Post the pandemic, and with the reality of hybrid and remote workforces becoming commonplace, organisations are having to transition corporate learning and development to effectively accommodate their workforce.
Research undertaken by Fosway during the pandemic ( and released in a report: How is COVID-19 Changing Learning?) stated that for 95% of organisations surveyed, learning would not revert to how it had been before the pandemic. It further highlighted:
- The learning priorities and L&D strategy for 94% of organisations changed in response to the pandemic, with two in three making significant changes to their approach.
- There was a significant uptake on digital learning, with spend increasing on almost all areas of digital, led by content. 82% reported that demand for digital learning had increased from senior stakeholders, whilst 71% experienced an increased demand for digital learning content from learners themselves.
- Adoption and the perceived success of traditional eLearning declined.
- Collaboration was becoming a key priority, with 84% of L&D leaders identifying with the importance of integrating digital Learning into other corporate platforms, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack
The latest Fosway 9-Way Grid TM Learning Systems (released in February this year) found that these trends have continued to grow momentum in the aftermath of the pandemic. As a result, L&D teams are having to provide access to learning regardless of employees’ work patterns and locations, with the ability to leverage content and resources wherever they are created and stored, i.e. providing a learning experience digitally rather than via the traditional ‘in-person’ experience.
The pandemic required companies to adapt quickly and realign their businesses, which demanded the right skills, increasing demand on certain skill sets. Skills relate not only to the skills employees require to be effective and capable in fulfilling a specific role but also the accumulation of skills to be considered a ‘skilled person’.
The critical skills shortage and skills gap in meeting these changing business requirements is an area of concern affecting all HR related activities from recruitment to talent development and retention. The ability to hire employees with the relevant skills and build these internally (via both reskilling and upskilling) being a key driver from an executive level. Additionally, the retention of existing talent through Talent People Success (otherwise known as Talent Management). The traditional talent life-cycle centred around performance, but it is now being built around opportunity and development.
Implementing a digital Learning Management System (LMS) is a practical first step to addressing an organisation’s skills requirements. The LMS market is very crowded from a vendor perspective, especially in the mid-market. From a solutions perspective, there are, however, some key trends that are emerging:
Depth and functionality
The requirement for personalisation has now extended from the typical ‘out-of-the-box’ type functionality (with user interface customisation, setting up roles, learner profiles, locations, and group memberships) with learners experiencing functionality beyond the home page.
With the integration of AI, collaboration, social networks, etc., learning can be delivered more effectively and make the experience more engaging, promoting an increase in learning uptake.
Additionally, the learning journey has been further developed, with the individual employee being presented with recommendations for skills development and a transparent learning process and outcome created. An excellent example of this is adaptive learning, which serves to address the specific learning needs of an individual. As a result, learning content is personalised (or adapted) dynamically for specific learners.
As defined by Fosway, learning needs to leverage content and resources from wherever they are created and stored – the ability to do this well, they have named ‘eco-system-ness’.
The considerable challenge that all organisations face is connecting their LMS within their learning eco-systems* in addition to their wider ‘people’ (e.g. HRIS, Recruitment, T&A, Performance Management)and organisation eco-systems. It is crucial that to avoid running parallel, incompatible views effectively, the same data needs to be synchronised and add value.
(*A learning eco-system is a system of people, content, technology, culture, and strategy, existing both within and outside of an organisation, all of which has an impact on both the formal and informal learning that goes on in that organisation.)
APIs can facilitate data sharing within existing systems; however, these still require integration. Ultimately, implementing a synchronised connection via a platform with connectors is necessary to meet the data-sharing needs across the various eco-systems.
Blended learning is one of the strongest and most common applications for a Learning Management System (LMS). Blended Learning ( also known as hybrid learning and mixed-mode learning) is a combination of delivering offline (face-to-face, traditional learning) and online learning in a way that the one compliments the other. It provides individuals with the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds. With this approach, between 30 to 80 percent of the course content is delivered online with some face-to-face interaction. Blended and online courses change how content is delivered, redefine traditional educational roles, and provide different learning opportunities. With an LMS for blended learning, organisations can cover web-based training and in-person lessons from a single, intuitive interface.
Self-directed training (SDL) is the concept of transferring the responsibility of learning from the instructor to the learner, which allows the learner to make every decision when it comes to learning. An LMS supports and helps drive SDL, enabling employees to develop specialised skills, adjust their learning path to suit their specific needs and experience deep learning rather than surface learning. When used properly in the workplace, it can transform the culture and productivity of the workforce.
Another approach to learning that an LMS lends itself well to is ‘Just in time training‘ (otherwise known as ‘on-demand’ training), which enables the learner to gain new knowledge or skills only when required. It recognises that individuals in different roles don’t need to learn the same skills or access the exact same information at the same time. Using a platform that makes it easy and fun to access knowledge on-demand is key to effective just in time training, which is where an LMS plays such an important role. SDL is an important mindset when it comes to JIT training.
In addition to having a Learning Management System (LMS) to act as a platform for providing remotely accessible courses and collaboration, another area of growth is in course development and acquisition. The acquisition of existing course content libraries to meet the demand for L&D is particularly prevalent for both compliance training and soft skills development. In addition, some LMS systems provide not only a library of courses (such as that offered by TalentlLMS) in addition to simple authoring tools that enable L&D departments to develop their company-specific content, using internal experts to extend the capacity to meet the organisation’s requirements.
This post was written by Tugela People. They are an exhibitor on the Consulting & Advisory Partner floor of the HRTech247 Partners Hall here.