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Corporate U: Establishing a Corporate University

A great way to share best practices among employees is to create a "corporate university" — in other words, create learning materials and make them accessible to employees.

Creating a corporate university doesn't have to be a huge investment. In fact, you can launch yours simply by collecting and branding all the training, development, conferences, seminars, and other materials and opportunities you already have in place. You don't have to increase your budget — just improve your means of capturing and communicating everything related to learning. As an added bonus, a corporate university serves to "brand" all your firm's efforts to provide staff with development and training, which can serve to boost your internal employment brand as well.

For example, part of your corporate university effort may involve simply creating a calendar on your intranet that lists key meetings, training opportunities, and conferences, whether they're related to business development, project management, administration, or actual project work. Any employee can open the calendar and see what's happening across the company, regardless of whether it relates to his or her position or discipline. At the same time, you may want to distribute a weekly communication about opportunities that are available and how employees are making use of them.

These programs aren't necessarily new; they may already available. The difference? Now you're branding them and publicizing them (in other words, marketing them to employees). Without spending any more money, you foster the perception among employees that your firm cares about cultivating the staff. Down the road, you can formalize your corporate university with enhanced and targeted training and development offerings, which you should make sure to publicize as well.

All companies have resources that can help their employees grow! Finding them, gathering them into one branded framework, and then publicizing them like heck is like kitty litter on snow. It gives you more traction in your engagement efforts — particularly those relating to training and development — than you can imagine!

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