| Is your business truly people first?

Is your business truly people first?

Lynsey Whitmarsh

Lynsey Whitmarsh

Director of Innovation

Technology has left no stone unturned since the digital revolution began taking shape. Most, if not all, industries are now feeling the effects of transformation, some having been totally reshaped and it presents huge opportunities to the learning and development sector.

But it can be all too easy to get dragged along by the tide of technological change and begin making adjustments that simply don’t work for your business’ biggest asset – its people. Putting your organisation’s digital reputation ahead of the needs of your members of staff is to jeopardise all-important levels of employee engagement.

That’s why we conducted our Digital Impact survey, canvassing the opinions of HR professionals and other business executives that have a focus on L&D to gain an insight into how businesses are approaching their digital learning strategy and how that aligns with what employees want.

Notably, the most popular strategy proved to be the blending of classroom learning with a digital platform, favoured by nearly one third of respondents, proving that you shouldn’t just carry out a complete overhaul of your L&D methods and instead should create a tailored programme that suits the needs of your team. Before you plan for the future, it’s worth considering the following three benchmarks to make sure your business puts people at its core.

Engage

Learning is about much more than the platform it is provided on – it is ultimately about the end user and how they interact with that platform. It is therefore vital that the delivery of learning engages and excites your employees and ensures they are continuously progressing, and this starts with understanding who your people are.

We’re currently in unchartered territory in the workplace, whereby the working population is made up of four different generations. In the next five years, one quarter of the workforce is set to be over the age of 55, while millennials now outnumber their Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Z counterparts. Research conducted by global consulting firm Capgemini found that 45 per cent of today’s digital talent described their employer’s development programmes as “useless and boring,” a mindset that, if ignited, is likely to spread beyond your L&D programmes and into the wider business.Our Digital Impact survey found that the most common improvements made by the use of digital learning were communication, levels of employee engagement, and productivity, proving that being able to learn in exciting and innovative ways is beneficial for the wider business. As a result, organisations are seeing improvements across all levels – engaged employees are more active thinkers, more willing participants in group discussions and better team players.

Digital is by no means the answer to all the questions posed by learning in the workplace. It is, however, a tool that can enable delivery platforms to be targeted at individuals, giving employees the flexibility to learn at their own pace and in their own environment which will, in turn, positively impact the business in a more holistic way.

Empower

Alongside engagement, employees must be empowered. This gives your team a sense of purpose within the business that goes beyond their day-to-day role. It’s widely accepted that happy staff work harder, so investing in the skills which will aid their personal development, as well as their professional growth, can play a major role in business success.

“Today’s workforce are accustomed to on-demand services, with almost all information available at their fingertips”


It can be tough to start letting go of control in the workplace, but a digital learning hub gives employees the power to not only curate the learning content that is relevant to them, but to also work through it at their own pace. Choice is a great thing, but best served in moderation. While a digital hub opens up a world of possibilities for users, it also allows L&D to set parameters that, with clear communication, can point employees in the right direction while still giving them the freedom of learning as they choose.

A standout problem with traditional classroom learning is the expectation for large groups of people to learn at the same pace as one another and in the same ways – that simply isn’t possible. Utilising a digital platform means learning assets can be universally accessible and appeal to those with different learning styles, whether people prefer to read text-based materials or flick through visuals.

Everywhere

The freedom that a digital learning platform provides goes far beyond the workplace. The sense of employee empowerment is enhanced by allowing them to take control over their development – they don’t have to cram it in to their usual nine-to-five schedule and risk rushing a process that needs as much time as it can be afforded.

As more and more commuters use their journey to work to get a headstart on their day, clearing their inbox before they reach the office, giving employees the opportunity to carry out their learning means it is less likely to be overlooked. Additionally, they’re not required to be in a specific place at a specific time, with a specific person required to conduct the session.

Today’s workforce are accustomed to on-demand services, with almost all information available at their fingertips. It is crucial that the curated learning material employers want them to receive is accessible at the touch of a button.


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