Preparing and conducting training at the corporate level is a complex, multilevel process, preceded by months of planning, research, and trials. Such a program must fulfill the needs and requirements of several deciding bodies, such as the learning and development (L&D) department, management, and marketing, it must be aligned with the long-term business plan of the company and finally, it should ideally be prepared and conducted in an innovative, captivating way, using modern learning tools.
Such a process requires years of experience in a particular field, flexibility, creativity, and management and leadership skills. Such a complex and demanding task falls into the domain of the Chief Learning Officers (CLO). This article analyzes what exactly is expected from a CLO, what skill set is required in this position, what are their opportunities for development, and what tools CLOs use in day-to-day work.
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Who is a Chief Learning Officer?
CLO is a C-suite position in a corporate environment, responsible for learning management in a company. They are high-rank officers with multiple years of experience, usually having a thorough training in L&D, business, instruction, or similar. CLOs are extremely important for the corporate environments as they align the development of the employees with the business goals and strategies of the company. In short, Chief Learning Officers need to predict, what the corporate workers on every level need to know so that they perform best in their respective positions, bringing the company forward. The analysis of the business goals from the developmental perspective, allows them to delineate the competencies needed to achieve those goals. They often work in communication with the HR and/or Chief Talent Managers and bridge the gap between the purely theoretical, analytical business side of the company with the personal one. In short, the CLOs make sure, that everyone has the knowledge and skills to perform their tasks successfully and monitors the development of the task force. It’s safe to say, that CLOs are one of the most important cogs in a corporate machine, directly responsible for the company’s success or failure.
What does a Chief Learning Officer do?
As someone deeply involved with L&D and collaboration between different divisions of the company, CLOs are great communicators. They outline, develop and initiate learning programs aligned with the company’s goals. Those are not only business goals mentioned above but also personal assessment, gender equality, and collaboration goals, as well as sustainability programs introduced throughout the company. CLOs’ mission is to “formulate the strategy to drive corporate learning direction, goals, and policies” as Andrew Fayard writes. In collaboration with other members of the chief team in the company, the CLO disseminates the knowledge and skills throughout all the company levels – either outsourcing the teaching through individual or corporate training specialists or using a learning management system (LMS). Technology in support of information is their motto.
Learning platforms – what do they have to offer for chief learning officers?
CLOs are direct clients for platforms such as EdApp, one of the most innovative LMS platforms available for private and corporate clients alike. EdApp provides complex resources for the successful planning, conducting, and assessment of the corporate level training, offering multiple authoring tools to prepare the courses and gather information from the participants afterward. Technologically advanced, it proposes innovative solutions to the old and boring PowerPoint slides delivered right to your mobile device.
EdApp offers free access to its comprehensive course library, where you can find ready-made courses and fully customizable learning templates prepared in collaboration with Canva. It also caters to a broad range of industries, from retail to education to construction, providing easy access to knowledge to multiple employees across the world. But perhaps what makes EdApp stand out among other web-based learning platforms is the emphasis put on the use of the latest learning tools and technologies, such as gamification, spaced repetition, quizzes, and more. EdApp specialists keep their eye on the latest developments in the educational science field and continuously implement further advancements to make learning easy, accessible, and enjoyable for all.
CLOs responsibilities in a company
We have already mentioned that CLOs perform a variety of different tasks and are middlemen between the business management and the HR department, ensuring that the strategic goals of the company are being met and that that the employees are equally satisfied with their working conditions. Employee retention is one of the key indicators of good management and training, as well as favorable working conditions in the workplace. CLOs more or less directly contribute to that, making sure that every employee possesses all the necessary knowledge and access to resources required for good job performance. A comfortable employee with constant development possibilities will likely stay in the company. To find out what employees need, CLOs often work on the ground to get first-hand information.
CLOs are also responsible for the company’s social media. Dissemination of information and knowledge through training technology tools, the foundation of the CLOs job, nowadays largely takes place through social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok. Learning on-demand, an individual search for sources of information and methods of learning increases the independence of the learners. CLOs must cater to that new learner and enhance their presence (and their company’s presence) on SM, not only to stay connected with the employees but also to get in touch with potential clients and collaborators.
Chief Learning Officer is not an easy job and rightfully so, the demands the candidate is faced with reflecting what they are likely to encounter in their daily work. More than a decade of experience in the corporate environment, fluency in online educational tools, great teamwork and communication skills, eye for potential friction points, business fluency, and management skills are rich and varied combinations. Innovative, creative, driven, and compassionate CLOs are an asset every company greatly benefits from and EdApp is ready to support them in every way possible.