The tech star­tups re­plac­ing those dread­ful tu­to­ri­als

Inc. (USA) - - INNOVATE -


Em­ploy­ees re­spond to ques­tions pre­sented by soft­ware that blends neu­ro­science and cog­ni­tive psy­chol­ogy. Each an­swer informs what con­tent they see next, so they can’t progress with­out mas­tery but aren’t stuck wad­ing through stuff they al­ready know. “It’s hard to see what’s in the neu­rons of your work­ers,” says CEO Bob Bur­gin. “But with the right an­a­lyt­ics, you can pin­point where peo­ple are strug­gling and when they start to for­get things and need re­train­ing.”


“Most em­ploy­ees can’t re­call the tor­rent of in­for­ma­tion they get dur­ing on­board­ing,” says Carol Lea­man, pres­i­dent and CEO. “Yet train­ing is typ­i­cally one and done, with no re­in­force­ment af­ter­ward.” Ax­onify pro­vides a steady drip of tar­geted train­ing: a few min­utes every day, de­liv­ered at a kiosk or on em­ploy­ees’ smart­phones.


This gam­i­fi­ca­tion plat­form lets em­ploy­ees add any type of learn­ing—cour­ses, ar­ti­cles, videos—to their user profile, and then spots and seeks to fill skill gaps to help move them up the ca­reer lad­der.


This cu­rated col­lec­tion of nearly 2,000 videos—on ev­ery­thing from how to get Ama­zon re­views to sta­tis­tics for busi­ness an­a­lyt­ics—is used by com­pa­nies like Lyft, Pay­Pal, and Cen­tury 21. Em­ploy­ees can view course progress, star rat­ings, and com­ments.


Co-founded by a pro­fes­sor and a PhD stu­dent from Stan­ford Univer­sity, NovoEd works with cus­tomers like Ideo and Whar­ton to cre­ate group train­ing cour­ses that are col­lab­o­ra­tive and hands-on, in sub­jects such as de­sign think­ing and cross-func­tional team lead­er­ship. CEO Ed Miller says, “When peo­ple have thought about train­ing on­line, it’s been about man­ag­ing the ma­te­ri­als—‘Here’s a video of that talk, here’s a dis­cus­sion board to ac­com­pany an in-per­son class.’ But this new­est gen­er­a­tion of tech­nol­ogy re­thinks train­ing en­tirely.”

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