Is Your Corporate Learning Out Of Date? How To Future-Proof Learning

How To Future-Proof Learning 

So, how can you future-proof learning when your Learning and Development strategy is out of date?

Thanks to a recent report by Towards Maturity in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), you have an arsenal of information with which to arm your company for the future.

In creating the report “Preparing for the Future of Learning”, Towards Maturity surveyed corporate Learning and Development teams on their learning plans for the next two years. One of the standout discoveries is that there are critical skill gaps within Learning and Development teams. Only 23% of Learning and Development leaders believe that their teams have the right skills to exploit for a business advantage. That information is key because the future, in this case as in most, relies heavily on technology. Furthermore, another 23% of Learning and Development leaders believe its staff are confident in incorporating new media in learning design.

The Good 

Companies are recognizing the importance of investing in corporate learning. Check this out. In the past two years:

  • Over a third of those surveyed have seen their Learning and Development teams increase in size.
  • 38% have seen an increase in their training budget and predict a further increase in the coming two years.

It’s no surprise that those budget increases are largely being put toward new media and technology.

The Bad 

As stated above, we’ve already learned a bit about the bad - those darn skill gaps. There is hope, however, and it starts with auditing your Learning and Development team’s current skills and honing them. Keeping up with technology is an issue for any team; however, although other teams in corporations are getting investments in technology, Learning and Development teams have historically been left behind more than most.

Different industries are seriously addressing this in their own ways. These methods include developing internal interest groups to learn from each other, involving external interest groups, and implementing continued professional development (CPD). Leaders also plan to bring in new staff with relevant technology skills. Sadly, however, there are still 13% of Learning and Development leaders who expect their teams to skill up on their own.

The Future 

How are leading companies preparing for the future as they fill these skill gaps? There are three areas the Top Deck agrees your team should be focusing on to future-proof learning in your company:

  1. Online Delivery – 53% plan to increase capacity in online delivery.
  2. Social Learning – 49% in facilitating social and collaborative learning.
  3. Coaching And Mentoring – 48% in coaching and mentoring.

Top Deck teams (those in the top 10% of the Towards Maturity Index) are training their staff to have a collective competence across a wide range of skill areas, focusing most notably on the three aforementioned skills.

Online Delivery And Social Learning

A large number of organizations are utilizing authoring tools to bring their courses up to speed. Pairing with the right authoring tool can help deploy your courses across multiple devices, which is critical for online delivery and content development. Only 37% of those surveyed said they had the skills for digital content development.

Today’s workers are typically self-directed learners, so making your content available across multiple devices is essential. Create connections for your employees by providing relevant devices at the point of need.

Legacy eLearning courses can be adapted to multi-device availability through one of the low-cost solutions. Top Deck Learning and Development teams are investing to deliver “more for less” through rapid application development instruments such as content authoring tools, up from 44% to 63% over the past year.

Another “more for less” example is the investment in virtual meetings, allowing social and collaborative learning to support globally dispersed organizations. Some companies are going so far as to gamify their learning systems to encourage social interaction and rewards for a continued learning path.

Related guide: How to move from face-to-face to online learning

Coaching And Mentoring

Although organizations still tend to favor external coaches, internal coaches are more cost-effective. A good option is to encourage a team member to become the model for any particular skill and then pass that knowledge along to other staff members or their line manager. This can be a very effective way to keep costs low, encourage individual development and pride among your team, and monitor the progress of the skills spread across your organization.

While coaching and mentoring are great tools, the real future-proofing here is heavily linked to technology. Finding the fastest and most cost-effective way to bring your team up to speed and continuing that ongoing learning process is how you remain effective.

Elucidat's authoring platform can help future-proof learning. Large companies and online training organizations use Elucidat to build and test multi-device learning quickly, without compromising quality.

Next step: Don't get left behind, move from face-to-face training to an online/blended learning solution

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