Over the last 18 months, working – for the first time – with experts in user experience (UX), I’ve come to truly appreciate the need to put the learner (our own end-user) at the heart of what we do in L&D. In our everyday lives, the products and services – at least those that are successful and enduring – have UX at their heart, from the design of the product, through to its packaging and how it’s delivered, be that online or through more traditional approaches. And these brands never stop refining whatever it is they do. They truly listen to the voice of their users; and when they’ve stopped listening, they’ve faltered. There is so much we can learn from them.
Recently many of the conversations I’ve had have turned to the topic of integrating individual talent-related systems together to create one seamless user experience and how that should look. Industry analysts also report that this is a growing area of interest. I know, from personal experience, that it’s pretty straightforward to find best-of-breed standalone solutions, but much harder to find the one system that perfectly integrates these all together, with sacrificing functionality along the way.
I’ve taken a step back and taken a holistic view of what an integrated talent suite should offer, not so much in terms of the user experience – as important as that is – but in terms of the functionality that will add the most value to the business. For me, it’s the story told by the data that originates from each component in the mix that provides the real impetus to integrate. And the problem I believe we are trying to solve: finding, developing and retaining the maximum number of high-performing staff to deliver the business’ objectives. Continue reading “Designing an integrated talent suite that adds value”
In a yet-to-be-published piece of research, learners have reported that one of their top motivators for learning is to be able to do their job better and faster. But we don’t always then see the supporting levels of learning activity, nor do we always feel that the learning that is being undertaken is truly aligned to the needs of the business. Other surveys then suggest that employees aren’t actually that aware of their organisation’s goals, which only compounds the matter.
As L&D professionals we need to do more to “join up the dots” and I believe that personal development planning is the glue that binds performance management to learning. If we can give learners clear signposts as to what they should be doing, what learning can support them in that and clear feedback on how they are doing, then this would transform learning at work. Continue reading “Digital personal development planning”
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a number of forward-looking conversations with L&D professionals about learning in the digital workplace; and in particular about learning within a digital workspace set-up. A digital workspace is a concerted effort by organisations to provide their employees with a personalised environment to enable each individual to organise their digital tools and sources of information in an efficient manner to allow them to maximise their personal productivity.
As the desire for deeper integration of our systems grows, moving to a digital workspace concept gives us the chance to explore how we can make accessing a variety of tools as seamless as possible. For L&D and HR, this should also mean making learning and performance management more visible on a day-to-day basis. Continue reading “Learning and Performance Management and the Digital Workspace”
“Tell them what you need your system to do, not what features it should have”.
Those were the words that had me sit upright during a webinar the other week. I’d been listening to a consultant giving some advice on choosing enterprise systems and although I’ve chosen learning management systems before – and also helped others to do so – I’ve also fallen into the trap of concentrating my efforts on coming up with a list of features. For the last two years, I’ve definitely thought more about the user experience, but it was this one statement that turned on the light bulb and set the bells ringing.
Unless you are totally focused on what you want the LMS to do, you are in real danger of choosing a system that is too feature-rich for your needs and which might well confuse your learners. Such a system might also take longer to deploy and cost you more. And even if it ticks off all the items on the feature list you still created (or downloaded off the Internet), you might find it just doesn’t behave in the way you expected it to – or worse – your learners expected it to.
Part of deciding what you need your LMS to do is to consider some typical learner use cases. These are the scenarios you should give to prospective vendors and around which you should request they base their demonstrations. Here are ten to get you started. Continue reading “Choosing an LMS – Meeting Your Fundamental Needs”
How engaged are your learners? Specifically how engaged are they with your learning management system (LMS)?
I was recently talking to someone and they mentioned that probably half their learners hadn’t ever logged on to the system. Half of the others had logged on but not completed their prescribed learning and only the final 25 per cent had logged on and finished their courses. They concluded that that represented a full engagement percentage of 25 per cent.
It has been some time since I found myself in a similar position. Then – some two decades ago – I was looking to find ways to ensure 100 percent engagement with a benchmark of every employee completing three hours of technology-based learning each year.
So here are my thoughts about analysing learning (LMS) engagement – another way of using LMS data differently. Continue reading “What’s Your Learning Engagement Ratio?”
Your learning management system is probably the most complete source of learning activity in your organisation. After all, that was their primary function when they were first envisioned. You probably also spend quite a bit of time running off reports for various stakeholders, including business leaders and subject matter experts; and many will focus on the mandatory training that was also the raison d’être for most systems.
For decades, we’ve focussed entirely on reporting what has happened – and no doubt then quibbled over the numbers – but that is hopefully about to change. Our LMS should be our primary source of learner insights. Continue reading “Using LMS Data Differently”