Leveraging An LMS To Close Skills Gaps In Your Organization
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The Need To First Prioritize Learning And Development

We are in an age where digital transformation is an everyday phenomenon in organizations across the world. With our workplaces evolving rapidly thanks to these technological changes, it is about time organizations started preparing for the impending skills shortage and upskilling the workforce in order to stay relevant and competitive in the future.

According to the Skills Gap Report by Udemy [1], nearly 80% of Americans believe there is a skills gap, and 35% say it affects them personally, while 40% feel the ever-evolving skills requirements are set to affect their job within five years. So, what does that mean for organizations? It means over $13 billion a month or nearly $160 billion a year in cost-loss, according to the London-based Centre for Economic Research.

The global talent shortage is expected to reach 85.2 million people by the year 2030, costing organizations a loss of trillions of dollars in economic opportunity. And, in order to meet these challenges, organizations need to first prioritize Learning & Development (L&D) and identify the skills gaps of their workforce.

Challenge Of Identifying Skills Gap

Radical technological disruption directly translates into a rapidly changing skillset pertaining majorly to information technology and areas where automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will take precedence. However, at the same time, it is hard to gauge and assess the kind of skills that are required to fill the gaps, which makes it all the more difficult to attract and retain talented employees who could skillfully apply themselves to such new technologies. Moreover, in the absence of certification, organizations often struggle to appoint suitably skilled candidates.

Likewise, employees, especially Millennials, are most likely to choose an organization that is willing to invest in their skills training to maximize their chances of career growth. So, identifying and measuring skills gaps means organizations need to offer Learning and Development opportunities to their existing and future workforce. And, while technological disruption has brought on the skills gaps, it will also help organizations close the gaps by offering innovative learning technology solutions, especially the Learning Management System (LMS).

Leveraging An LMS To Close Skills Gaps

In addition to the rising technological advancements, the relative dearth of investment in employee training is a major cause of widening skills gaps. Corporate employee training fused with relevant and engaging eLearning programs is a perfect way to minimize or completely closes the skills gaps. By leveraging learning technologies like an LMS, L&D professionals can offer an arsenal of such eLearning programs to the organizational workforce.

An LMS with an advanced feature-set is increasingly being viewed as a valuable asset for providing the much needed professional training for the workforce. Here’s how an LMS can help you close the skills gaps in your organization:

Make Learning Easily Accessible

Insufficient or the lack of access to learning content is often a key hindrance that contributes to the widening skills gaps. An LMS offers a central repository of all of the organizations learning content that can be accessed by the employees whenever and wherever and from the device of their choice, in addition to offering unique and unparalleled learning experiences that go a long way in helping employees absorb and retain information easily and effectively.

Bring About Competency And Talent Management

An LMS has proved to be an efficient tool when it comes to managing competencies of the workforce and developing talent. LMSs with dedicated modules for competency and talent management help L&D professionals better manage the process of cataloging and developing the skills of employees. With a dedicated competency management module, organizations are better equipped to define leadership and/or job-specific competencies within their workforce.

Make Learning More Holistic

An innovative LMS uses diverse content delivery methods, like Instructor-Led Training (ILT), classroom training & virtual classrooms, blended learning and social learning, etc. to engage employees and provide scenarios that contextualize learning to be applied in their real-world job roles. Leading LMSs today also use microlearning solutions that offer flexibility and anytime-anywhere and Just-In-Time learning opportunities for a diverse and disparate workforce. In addition, mobile learning is a must-have LMS feature that opens up a world of learning opportunities to make the learning process more intrinsic and holistic.

Enable Diverse Learning Opportunities

The global eLearning market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.08% to $243.8 billion by 2022, with leading content marketplaces like LinkedIn Learning, Lynda, and Udemy opening up newer learning opportunities. And, the key drives of this market growth are the learning flexibility, increased accessibility, and reduced costs enabled by the LMS. Leading LMSs today allow L&D professionals and learners to access high-quality learning content from within the LMS.

Embed Learning In The Flow Of Work

With AI, automation, emerging digital technologies reshaping our businesses, continuous learning is being viewed as a must-have from an economic standpoint. Today, 80% of business leaders believe the necessity of new skills is a huge business challenge [2]. However, work demands regularly reprioritize learning. Learning in the flow of work recognizes this hindrance and enables learning to align itself to our work lives. An LMS does just that by integrating our everyday use platforms, be it chat, email, data analysis and social platforms, all accessible through Single Sign-On (SSO) process and available at the learners’ command.

Drive Engagement And Motivation

Recent reports suggest that only 15% of the global workforce is engaged in their work [3], while over $500Bn is lost every year on account of employee disengagement. It is a wide known fact that workplace engagement is a longstanding crisis, one that is expected to incrementally fuel the skills gaps. With the help of an LMS, organizations can effectively engage as well as motivate their employees by offering Just-In-Time Performance Support that will help them perform better in their roles. With increased engagement, employees are bound to learn more and acquire the required skills that will help them grow and help the organizations prosper.

Measure Learning Outcomes

One of the major advantages of an LMS is the ability to track and report on the learning outcomes of the employees. An LMS with inbuilt reporting and analytics helps L&D professionals analyze the learners’ behavior and learning patterns to provide better insights into maximizing the impact of training programs. Learning analytics enables organizations to further customize their training programs to engage the learners more effectively by delivering learning programs based on the learners’ needs and priorities. With learning analytics, organizations can measure and close the skills gaps regularly and effectively.

Foster A Continuous Learning Culture

Where an effective skills gap analysis can help organizations leverage eLearning and learning technology, such solutions can, in turn, help the organizations foster a continuous learning culture by regularly assessing the need for upskilling and reskilling within the workforce and providing appropriate learning content to close the skills gaps whenever they crop up. However, a large part of the responsibility lies on L&D professionals, managers and employees alike to embrace a learning culture to ensure that the organization meets the skill requirements at any given time.

Given the lack of enough skilled workers to occupy every existing job, the gap is only set to be compounded with the advancements in technology. However, by incorporating eLearning and learning technology, especially an LMS, organizations can empower and motivate employees to take learning into their own hands and stay ahead of the impending skills gaps.

References:

[1] 2017 Skills Gap Report (https://research.udemy.com/research_report/2017-skills-gap-report/)

[2] CEOs' curbed confidence spells caution - 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey (https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-agenda/ceosurvey/2019/gr)

[3] State of the Global Workplace (https://www.gallup.com/workplace/238079/state-global-workplace-2017.aspx?utm_source=link_wwwv9&utm_campaign=item_236117&utm_medium=copy)

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