Top Learning And Development Challenges Faced By Enterprises

Top Learning And Development Challenges Faced By Enterprises
PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/
Summary: Over the last decade, the Learning and Development landscape has undergone a sea change. These changes have led to both opportunities and challenges for companies with large operations and employee strength. Here are some insights into the top Learning and Development challenges that enterprise companies face.

Learning And Development Challenges: What Do Enterprises Face?

The eLearning industry has been experiencing a rapid change specifically over the last decade or so. From strides made in new models for Learning and Development to the influx of new technologies and trends, the industry has evolved at a tremendous pace. These changes have presented both, challenges and opportunities for companies with large operations and vast workforce. Here's taking a look at some of the biggest challenges that enterprise companies face from time to time:

1. Onboarding

One of the major challenges that L&D departments of enterprise companies need to tackle is the on-boarding of new employees. Companies constantly need to look at on-boarding and operations to recognize the benefits associated with having employees get a proper know-how of the work culture. Effective onboarding is not essential just for the smooth cross-over of employees, but it is also important so that they have a proper idea of how to use a learning platform and sustain its usage. A Learning Management System (LMS) is one of the strongest ways to effectively integrate new employees into the system and also track their progress on the training courses assigned. Choosing the right LMS for the on-boarding process is naturally of utmost importance. L&D teams need to opt for LMS platforms that are user-friendly and require minimum to zero training for their users. It is advisable to skip the complex and fancy LMSs in favor of easy-to-use platforms. Such an LMS must provide training to both the L&D team and the end users.

2. Change Management

Weaning Off From Legacy Business Models And Tools

Enterprise companies are generally the ones who have created an identity for themselves by being in the business for a very long time. They already have an established set-up with L&D departments, budgets, and LMSs all in place. However, with the coming in of new technological innovations, the way we learn is also undergoing a sea of change and set patterns are now becoming archaic. For enterprise companies, a big challenge is to wean off from their legacy software systems to adapt to the newer systems because it involves a great deal of unlearning, learning, training and adopting at multiple levels.

Existing Training Data Concern

While the new LMS will undergo an overhaul and become an integrated learning platform, a big concern for L&D in enterprise companies is how the old data will match and fit into the new system. Of course, that does not mean it is impossible to integrate the two. It’s just that L&D teams need to put in some amount of thought and analyze how the old data can be used in the new system without letting it become redundant.

Porting From On-Premise To Cloud

Some time back, most companies had their LMSs on-premise (deployed behind the client's firewall) and the idea of Cloud did not exist. Although the perfect solution will not be the same for every company, to survive in the competitive corporate world, the move from on-premise solutions to Cloud is imperative. Of course, there are several considerations in the switch, right from how best to integrate legacy systems into the Cloud, incorporating the whole new rules, guidelines, and procedures, improving security etc. But it’s worth the effort in the end.

Getting Management Buy-In

According to Linkedin’s 2018 Workplace Learning Trends report, Manager involvement is a critical ingredient to increase employee engagement with learning. The report also points out that that is the very area of challenge for talent developers: to actually get managers involved in employee learning. Naturally, in any company without the support of the management, no learning activity can really flourish. The support of the top echelons of the company is a must to guarantee the success of a project and its sustenance.

3. Content

Leveraging Legacy eLearning

With technology changing at a rapid pace, many enterprise companies are left in the lurch with some great eLearning courseware that may not stand the vagaries of time simply because it lacks upgrade. However, trashing all this content is a waste of precious time and effort that was once put in to create all the data. Companies need to understand how to utilize this existing legacy eLearning to create new content. Among the several obstacles in this process, the biggest perhaps is to make this eLearning available to the mobile workforce. Ensuring that the LMS is able to manage and track multiple modes of training and a range of content types is another concern.

Content Readiness And Support

In many emerging companies, L&D teams often face issues while adopting an LMS for the first time in terms of being ready and offering technical support. Although legacy companies have an established identity, they are still likely to face problems to engage learners by revamping the content. Also, the LMS platforms need to support different types of content and L&D teams must be able to initiate training with whatever content is readily available. One solution is for enterprise companies to subscribe to ready-to-use catalog courses and LMS platforms to kick-start their program.

3. Support

An LMS is more than just software to help deliver training and automate training. So, the real test for the L&D team is after an LMS is made live. The workforce may be dealing with such a kind of learning system for the first time and there are bound to be a host of varying user requests, queries and concerns. This is where enterprise companies need maximum support. It is during this crucial phase that ‘round-the-clock support’ really helps. It helps to create dedicated teams and unlimited technical support to help the workforce through the initial phase.

5. LMS And Leaner Engagement

Making The LMS A Go-To Option For All Learning Needs

Once the LMS is in place, it has to be a default and go-to option software for all learning and training requirements while bringing in learner engagement at all levels. However, learners will actually feel the need to take up the learning programs only when they feel there is something resourceful in them and it is up to L&D professionals to communicate the value of training to their learners. In case of enterprise companies, a big challenge is that, given the size of their operations and tasks to be done, oftentimes, there are too many other urgent tasks or priorities that seem to take over. It can be an issue to get learners to actually attend, actively participate, and follow through for the training programs.

Seamless Integration Of LMSs In Learning Ecosystem

An LMS is not just an ‘island’ or standalone training feature. It has to be a part of a bigger learning ecosystem and that is what L&D teams have to ensure: that the LMS works seamlessly within the ecosystem of other enterprise applications. LMSs have to be integrated into many different types of applications to share data and drive business workflow.

6. Developing Leaders

As the work environment becomes more complex in today’s times, it helps for organizations to develop and maintain a pipeline of leaders. Enterprise companies like most other companies play a crucial role in creating an environment that supports ‘leaders’ to stay in the ‘learning mode’ and this is where a strong LMS is a primary requisite as an effective communication channel. LMSs can be utilized to establish peer-to-peer connections and create individualized coaching programs or mentoring programs for confidence building in the whole exercise.

Moving from their existing learning models to newer ones is not an easy process for enterprise companies especially given their history and size of operations. However, it is one of the best developments for their future and it is for L&D professionals to deal with the whole transition process overcoming obstacles in the way.