Digital Content Specialist Thinqi
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Multiple career pathways
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How learning technology is supporting a new era for careers

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To retain talent in the new age of work, employers must focus on providing their people with a clear pathway for career development – learning technology is a great enabler for this.

5th Nov 2021
Digital Content Specialist Thinqi
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Talent management is evolving. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations face tension between cutting costs in an economic downturn and delivering training to help their workforce adapt to the changing working environment. Research by the CIPD reveals that high-performing organisations are now investing in strategic learning to drive the skills needed in future work and using learning as an enabler of agility.

Talent management functionality is becoming less of a ‘nice-to-have’ and more of a necessity within learning technology software

Meeting the new demands

The shift to remote work has also impacted the way we hire — there is now less emphasis on where talent is located and more focus on finding the right skill sets to meet evolving business demands. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that on average, it costs a company six to nine months of an employee’s salary to source a replacement, so it makes sense for organisations to now focus on the talent they have within their own workforce rather than outsourcing.

As employees are granted 24/7 access to learning materials regardless of geographical location, talent management functionality is becoming less of a ‘nice-to-have’ and more of a necessity within learning technology software. In order to implement the most effective talent management strategy, there must be visibility of learner activity across departments and clear lines of communication in place.

Providing career pathways via the learning system

The Work Institute identified 52 different reasons for leaving a company. In their 2021 Mid-Year Employee Retention Report, findings for the leading rate of attrition correlated with the previous 11 years — that career reasons continued to be the number one cause of an employee leaving the company. If employers are intent on retaining current employees, they need to focus on providing them with a clear pathway for career development.

Your senior team members are powerful ambassadors for learning

Fortunately, there are learning systems today that enable you to clearly map out career pathways based on current skills and capabilities, identify any skills gaps to be remedied. Say, for example, you have a cohort of new starters in your customer service department. You could assign mandatory onboarding training, but then build more specialised training and content recommendations into individual pathways based on career ambitions.

The result? Employees not only see a clear pathway for their own development, but also feel valued within the organisation. It also means a skilled and motivated workforce that grow with the rest of the business. It’s win-win.

Using learning technologies to promote career development

In addition to being a tool for training and learning, there are now features within today’s learning systems that can be leveraged to promote career opportunities to in-house talent and raise the profile of L&D. Say, for example, that a more senior member of the team has been promoted following the successful completion of your organisation’s leadership development course.

Using social proof is one of the most effective ways to influence positive learning behaviours

Your senior team members are powerful ambassadors for learning, and their success stories can be effectively harnessed to help other employees form the connection between workplace learning and career success.

You could recommend the course to relevant audiences via the learning system and attach a review or article from the senior team member outlining how the course helped them to progress. Using social proof is one of the most effective ways to influence positive learning behaviours, and the collaborative nature of today’s learning systems are the perfect way to affect target learner groups such as those segmented by department or role.

Sharing responsibility for performance management

Performance management, talent management or talent development? The creation of new roles relating to performance and talent implies that individual functions within HR and L&D are now seeing more convergence than ever. Some examples of these roles include:

  • Organisational development managers
  • Talent executives
  • People and performance managers

Performance management should reflect the fact that learning is a continuous process. The reporting insights afforded by learning technologies allow for an ongoing review process, allowing skills gaps to be identified and remedied as necessary. When combined with communications tools within the learning system, a coaching dynamic ensures learners are continuously supported throughout self-directed and remote learning journeys. 

Content must be relevant and engaging enough to pull people back into the learning system and maintain progression

Let’s not overlook the role of line managers in this process. Visibility of learner reports for line managers within the learning system provides detailed insights prior to performance reviews and ascertains stakeholder involvement throughout.

Engaging employees with their own development

Finally, the format and delivery of learning content shape the way employees engage with their own development. The content must be relevant and engaging enough to pull people back into the learning system and maintain progression. 

Time-pressed employees don’t have time to spare for hours of ‘chalk and talk’ style delivery. Offering the learning digitally, in bite-sized chunks, allows the aggregation of smaller amounts of similar content for learning that’s more targeted and specific. Every piece of information is relevant, meaning learners are far more likely to give it due attention and consideration. The result? Highly engaged, driven employees who see learning as an essential part of their ambitions.

How today’s integrated systems can help

There are many learning systems today that combine the key features of the traditional learning management system (LMS) and combine it with those of the learning experience platform (LXP).

Executed smartly and with the right technology, developing your workforce talent can be managed in just a few clicks

They include the ability to track learning outside of formal situations using xAPI capability, which helps to track soft skills, along with the capacity for unmarked practice assessments as well as more formal assignments. Detailed learner reports can be shared with relevant stakeholders to maintain their involvement throughout.

By integrating both, you can now successfully engage employees beyond mandatory compliance training, yet still measure and manage formal learning activities linked to your organisational goals. 

With the increasing need to develop and reskill for the future of work, the digital learning experience must be built to accommodate and engage the remote worker while overcoming the hurdle of isolation. It’s time for you in L&D to consider what capabilities are needed to help augment existing talent and future-proof your organisation for the post-pandemic world of work.

Executed smartly and with the right technology, developing your workforce talent can be managed in just a few clicks.

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