5 Signs Your Learning Needs Have Outrun Your Learning Tech

The continual turmoil in the labor market signals that the competition for talent doesn’t seem to be cooling off any time soon. With quit rates remaining high and many workers exiting the workforce entirely, this leaves the pool of talent diminished. Both skilled and unskilled workers remain in high demand, as the working world adjusts to (what is hopefully) late-period COVID.

Expectations in the workplace have changed for both employer and employee. Looking at recent employment data from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, it’s clear that employees have the upper hand. The steady demand for talent is giving people the confidence to leave a position with the assumption that they can quickly find another opportunity. Organizations are undoubtedly looking for an edge in both attracting premier talent—without simply offering higher and higher compensation packages—and retaining those crucial current employees. Organizations ought to look to their learning and development programs to help in the process.

Expectations around workplace technology have also increased, as organizations rapidly shift to working remotely and adapting the workplace to social distancing. Providing easy access to learning for all employees in a disparate workforce is a must. The disruption caused by the rapid evolution of learning needs has exposed some stress points in certain learning solutions.

Here Are 5 Signs Your Learning Needs Have Outrun Your Learning Technology

1. You’ve Moved Past Just Delivering Training

Successful learning programs do more than simply deliver information; they engage the learner to influence their decision-making skills and put that information into practice. Experienced learning professionals know that passively taking a video course to fulfill a requirement is a poor way of imparting knowledge and affecting behaviors. Modern learning technology has moved past this type of training delivery and works to engage learners on multiple levels with steps that validate the transfer of knowledge has taken place.

2. Your Solution Is Inflexible And Can’t Adapt To Your Org’s Changing Needs

Prior to social distancing, most organizations relied on in-person, instructor-led training (ITL) for at least some portion of their learning delivery. Seemingly overnight, video conferencing solutions were the new normal for organizations to conduct meetings. The same is true of ILT events. Learning technologies were challenged with seamlessly incorporating live events into the learning experience. For organizations whose members cannot simply switch to a remote setting, adaptable learning technology is just as important. They require the ability to swiftly deliver learning on changes in workflows, best practices, and more.

Just as learning and development is an ever-changing idea, so are the demands upon the technology to facilitate that change. The sudden growth of an organization, whether through rapid expansion or acquisition, can cause equivalent strain on inferior learning technologies trying to keep up.

3. Your Learning Tech Limits Your Strategy

Determining strategy is as much a creative process as it is a clinical one. Placing limitations on the process due to underperforming technology is disheartening, to say the least. The customization and flexibility of the solution are invaluable when setting a new path. Beyond solving the issues of the day, learning technology must be able to swiftly deploy new capabilities based on the changing needs of the organization. This includes new features, tools, and even rolling out custom projects for organizations. Compromising your vision due to a technical limitation is a clear sign that the technology is failing the organization.

4. The Learning Experience Feels A Bit “One-Size-Fits-All”

Personalization of the user experience is the future (and the present) for interactions in business and in life. From shopping to entertainment, advertising to music playlists, tailoring the user experience to improve the process as well as the outcome is in-demand. Learning is no different. Learning leaders are aware of the limitations of the learner’s attention span and are increasingly building personalized learning experiences for groups and individuals, using AI to recommend relevant content, suggest groups to join, and classes to take. An important personalization of the learning process is providing different methods of consuming learning content so that the learner may choose the medium they will find the most engaging. Learning technology that fails to address the needs and preferences of the learner is in danger of rapidly becoming insignificant.

5. There’s No Room For Socialization/It’s All Top-Down Learning

For most organizations, a top-down approach to delivering learning has been the standard, wherein the organization sets the schedule, determines the content, and configures the learning groups. This model of learning largely excludes the learner from having a say in the process. Because learning doesn’t exist in a vacuum, learners are obviously seeking and finding learning opportunities in every facet of life. Beyond that, there exists a natural tendency to share best practices, especially in the workplace. A modern learning solution is necessary to create an online space for learners to host user-generated learning content, connect with others to share their knowledge, and recommend learning content from a variety of sources. The prescriptive-learning model has given way to a more inclusive structure that can engage the learner as well as keep pace with change.

The way modern organizations approach learning and development has changed; yet, some still rely on outdated, inflexible, and failing technology. Supporting the learner by creating an engaging and personalized learning environment is no longer a perk, but a necessity to remain relevant. The experience for learning leaders is equally important. Working with a learning solution to create and fulfill a strategy should be an unencumbered process based on the best interests of the organization and not incumbent upon the limitations of the technology. If any of these 5 instances rings true to the learning experience, it may be time to move on to a more robust solution.

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