Blog Post

How Intellum Defines Education Initiatives

Shannon Howard
August 3, 2023
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Here at Intellum, we think of education initiatives as more than just the projects learning professionals are asked to complete and deliver. 

Initiatives are the core components of your education program that help you map, measure, and continually improve your learners' experiences.

For example, an onboarding course for employees and another for customers are two projects that would be completed within one onboarding education initiative.

We believe education initiatives are:

  1. Goal-oriented. Every education initiative should start with a business goal (e.g., increase revenue)
  2. Measurable. Initiatives must have trackable metrics to help determine if the education is performing as intended (e.g., changing learner behavior).
  3. Learner-centered. Initiatives should be built with the learner’s best interests in mind (e.g., selecting format or modality based on learner needs and preference—not what’s easiest or what other companies are doing).

The 6 Different Types of Education Initiatives

The following is how we categorize different types of education initiatives. 

1. Onboarding

A Brandon Hall Group study found that organizations with strong employee onboarding increase new hire retention by 82%. And data from Wyzowl discovered that 86% of people say they’d be more likely to stay loyal to a business that invests in onboarding content that welcomes and educates them after they’ve bought.

The goal of an onboarding education initiative is to integrate new hires or new customers via a focused learning journey. 

2. Skills and Enablement

This type of education initiative is about empowering employees and/or customers with certain skills and enablement content. 

For employees, this might look like leadership development or training (such as soft skills) that falls outside of the traditional compliance-related training HR teams administer. This could also include professional development through a third-party platform like LinkedIn Learning.

You could also include product enablement for a new feature release as part of this initiative—serving both employees and customers.

3. Certification

A certification initiative provides learners with a path toward verifiable mastery in a skill, product, or topic. Earning a certification can help people improve their career.

Think about Salesforce Trailhead: There are certifications to develop mastery in skills and topics, such as AI skills and Tableau GPT. There are also certifications that demonstrate a high level of proficiency (e.g., Salesforce Admin). Companies look to hire Salesforce certified admins and practitioners.

4. Compliance

Compliance initiatives are built to meet operational, business, or industry standards. Unlike the other initiatives, in which participation is optional, compliance initiatives are mandatory for employees.

This could include anti-harassment training, unconscious bias training, safety training, etc. It could also include security training, such as GDPR and SOC II. 

5. Video Streaming

This type of initiative leverages live and/or on-demand video. 

Videos could include live webinars or virtual events—as well as any on-demand recordings that are published after the fact. 

For example, if you host an annual virtual conference, you could share video clips with highlights of last year’s conference, and use those to promote registration for your virtual conference.

6. Knowledge Base

Your Knowledge Base initiative supports all audiences with just-in-time articles and self-service content (e.g., how-to articles related to your product, API, integration, etc.). Think of your traditional help center with step-by-step instructions. This content gives practical how-to instructions related to your product.

Take Action with Initiatives

How can you use this way of thinking about initiatives in your current education efforts? Think about what you have today that qualifies as an initiative within your larger education program. 

Then ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What’s your business goal?
  2. What metrics can your platform currently measure to make sure you’re seeing continuous improvement and delivery toward that business goal? 
  3. Using learner-centric data from your platform, how can you tailor delivery and format to best serve your learners? 

The following is an example of how you might break down an education initiative (skills & enablement) into metrics you can track and report on:

Build Initiatives with Intellum

If you’re an Intellum customer, you can build initiatives within the platform to get prescriptive measurement against the goals you’re tracking. You can also use initiatives to segment your audience for tracking in the platform overall. 

If you’re using Intellum Insights, you can see the performance of each Initiative overall within the platform. 

Want to learn more about building strategic, measurable initiatives? Take the Intellum Framework course.

About the Author

Shannon Howard Speaker Headshot
Shannon Howard
Director of Content & Customer Marketing
Shannon Howard is an experienced Customer Marketer who’s had the unique experience of building an LMS, implementing and managing learning management platforms, creating curriculum and education strategy, and marketing customer education. She loves to share Customer Education best practices from this blended perspective.