Expertise makes employees one of the most valuable and important resources of a company, and often determines success and failure. Learning & Development (L & D) is an approach to help employees grow within the organization by developing individual skills and knowledge, which also benefits the productivity and performance of the organization. It is essential to keep an eye on technical, economic and social changes, both in the training of employees and for the success of the company. With the Glacier Climate Academy, Glacier pursues an approach of "modern learning" and creates a so-called "learning ecosystem" in order to be able to optimally integrate company training into everyday working life. Birgit Phillips, Chief Learning Officer at Glacier, explains exactly what this means and what advantages this type of learning brings for employees and companies.
Chief Learning Officer
In addition to a doctorate in education and a master's degree in transcultural communication, Birgit Phillips is also a certified systemic coach. She now uses her years of experience as a professor on topics such as critical thinking, online learning, higher education didactics, and digital literacy as Chief Learning Officer at Glacier to develop educational offerings aimed at deep understanding and sustained participant action.
It is education and training provided by the company to build on employees' existing skills and specialties, or to create new expertise within the company. Courses and training can be provided both in-house and by external third parties.
The goal is to:
Birgit: "We are currently experiencing a paradigm shift in corporate training, because it has changed significantly in recent years, particularly in the wake of the digital transformation. This goes hand in hand with the transformation of the working world in the direction of "new work".", says Birgit.
She goes on to say, "In the fast-moving VUCA (note: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambivalent) world we live in, we have to learn to respond particularly quickly and flexibly to often unpredictable technological, economic and social changes; we have to learn to manage uncertainty and increasing complexity in many areas of work, and to cope with an ever-increasing amount of data and information."
These changes in the work environment mean that both employees* and managers must continually adapt and expand their skills and competencies in order to:
Birgit: "New learning" as a counterpart to "new work" primarily means a mindset shift, as this type of learning is completely new to most of us. The classic separation between working time and learning time is becoming increasingly blurred, informal and explorative learning at the workplace is becoming more and more important, as learning in new learning spaces is increasingly ad hoc and on demand. Learner expectations have also changed dramatically. The personalized digital experiences from our personal lives - think Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, are also impacting expectations for learning in the workplace."
Birgit: "At Glacier, we are committed to the learning ecosystem paradigm. A learning ecosystem is a highly adaptive socio-technical environment in which people and technologies interact closely, with the goal of enhancing competencies in the way that works best for them. It consists of a network of different elements such as learners and learning communities, external and internal stakeholders, learning content, learning cultures but also technologies and data architectures that are interconnected and influence each other. A learning ecosystem enables learners to design their own learning process by having access to various resources. Most importantly, it provides access to a community of learners and the opportunity to collaborate and share with other learners and educators."
THE LEARNING ECOSYSTEM...
... encompasses all components that contribute to the education of employees in the context of L&D in the company. This includes the learning culture, the learning processes, stakeholders of the company, but also the technological conditions. Thus, learners are influenced in the learning process by:
- learning opportunities and formats
- the learning community
- technologies and tools
Learning spaces in the learning ecosystem can be both physical and virtual.
In virtual learning spaces, learners can access digital learning materials, do interactive exercises, and communicate with other participants in online discussions. They enable flexible and personalized learning, as learners can track their own progress and set their own pace.
But the physical learning environment has not lost its importance in the digital age, especially for social interaction and the exchange of ideas and experiences. They lend themselves particularly well to in-depth knowledge and skills transfer that goes beyond the purely digital environment.
The learning ecosystem, then, provides a combination of both learning environments and enables learners to optimize their learning in ways that work best for them. A learning ecosystem can also help enable personalized and needs-based learning.
"Overall, the concept of a learning ecosystem can make a valuable contribution to making climate education more personalized, accessible, and therefore more effective. This, in turn, will lead to more people being more likely to actively participate in efforts to address climate change."
"While the learning ecosystem approach has its finger on the pulse, it also presents some challenges. Because if we take a look at the practice, we will find that many companies are still sticking to traditional concepts of work and learning.
Overall, the L & D sector is still strongly oriented towards traditional "top-down" concepts such as the watering can principle, where the transfer of knowledge is centrally controlled, e.g. in the form of a "training catalog" of personnel development, and learners are regarded as passive recipients of knowledge according to the watering can principle. In many places, we still see a low level of personalization and cohesion of offerings, as well as a low level of maturity in the area of data and technologies. Data is still often stuck in silos, and lack of interoperability means that systems don't communicate with each other.
Here, we try to bridge the gap between new learning and traditional concepts of learning, making sure that learners are actively involved in their learning process and have the opportunity to address their individual learning needs and styles. We also focus on the use of technology to support learners and give them access to a wide range of resources and tools. This enables them to tailor their learning to their needs and expand their skills and knowledge in a flexible and effective way. By creating a learning ecosystem, we meet the needs of both the organization and the learners."
In the Glacier Climate Academy, companies and their employees receive further education in the field of climate protection and acquire industry-specific expertise and skills for the introduction of carbon-saving measures. Learning & Development is an extra effort, but one that offers great added value to companies.
Training employees in the area of climate plays a particularly important role because:
And it doesn't stop there, there are several more benefits of climate action training within the company.
... that the training of employees in the organization and implementation represents a certain effort, but offers great opportunities both in the company performance and in the employee satisfaction and ensures that companies act on the tooth of time.
The new learning approach and the learning ecosystem make it possible to integrate learning into everyday work and simplify L & D in the corporate context. Digitalization, in particular, has brought about great change in corporate education and, through technical tools, creates new opportunities for employees to gain new skills and competencies.
Click here, to find our climate education program!