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Will a Revamped Education Platform Give Google an Edge?

Google has spent the last two years making over its famous company education program. But will it help retain talent?
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Over the last few years, Google has been revamping its learning and leadership-development program in efforts to fend off threats from competitors, like Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, reports the The Wall Street Journal.

Google launched GoogleEDU in 2010 as an internal school, which allows employees to take free classes on a variety of topics.

While the program has been a signature draw for the company, the Journal reports Google CEO Larry Page led a program-wide make-over to not only help recruit, but to retain the talent the company already has.

How? The company took a detailed look at the program, using data analytics, statistics, and employee reviews to find out what particular areas they could improve, according to the Journal. The idea is simple: Create more targeted classes.

"More individualized, customized recommendations are part of how, as we grow, we're trying to individualize and personalize the learning experience here," Karen May, Google's vice president of leadership and talent, told the paper.

An employee can take a class based on their work area or career stage, and there are also classes to help employees succeed in Google’s quirky organizational culture.  For example, there’s a special class to teach managers and executives how to exert influence in more subtle ways, given that, at Google, a high-ranking job title doesn’t necessarily mean power.       

Google's training program revitalization comes at a critical time: the company hired 8,000 employees last year, a greater increase than any other year in its history, according to the paper.  
 
"We work really hard to get the right people," May added. "We want them to reach their full potential."

Although U.S. businesses spent $171.5 billion on learning and development in 2010, making education meaningful is a wide-spread obstacle.  

Last updated: Jul 5, 2012




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