Learning In The Flow Of Work: Now Available For HR

Over the last two years I’ve written a lot about the new trend toward corporate “Learning in the Flow of Work.” Well, it’s picking up speed.

First, as I describe in the video below, the domain has grown. Companies now have dozens of various learning tools, and they are all able to “plug-in” to existing work environments to learn.

Second, the tool set is expanding. I just finished a talk with the folks at Comcast University, and their entire learning ecosystem is designed to help sales, service, and professionals find what they need when they need it, collaborate with others, and get updates when new content is published.

They use tools like Instilled (a new LXP with amazing real-time video features), Inkling (an enterprise-wide content platform), NovoEd (for formal leadership programs) and interfaces to systems like On.Board and Qstream to make it possible for 90,000 employees to find or author content right in the flow of work.

Third, and even more important, is the way workforce productivity platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Salesforce, and Workplace by Facebook are turning into learning platforms. We have been traveling the world showing people what they can do with these standard IT platforms and the results are amazing.

Salesforce’s new platform Trailhead, for example, is likely to become one of the most powerful and useful ways to deliver sales training directly to salespeople. I talked with one of their pilot customers and the company now provides new hire onboarding, sales enablement, and ongoing tips all through the Salesforce platform.

Introducing Josh Bersin Academy for MS Teams

This week we are launching our own example of this offering, a product we call The Josh Bersin Academy for Teams. It makes all the content and context of the JBA available through Microsoft Teams.

josh bersin academy teams hr

Companies with Microsoft Teams (most IT departments have a license, over 500,000 companies already) simply download the JBA Teams app, and it automatically loads as a plugin.

The Josh Bersin Academy Bot (JBA Bot) then fires up and starts telling you what you can do.

In our case, we designed the initial implementation to cover two big use cases, both of which we know companies deal with in their HR organizations.

First, a professional wants to learn something quickly on the job.

Suppose you’re an HR manager sitting in a meeting and someone says “I think we should use OKRs for that department.” You may now know what an OKR is but you’re too embarrassed to ask. So you “ask the JBA for resources on agile.”

Sure enough, you find what you need, and you can browse through the resource library right within Teams.

josh bersin academy teams

Second:  Professionals Want To Break Out From A Learning Program To Collaborate

The second use case is what I’d consider the opposite scenario. Suppose you are going through a learning program (in the JBA these are done in cohorts, with lots of group conversation embedded in the program), and in the middle of a learning program you decide “hey this is a really good idea, let’s talk about this as something we should do!”

In our case, we have designed a series of “conversation starters,” designed to let people break out of the learning environment and go into Microsoft Teams to talk about them with your group. Anyone in Teams can access these Conversation Starters and then start a discussion about how to implement this at work.

josh bersin academy teams

In the case shown above, there are a set of people going through our Employee Experience module in one of our programs, and they finished a module on “Moments that Matter.” They then decide to break into a group and go off and discuss this topic with a multi-functional team in HR and IT (some of whom are not in the JBA).

They can simply publish and share this Conversation Starter as a discussion document, and it guides the group through this important discussion. This essentially takes learning experiences immediately out of the learning environment right into the flow of work, where we can apply what we learned instantaneously!

Many Other Options Are Available

These are only a few of the use cases for Learning in the Flow of Work. As the technology matures, platforms like Microsoft Teams can actually sense when a conversation is asking for learning, and can automatically “recommend” content based on a conversation. So we are just getting started.

What should you do?  I recommend you watch this video, which is my latest discussion on this topic – and come to LinkedIn Talent Connect this year if you want to hear the update.


And of course, for those of you looking to bring Learning in the Flow of Work into your HR or L&D organization, check out the Josh Bersin Academy.