the flip side, Saba Discovery gives me instant access to relevant external resources that have already been “vetted” by my colleagues, helping me be more productive with my time. It’s like creating a library of resources that anyone can add to or draw from.
Unlike traditional learning management systems (LMS), Saba Discovery and its learning record store (LRS) tracks the experience of learning from any kind of resource, not just the final mark of a formal course. All employer-directed or employee-discovered learning activities and experiences are accessible through Saba Analytics, offering talent and business leaders key insights into the learning and development that makes a difference in their organizational and operational performance.
A learning administrator, for example, has access to dozens of out-of-the-box reports and dashboards to stay on top of key learning metrics. Administrators can even drill down on specific metrics to compare learning effectiveness across departments and geographies:
Simply put, with Saba you can embrace self-directed learning. You can give your employees the autonomy to learn in the wild, while still tracking and measuring it along with your formal learning programs.
Proving the Business Impact of Learning with Saba Discovery
As a talent leader, you know that it’s imperative to demonstrate tangible business impact for your learning and development initiatives. But equally important, you need to ensure your organization is offering employees a much broader spectrum of learning experiences.
And this is really what Saba Discovery provides. It puts employee development front and center, offering them the ability to be recognized for their learning experiences whenever and wherever they happen.
Not only does Saba help organizations foster personalized learning experiences for their employees, but it also provides the insight, measurement, and tracking in one platform that talent leaders need to assess the business and operational impact of informal and formal learning.