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The corporate university is fast growing in popularity among companies aiming to boost performance with top quality executive development programs. A good corporate university is a key contributor to employee satisfaction and retention: it motivates them, supports their career goals and rewards them. The organization wins with a better overall working environment and by ensuring the right people are coming up the ranks into senior management roles.
Corporate training managers, tasked with establishing and/or running a corporate university, have an extremely challenging mandate. Where do you start, how do you keep going - what exactly does it take to guarantee a successful corporate university?
What you need
Here are a few key factors for a successful corporate university:
Organizational buy-in: A corporate university is a complex undertaking and organizational buy-in from the very top on down is absolutely vital. This ensures you get all the necessary resources and helps you gain the trust and enthusiasm of staff.
Vision: The overall vision for the corporate university must include a clear link between the whole corporate training package and the strategic business goals of the company.
Know-how: The corporate training team, particularly the Chief Learning Officer, need the right stuff. This includes:
Strong knowledge of the latest trends and techniques for high-impact executive education, including onsite (classes, workshops, symposia, etc.), e-learning and blended programming
The skills to integrate these techniques into management skills training
Full understanding of the internal and external environments that programs must train people for
A strategy to meet the management development needs of individuals as well as the company’s present and future management and leadership needs.
External partners: Companies extend their corporate university capacity by partnering with good business schools to offer a wider variety of programs in different ways. On top of that, your corporate training team members can keep their own knowledge sharp through top-level training at partner business schools.
Where to get it
So how can corporate learning professionals ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need for a successful corporate university?
Corporate training management programs: In addition to providing direct partnerships on program design and delivery, some business schools offer talent management training especially for learning managers. The best management training programs help learning managers to:
Good business schools take it one step further, by offering team training for the corporate university managers. By training together, they gain stimulating team-building along with the critical knowledge and skills described above. They develop a cohesive language, strategy and approach. Put this all together and they have what it takes to establish and run a successful corporate university.