We live in an information world, and the online training business is constantly examining learning challenges and technological capabilities. According to the e-learning industry, 85 percent of corporations have some type of learning management system (LMS) installed, but many aren't satisfied due to poor ease of use, ROI analytics and a lack of functionality.

Today's learners prefer personalized knowledge that’s highly rated by experts and peers, and delivered quickly and efficiently. It's a YouTube generation, with millennials using their computers and phones to communicate.

Taking the initiative

Research shows companies investing in structured coaching, mentoring and continuous training processes experience dramatic increases in performance, employee retention, productivity and engagement. Most employers are trying to find the best ways to build learning and training culture that scales and gets adequate attention from business units throughout the organization.

"Employers can encourage knowledge sharing, gathering feedback and passing along insights through digital, remote or e-coaching technologies without taking employees away from core functions."

Phil Friedman, President and CEO of CGS, Inc., says there are two major enterprise challenges when coaching and mentoring. "Knowledge is walking out the door. Also, there's pressure to adapt and learn quickly." With 75 million baby boomers nearing retirement, maintaining that expertise is vital. Job eliminations are a reality, along with global shifts in the workforce and the use of contractors. It’s important to tap the knowledge that already exists within the talent on hand. He goes on to explain, "Most of the time, critical tribal knowledge is lost in the process of layoffs, mass retirements and other resource actions." 

Crowdsourcing internal expertise

The most crowdsourced type of content by high-performing companies and employees is video content. Regarding crowdsourcing and curation, says Doug Stephen, SVP Enterprise Learning at CGS, "The trend is taking off, and we see it getting bigger. One example is a fast-moving consumer goods client; the brand increased its investments in crowdsourcing by almost 50 percent in 2015."

New learning technologies and platforms play a significant role in helping organizations meet their business objectives, especially in developing globally focused learning programs. In addition, Stephen says Fortune 500 companies lose roughly $31.5 billion a year by failing to share knowledge.

Employers can encourage knowledge sharing, gathering feedback and passing along insights through digital, remote or e-coaching technologies without taking employees away from core functions. For companies seeking to address this need to tap subject matter expertise and spread it, simply using a mobile phone can do this.

Enhancing social learning

Garima Gupta, an instructor in the digital marketing field, suggests using tweets if you have an open, non-regulated course to showcase learners' work. Creating a Twitter list of users they can benefit from is one option.

Integrating an external closed social platform, such as Yammer, or a closed group on a platform like Facebook can also be helpful. Finally, enabling learner to learner communication can be accomplished through inbuilt news forums, by starting a conversation among participants.