Nurture your internal talents with your own digital academy

2 February 2022

How do you, as an organisation, deal with talent in a world that is rapidly, digitally transforming? Digital transformation goes beyond the implementation of new tools, processes, and structures, it is – above all – a human story. Your employees, together, form the talent that makes your organisation strong. Knowledge is the source of everything you do when it comes to strengthening and expanding your 'human' capital. Tailor-made and well presented, through a digital academy.


And what about the talents that make your organisation strong? How do you keep their knowledge up to date? How do you acquire external knowledge through new talent? How do you get everyone on board with what you want to achieve in your organisation? Of course, you can do this in a lot of different ways, but here we are making the case for digital academies: efficient, digital presentation of the right information for every layer of your organisation. It’s not back to school, one size fits all, it’s accessible and tailored to the team. One team, one vision, one process.

Are we calling time on traditional learning programmes? Not necessarily. The classic (external) course still has a lot of value when it comes to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. But what if you want to share your vision with a large group of employees? Or make new knowledge permanently available, as part of a programme of constant improvement? No need to hire a lecture hall. You’re free to choose a knowledge acquisition process that everyone can experience in their own way.

Towards a tailor-made knowledge organisation

A digital academy is a technological, always-on learning process, where you share short, informative 'snackable' pieces of content with the participants. As an employee, you log in to the learning platform and choose the content that appeals to you. So, you’re gathering knowledge, wherever and whenever you want. Think short videos, informative articles, assignments, tips & tricks from colleagues and much more. Each and every one is part of the bigger picture, with a minimal impact on daily operations. Not programmes that take up a whole afternoon, but short, powerful knowledge drops that fit perfectly in between tasks and appointments.

Minimal impact is important. This is the best way to integrate the academy, as it were, into the daily operation of your organisation. In this kind of knowledge building ecosystem, traditional 'classroom moments' can underwhelm. They take up a lot of time, eat into the schedules or just take too long, which impacts attention and learning capacity. A fully-fledged digital academy provides a flexible option. For example, participants can gain basic knowledge at their own pace through the academy and then put it into practice live, on-site, when it’s needed the most.

So much for the how. Now to the why. Why do you, as an organisation, choose a digital academy as one of the pillars of your knowledge sharing programme?

1. You strengthen the knowledge of your talent

As an organisation, you have an inexhaustible supply of in-house talent, spread throughout every layer of your company: your employees. This talent deserves to be nurtured and reinforced and supported by new internal and external knowledge. This knowledge is an investment in everyone’s future and keeps your talents keen in a digital world.

Will you be switching to new technological tools soon? Have you set your sights on new markets and target groups that demand a new approach from your team? Or are you not thinking about anything 'new' but would like to clarify understandings of your existing processes? For the strength and health of your business and your talents you want to transfer this valuable knowledge consistently and efficiently. With this goal at the forefront of your mind, having your own digital academy is the perfect way to build an authentic knowledge organisation, tailored to everyone.

2. You attract new talent

Attracting and retaining talent is a constant struggle. Top talents with new expertise, ambitions and knowledge are attracted to organisations that support and encourage training. Careers develop and change, and top talents are always well prepared.

As an organisation, having a strong digital academy distinguishes you as an attractive employer and gives you the positive profile that comes with it. Potential new employees have the certainty that under your guidance they can become experts in their field, and thus achieve their goals. Knowledge transcends age. Knowledge retains its value – if properly maintained.

3. You work on changes

No progression is zero progress. One of the greatest advantages of the accessibility of new, digital tools and technology? It's easier to prepare everyone in the organisation for small and big changes. For the human element of this process, it’s always best to demonstrate that you take change management seriously. Your own digital academy can play a role in his, as an ongoing investment in the people that make your organisation.

This is only more pertinent when it comes to changes that cause direct impacts and require daily adjustments. A digital academy helps you to spread the impact. You can think of a digital academy as a steadying guide in a changing world. There is hardly a single organisational structure, task, job profile that has not changed radically in recent years. A reminder of just how essential lifelong learning is. Your digital academy is a key part of this.

For example, the digital academy can be used for the smooth onboarding of new employees, or internal knowledge sharing sessions. The digital academy can play an important part in talent retention. When your in-house talent returns again and again to gain new knowledge, you are successfully communicating and sharing your long-term vision. Your digital academy is a fully-fledged channel that you can use to the advantage of your business.

4. You tell your story internally

How well do your employees know their own business? The answer may surprise you. Especially in large organisations, you can always improve cooperation between different departments. Are you looking for opportunities to shorten internal lines of communication? Or would you like to introduce your leading professionals to your talents? High performing teams find their way through organisations easily. The digital academy becomes a place for your talents to meet and appreciate each other's work.

Nurturing knowledge about your organisation becomes knowledge of your brand story. Does your talent really know the brand they are working for every day? Do they identify with your core values? Do they feel involved, part of your story? Committed talents feel at home. In this case, a digital academy becomes an internal compass.

5. You measure your investment

Knowledge is power. Naturally this standard also applies to the investment in your own academy. Success is dependent on having the right content. As an organisation, you shape that content yourself, based on a co-creative process. Now would be a good time to determine the digital academy KPIs. Who feels at home in your academy? What content is popular? This important data clearly shows how your talent interacts with your academy, and (hopefully) will continue to in the future.

Indeed, your own digital academy is a long-term investment. After all, it's a never-ending story. There are always new updates to be made and a community to build. There’s even space for gamification. That could be points or badges that your talents earn by collecting and deploying specific knowledge. Measuring and analysing these interactions provides valuable insights that are worth their weight in gold for the next part of your digital academy journey.

Are you ready for tomorrow?

The next waves of economic and digital transformations are hitting our shores. Is your business futureproof and ready for them? Our strategies, optimisations and practices guide you there. Let’s get tomorrow taken care of.

Laptop shopping data overview

Time for your own digital academy?

A digital academy that bears your name, what does it offer your talents now and in the future? At iO, we will help you to find the answer to that question. We have the experts in-house, ready for your challenge.

Related articles
Relevant topics


Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter

iO respects your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

 Or get updates & insights via our WhatsApp newsletter!