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Collaborating With Universities to Create a Continuous Learning Culture
Partnerships can also help employers find new employees. Many educational institutions work regularly with employers to select and pre-screen job candidates specifically for that employer - some will even provide guarantees of "workplace readiness" for their graduates. Creating these kinds of pipelines can aid tremendously in finding the best new talent for your company while keeping recruiting costs down. Educational institutions are often happy to provide this service. While you might really need to find new talent, they are just as eager to improve their performance in terms of post-graduation employment for their students.
Creating a Learning Culture
Most importantly, partnerships with educational institutions are central to creating a learning culture within an organization. In research that CAEL has carried out with employers in the Chicago metropolitan area called Workforce 2.0, we have identified nine "Exemplary Practices" in employee learning and development:
- Leadership vision and commitment: The CEO and senior management are the driving forces in elevating the importance of learning and development.
- Aligning business goals with employee learning: Top leadership adopts clear goals and communicates them throughout the organization and ensures that learning and development activities are aligned with the goals.
- Learning and development strategically positioned within senior management: The human resources leader or the chief learning officer is part of the executive management team.
- Leadership development emphasized at all levels of the organization: Management recognizes that leadership skills are essential for employees at all levels, and efforts are made to develop talent from within the organization.
- Commitment to expanding skills and knowledge beyond job-related or technical skills: Investments are made to develop well-rounded, versatile employees through tuition assistance programs, customized on-site training and personal development options.
- Informal learning opportunities are structured at the workplace: Investments are made to intentionally integrate work and learning through team projects, cross-training, rotational assignments and problem-solving exercises.
- Strategic use of technology for meeting learning objectives: Innovative technologies are used to support and reinforce learning and to manage the firm's education and training offerings.
- Alliances with educational institutions are central to learning strategy: Customized degree, certificate and non-credit programs are developed collaboratively to meet business and employee needs.
- Emphasis on assessment of impact: A mixture of measurement strategies is used to assess the impact of training and development investments.
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