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New Approaches to Social Learning at Humana, URS, Monsanto and UnitedHealth Group Highlighted in Brandon Hall Research Paper

Denver, June 27, 2013 --- Brandon Hall Group released this week The Shifting Workforce: Driving Development with Dynamic Learning Networks, a research paper that details how four leading companies are expanding their corporate learning environments to encompass structured knowledge sharing, collaboration, peer coaching, and experience-based connections. While business objectives and goals differ, the featured companies all use River, an enterprise social learning and knowledge sharing solution from Triple Creek.

As companies seek to increase their adaptability and more quickly capitalize on market opportunities, they must reevaluate how they are educating and developing their workforces, according to Stacey Harris, author of the paper and vice president of research for Brandon Hall Group, a research firm focused on business performance improvement. Harris sees dynamic learning networks – systematic relationships bringing together employee communities, knowledge, and experiences in ways that address business and/or personal needs – as fundamental to business success in ever-changing markets.

"A learning network that allows an organization to capture these details and dynamically match needs with content, people and communities creates an environment that allows an organization to quickly adapt to changing market shifts," says Harris.

The paper includes examples of how River’s matching algorithms, which meaningfully connect employees based on competency and skills data , support a broad spectrum of uses:

  • Monsanto’s Synapse is a company-wide platform for knowledge sharing, mentoring, and coaching. Synapse supplements traditional employee training and offers the company’s more than 22,000 employees alternative ways to learn and refine skills. Participation is tied to employee engagement and retention metrics.
  • Humana’s Knowledge Exchange is used for sharing information and practices in private clinical exchanges and for communities of interest, such as Six Sigma, various certification programs, and specialized skills. The Knowledge Exchange complements the company’s LMS and social system; activities are tied to development outcomes.
  • UnitedHealth Group’s MentorSource is based on identified key competencies and connects informal learning engagements and collaboration activity to employee development records.
  • URS’s Knowledge Network is tied to the company’s core competencies and is used in part to address challenges associated with retiring workers. According to the Construction Industry Institute, URS is one of few companies with a plan, program, incentives, and structured tools in place to address the industry’s pending knowledge drain.

As the paper points out, executives from these companies cite River’s ability to bring structure to all activities and connections as critical to success. "River differs from most social tools in that it brings structure to engagements and directly aligns with key competencies. This ensures employees are connecting, collaborating, and sharing with a learning purpose and goals in mind," says Randy Emelo, president and CEO of Triple Creek.

The paper includes a section of frequently asked questions about social learning and collaboration – ranging from how to control content and responses, to administrative time required, to rollout recommendations. Readers will also find best practices for implementing social learning and examples of measurement approaches.

A complimentary copy of the research paper can be obtained here. For more information about River, contact Kristin Boe at 866-470-1603.

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