How to tackle six key learning challenges in the digital workplace

Delivering effective learning and training across any organisation is not necessarily straightforward. Employees are extremely busy; workforces are complex with a variety of different learning needs; and L&D teams tend to be small.

Meanwhile the technology that should support the delivery of learning such as the Learning Management System (LMS) at the centre, are not always as effective as they should be. Typically, within the wider digital workplace learning and training is not fully integrated, feeling like it is at the periphery rather than at the heart of digital employee experience.

Webinar recording: What does learning look like in the modern workplace?

In a recent webinar the Content Formula team took a deeper dive into looking at learning and training across the digital workplace, exploring some of the key challenges and also how an effective LMS can tackle them. In particular we looked at LMS365, an LMS that integrates closely with Office 365.

You can watch a recording of the webinar above, but here are some the key takeaways that came up during the session.

Key challenges of learning and training in the enterprise

The webinar began by inviting attendees to send in some of their key challenges around delivering learning in the enterprise. Among the issues mentioned, several stood out:

1.  Delivering training in the flow of work and at the point of need
2.  Delivering training to a diverse global workplace where one size doesnt fit all
3.  Delivering learning that is relevant and digestible
4.  Getting internal stakeholders involved in course creation and curation
5.  Providing evidence that shows people have undertaken learning
6.  How to administer all of the above

Lets look at each of these in turn and explore some of the suggested approaches that were discussed in the webinar.

1. Delivering training in the flow of work and point of need

Staff are incredibly busy and usually have no spare time at all for their own learning and development, unless its something they are required to do or is a must-have for their job.

Ideally training should be delivered in the flow of work and at the right time, however this is often not the case. All too often, learning and training course material delivered online is held in a Learning Management System (LMS) that is hard to reach, needs a unique password and looks unfamiliar. This is a real barrier to use and adoption.

One of the great advantages of LMS365 is that it is seamlessly integrated into Office 365 so has Single Sign-On driven through AAD so there is no need to remember yet another password. It can also be reached through SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams and even through search, so learning can be accessed right in the heart of the digital workplace and where work happens. The look and feel is also consistent with Office 365 so users dont feel like they are a in different system. All these elements hugely remove barriers to learning, helping to drive good levels of adoption and course completion.

2. Delivering training to a diverse global workplace where one size doesnt fit all

One of the key challenges of delivering training to a large enterprise is the highly diverse learning needs of different roles, locations and individuals. One size definitely does not fit all. For example:

  • Every individual will have different preferences on how and when they want to take training
  • Different locations in a global enterprise may want to access learning content in different languages
  • Different roles will need to access completely different content to meet their training needs
  • Firstline and deskless workers out in the field or in factories and retail units may have practical difficulties in accessing content compared to knowledge workers who have access to a computer all day.

An LMS therefore needs to come with a variety of different options to present and access content to meet a diversity of needs. In LMS365 there is the possibility to issue multiple course catalogues that can come in different languages. There is also the ability to present different formats of content, including videos, quizzes, documents and pages; you can even embed a Twitter feed.

There are also different ways to access LMS365 including through an intranet, through MS Teams and also a strong mobile app. This latter format is important for firstline workers who can access learning content through their mobile device. Even then there are further options such as being able to access learning material offline, so training can still be delivered in places of low or no connectivity.

3. Delivering learning that is relevant and digestible

For heavily time-stretched employees effective learning has to be both relevant (especially with a diverse workforce) and also quick to digest (bite-sized). When learning is too long or is pushed out to the wrong group then adoption suffers.

A critical capability of any decent LMS is the ability to target course material to the right people; LMS365 does this in a highly effective way because course content can be targeted to different groups based on an employees profile data from Active Directory.

The configuration and presentation of course material in LMS365 also makes it easy to deliver smaller learning or even micro-learning, such as short videos. Because the course can be presented in small, granular steps employees can go at their own pace and carry out learning in smaller doses as time and inclination allows.

4. Getting internal stakeholders involved in content curation and course creation

A challenge mentioned during the webinar was about trying to get internal stakeholders to get involved in content creation and curation, helping to shape learning experiences for particular divisions and functions. Stakeholders often dont have the time but may also find content creation costly and time-consuming.

One of the best things about LMS365 is that it lowers the barriers for creating course content so that non-L&D professionals can set up courses quickly and cheaply. This means it should be easier to involve internal stakeholders as the system empowers them to take charge of their own learning material. Several LMS365 features contribute to this including:

  • simple and intuitive administration interfaces
  • easy ability to include documents and presentations from across Office 365
  • embedding videos from Stream, YouTube and elsewhere
  • a great quiz building tool with a variety of different formats to keep users engaged
  • the ability to assign learning to individuals, Office 365 groups and more.

5. Providing evidence that shows people have undertaken learning

Organisations push learning for a variety of different reasons including making people more effective in their roles, launching new software or initiatives (e.g. Office 365 training) and to reduce risk. For example, pushing through GDPR training is popular. Often the reporting behind learning is important, not only to show progress to senior management but also sometimes externally for auditing or compliance purposes.

Getting effective reporting though is not always as easy as it should be. Luckily, LMS365 comes with highly granular reporting with different metrics available to show enrolments, completions and more that can be sliced and diced by function, location, groups and more. You can also create even more custom reporting by leveraging LMS365s easy integration with PowerBI to create dashboards that are built around your internal and external reporting needs.

6. Having to administer all of the above

Learning & Development teams tend to be small so managing some of the above tasks can potentially be very time-consuming and provide an ongoing challenge.

The in-built automation of a solution like LMS365 can prove to be critical in successfully administering an ambitious learning programme. For example, you can enrol users automatically onto a course through an AAD group, meaning that all managers would automatically be enrolled into it. Additionally, you can:

  • set up auto-reminders so people get notified to remind them to attend a course
  • get people to register to courses so it is effectively self-service
  • set approval workflow, from an individuals line manager for example
  • automate effective reporting
  • build custom workflows involving other platforms using PowerAutomate (Flow).

All of the above contribute to a more efficient running of learning that puts far more power in the hands of smaller teams.

 

Delivering successful learning in the digital workplace.

Delivering learning through the digital workplace has its challenges but with the right LMS and approaches it can be highly effective. If youd like more information about LMS365 or even to organise a demo then please get in touch.

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