High PotentialIn this blog post, I am just going to be learner oriented, especially those having superior training needs and targets. Though corporate training has become an integral part of most of the organizations, in view of its importance to make employees more productive and efficient, the training needs for HiPos (High Potential employees) are most crucial for organization’s success. Let me tell you why. First of all, HiPos are two times more productive and valuable than others, having strong leadership skills and can deliver higher profit growth. It’s an irony of fate that only few organizations realize the fact of having HiPos training programs that are different from usual learning and development activities conducted for all the employees.

CEB’s latest report reveals that only one in every six HiPos manager or employee is satisfied with organization’s current HiPO program. In addition, it has been determined that around 50 percent of HiPos would be extracted from these programs in coming five years. The failed HiPos programs result in less than 50 percent HiPos’ engagement in training session or MOOC module. Though effectiveness of HiPos training programs is intact at its place for organization’s success, I am going to highlight a new dimension for the same; i.e., using MOOCs for HiPos’ training.

At the time when Intel giant McAfee re-established its new-hire orientation, it was more than 80 hours long, consisted of around 40 hours pre-week, 5 days on-job training, and a speedy syllabus of post work. All of which meant to be finished at home. However, a Senior Director learning at McAfee, Lori Aberle rightly says that once learners leave the instructor-led class, they are done. That’s it, and you are not going to get them back. Let’s face it.  In addition, the on-site training was set up either too fast for some, or may be too slow for others, which classrooms lessons are by necessity. The associates instructing them were often torn away at the last moment to close big sales- their main job, after all. Also, the system was unable to prioritize the associates who wanted to teach in the first place.

In order to fix this issue, McAfee adopted an idea that swept the education scenario; Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. Using the underlying principle of MOOCs named “flipping classroom”, which means that most of the learning occurs not with the instructor teaching the students but by providing students an access to course material and making them probing, discussing and debating issues with their peers and instructors. This change which McAfee infused in its training saved time and also increased sales. The way MOOCs turned the training scenario at McAfee, it is now recognized to be the most effective mode for HiPos training.

George Siemens, an MOOC pioneer, and his colleagues concluded from their studies that distance learning is more successful, or at least as successful as a traditional training setting. Their conclusions also led to certain implications for corporate trainings, especially for HiPos. First, online training works, in particular for the corporate target audience, consisting of HiPos. Second, asynchronous courses, such as MOOCs, have the ability to work better than synchronous ones. Third, collaborative projects (HiPos-Non HiPos) and simulations, which are a kind of interactive activities, can bring more collaboration among employees, and boost their collective productivity and performance.

Following are the two most important elements of MOOC that are especially well suited for HiPos corporate training and development. These indicate that using MOOC is highly lucrative for exploiting the HiPos’ ultimate skills and potentially higher performance ability.


Most of the MOOCs let learners to go through the course as semi-synchronous cohort of learners. It means group is allocated same assignments of modules and training discussion, however every member finishes that course on his or her own time. The design of MOOC gives learners an opportunity to motivate one another as they go ahead. In particular, the potential shift of knowledge, skills and expertise from HiPos to non HiPos, are most critical outcomes.

Course Design

The defining feature of MOOC is the principle of “flipping the training room/session”. This principle establishes that learning happens not with a supervisor or trainer, but by giving learners an access to course materials and making them study and discover things on their own. HiPos are usually highly motivated to think out of the box for accomplishing organization’s goals, hence, such design of MOOC greatly accelerates their abilities for creative thinking, initiative taking and applying the learned concepts in their practical functioning.

As per the latest Future Workplace survey, which took into account 195 corporate learning and HR professionals, 70 percent  of respondents indicated that they are witnessing MOOCs integration in their own organization’s learning programs. Integrating MOOC concepts within organization’s HiPo’s training would eventually challenge the corporate learning departments of organizations to re-imagine and re-design their value proposition.

Copyright 2015 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.

Bryant Nielson – Managing Director of CapitalWave Inc.– Being a big believer in Technology Enabled Learning, Bryant seeks to create awareness, motivate adoption and engage organizations and people in the changing business of education. Bryant is a entrepreneur, trainer, and strategic training adviser for many organizations. Bryant’s business career has been based on his results-oriented style of empowering the individual. Learn more about Bryant at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryantnielson
Bryant Nielson - EzineArticles Expert Author

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes. For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive. Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City. He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.