Professional context: Small company in a big city of Poland

This small technology-based company located in a big city in Poland, specialized in Training – Consulting and Management had its core business administration, professional trainers and informatics. From the 13 employees, 10 were part of the learner perspective piloting trial phase of TRAILER. Typically the employees had a degree or a MSc and their age was between 26 and 40 years old. The majority had a very good prior recognition of IL, which was reinforced after the pilots. The most important activities mentioned were “Watching other people”, “Conversations” and the lower and particularly low in “Online tutorials”. In general, comparing with other cases, they show the higher level of agreement relatively to the need for IL activities in: “learn to perform particular tasks” and “developing a deeper knowledge”.

During the first piloting – the learner perspective phase, employees showed a fair percentage of active users (67%), but few competences (below average) were added per informal learning activities (ILA’s).  81% of actions were completed on both platforms (an average of 3 ILA’s per user). Regarding the phase of sharing their IL activities and competences, their results were also very low: the majority of the collected activities were not made public and only 50% of users’ competences and 25% of ILA’s associated competences were published.

The lowest score on usability issues of the tool was found for this group which area of business was not so much related with IT, even though they did considered it professionally useful in order to “collect IL in intuitive way and provide the team with the appropriate competences”. The major reported problems on usability were the limited type of activities possible to add in the collector, problems in sending those activities to the portfolio, the too extensive catalogue of competences and transparency issues regarding the use of competences definitions, which might be named differently (use of different words) by different users. As they alert, this problem with synonymous competences might generate difficulties or even biases, if not properly taken cared when employers use this data.

The CEO of this company was well aware of IL’s importance in recognizing, organizing, monitoring and validating informal processes, which could be used in several processes such as recruitment, promotion or motivation.

In the overall, this company considered that the high value of this TRAILER idea was in the promotion of collecting activities and be able to share it. This group is one of the cases that refer that an interface to work on smartphones or androids should be developed, and that it could be helpful to human resources management.

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