Operations is possibly the fastest growing area of lifelong learning programming right now. It is key to profitability. The upcoming first-ever LERN Operations Conference has great registrations already. From the upcoming conference, here’s a sneak preview of the top 7 trends.
- Operations teams are finally being recognized as a critical lifelong learning program staffing component and are being given more tasks to handle to increase efficiency, consistency and customer service. As new job descriptions are being written, they are including operations in the title.
- Operations and course programming teams are working to figure out how best to handle the handoff from course programming to operations. Trust and increased communication is critical. Operations is a key component of course programming, marketing and operations cross-functional teams.
- Students and participants, especially younger generations, are more demanding and have higher expectations. Operations teams are leading the effort of the lifelong learning program being more customer-centric and advocating for solving and eliminating customer roadblocks.
- The documentation of policies, processes and procedures is an important operations team responsibility. Overall operations is becoming the hub of document storage and updating. Operations is also being asked to be the nucleus for data collection, analysis and reporting.
- Operations teams are being given the responsibility of managing advising, counseling, coaching and much more. Serving customers is now much more than being a registration-taker. Also with programming being offered year-round, there is no longer operations team downtime.
- There is an increased need to be able to collaboratively work with other elements of your institution, organization, city, and so on. Operations staff are building relationships especially with business and human resources offices, as well as supporting noncredit and credit career pathways.
- Operations teams are being asked to spearhead recruitment (generating and following up on leads), registration (being proactive sales closers), and retention (keeping students and participants engaged). It is important to be able to work with all generations, as well as diverse ethnic backgrounds.
The first LERN Operations Conference will be held April 28 – May 1 in Chicago. For more information and to register go to lern.org/OC.