Freelance writer Freelance
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Learning in 1s and 0s

18th Jan 2016
Freelance writer Freelance
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A recent study revealed just how much the internet permeates people’s lives, counting more than 280m internet users just in the United States. With the average user spending nearly five hours a day on the internet, what does this mean for companies? “Over the last few years our customers have expressed a sharp interest in digital transformation,” says Steve Fiehl, Chief Innovation Officer for CrossKnowledge. “New market entrants have disrupted what have previously been very traditional sectors and our customers have needed to adapt very quickly to meet those new challenges. Organizations with no prior web presence now see the internet as an opportunity to gain new customers and expand their reach. Companies without a digital presence are afraid of falling behind their competition.”

How do companies achieve digital transformation? One way is by reskilling their existing labour force using digital learning tools. Digital learning allows companies to quickly train their employees and be competitive both on and offline. Yet one third of Americans lack digital readiness, with little confidence in using computers. “Companies need digitally literate employees,” Fiehl said. “The way that businesses will operate in the next five years will be much different than anyone has known over the last twenty years. Companies moving into the digital space are more agile and can attract the types of workers they’re looking for. The pace of change will require organisations to upskill their current workforce, and quickly. By training their workforce through digital learning, companies will be better prepared for the digital transformation.”


When developing a digital learning strategy, first consider who the stakeholders will be. “Having an executive sponsor at the C-level is crucial,” Fiehl said. “Sponsors can both champion the digital learning program and identify the right learning topics that are critical for the company.” Next, identify the essential skills that will be needed for the future and then set up both the programs and the target population. “Learning serves the goals of the company, but at the same time learning should be user-centric, making learning a real resource employees will use. Make digital learning content user-friendly. Look at the ease of use, especially the IT component. New content should integrate with existing systems to ensure a smooth digital experience.”


A successful digital learning strategy is built with the end users in mind. “Organisations that want to have a digital component to their business need their people to be digital as well,” Fiehl said. “Digital is about bringing people together and digital learning sits at the heart of creating a common work culture. All employees should be familiar with some aspects of the digital space, which starts with learning, because employees without digital skills can’t help the organisation adapt quickly to changing business tides. At the same time, organisations should think beyond programs and concentrate on user needs. Learning programs should be less centered around ‘what do I want people to learn’ and more ‘how can I help people to learn?’ Employees will be engaged and focused with digital learning when they know how learning affects them personally. Employees that aren’t engaged aren’t interested in learning, so organisations should use learning programs that are outcome-based and feature real business issues.”


Not all learning has to be done virtually. Digital learning can be scaled for companies where cost and time are factors. “We worked with an energy solutions company that needed to train 10,000 internal employees into specialist roles for a new sector very quickly,” Fiehl said. “Face-to-face training for 10,000 workers wouldn’t have been practical, quick, or cost-effective. By using a mix of digital and in-person learning the company completed its training goal and created new market opportunities in record time.”

Creating an engaging digital learning environment can decrease costs and increase both speed to competency and market readiness, enabling employees to better serve the digital needs of the business.

To learn more about how CrossKnowledge’s digital-learning solutions have a look here 


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