Digital, in-person, or hybrid?
Over the last two years, the world has had to adapt to different ways of working. The traditional models of corporate learning and development (L&D), the likes of which for many, looked like being in the classroom for formal training days at sporadic times throughout the year, have undeniably gone dead in the water as a result.
Training and education have always been a crucial part of HR’s remit in the business, but many organizations have seemingly struggled to design strategic learning and educational experiences. Throw an unanticipated working model shift and organizational upheaval into the fray, and the plan of attack can seem hard to comprehend.
Not only this, but the attention towards L&D within the organization has shifted significantly. Never before have we spoken about skills with such zeal. With enormous investment in skills and L&D-oriented platforms and services in the last few years, and many organizations onboarding a variety of these, it’s clear there is no single north star for optimizing and bettering the learning experiences (and outcomes) in the workplace.
The HR leaders who joined us for our recent closed-door roundtable discussion reflected the wider trends around L&Ds adaptation to varying working models, across the board. Some touted the benefits of those “water-cooler-moments” and the need for informal conversations, “where you can learn so much” – perhaps a wish for “life before.” A few others in the group argued against the need for these in-person, ad-hoc events, explaining their belief that these moments can come just as easily through digital means, as long as these are designed with intention – a renegade outlook cemented in the world of remote, maybe? And others in the group towed the hybrid party line of benefits lying in both digital systems and platforms, as well as heralding the opportunities that in-person can offer with means of branching outside of our “working spheres.”
As organizations navigate the working models they wish to instill it’s important to consider the broader impact of L&D on wider talent trends. A robust offering that isn’t just about ticking off certifications and mandatory training, but encompasses capability development, psychological safety, wellbeing support, and understanding of areas like ergonomics whilst working from home are all going to move in the right direction of aiding and bettering our workforces and cementing an organizations’ EVP (Employer Value Proposition) for the better.
Learning how to learn
The group of senior HR leaders that gathered for this closed-door session did agree on one significant point. All had implemented a variety of different learning and development strategies and tools for their workforces, some more robust and reliant on digital than others, but, they all explained they were struggling with engagement levels. A recent webinar hosted in partnership with Whatfix, mirrored this struggle, as according to a poll taken during the session, 55% of L&D professionals still find remote training delivery “challenging” due to disengaged learners.
One leader shared with the group that they had been concerned with localizing their L&D, given the core L&D team is based in one location, but the organization is global. They had made a conscious effort to eradicate this possibility, setting up workshops and sessions based on various local timezones and pushing for more diversity in their offering. But, they had not witnessed an increase in engagement. Why? The group considered that this may be due to the offering not providing learning ‘at the point of need’ – the employees were having to allocate specific time out of their day to “learn.”
As we shared from our recent webinar session, “Effective training for a hybrid workforce: A shift in the learning paradigm,” “with the right DAP (Digital Adoption Platform), however, you can reverse that [decrease in productivity] trend. Whatfix users, for example, have seen average performance improvements overall, including:
- 50-85% reduced training costs
- 45-60% reduced support overhead
- 25-37% increased productivity
An overlaid solution provides timely and contextual training that reduces upfront time investment and improves engagement in the long run.”
Now that workforces tend to be spread globally and with the rise of reliance on technology to deliver L&D to the workforce as organizations increasingly adapt to remote and hybrid models, it is essential to tackle learning requirements and engage workers contextually and constantly. Delivering point-of-need help, making learning happen in the flow of work, and increasing habituation through intuitive, real-time technology can make learning accessible and easy for employees, increasing engagement.
Why join an UNLEASH Roundtable?
Amid the current disruption, HR leaders need to get ahead of the exponential trend where work, technology, and how work gets done have changed forever. But how should we approach the relevant questions, given the radical uncertainty we continue to face as the pandemic becomes more protracted than anyone imagined? Our exclusive Virtual Roundtables are designed to explore where business leaders are focused now, key challenges and prioritization for the rest of the year, and what matters most in planning for what’s next.
Find out what’s upcoming via our Event Calendar.