The world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace, and how we learn is changing with it. The predominance of social and content platforms, the endless uses of cloud and digital technologies, and the promises of new solutions from emerging companies are changing the way we conduct business, hear and share ideas, and learn – both personally and at work.
As a direct result, corporate learning organizations are also transforming. As employees become proficient at consuming information and learning outside of work, their expectations of learning in the workplace are also changing. Now, employees expect learning to be available at their time of need, in the amount they need and on the technologies they use every day. If learning organizations fail to account for this need, the effectiveness of their learning and development programs will stagnate, along with the value they bring to the business.
Modern learning organizations require their service providers to move beyond what was previously sufficient. It’s no longer about being better, faster and cheaper.
How the Promises of Managed Learning in the Digital Revolution Are Changing
Learning organizations must accept that change is constant and develop an infrastructure that is flexible, agile, and committed to continuous improvement and innovation in order to be effective and remain relevant to the business. More than ever, learning organizations are relying on their managed learning services partners to ensure their success. They expect them to offer quality services, streamlined processes and training at a lowered cost. But how are those partners changing to better serve the transforming learning organization?
The role of the modern managed learning services partner must go beyond better, faster and cheaper. For learning organizations and their procurement partners to select the best company to meet the needs of the new digital world, they need to choose a modern managed learning services partner with a future-minded strategy, a proven methodology and an innovative tool set. These assets bring value to the business beyond traditional expectations.
Managed learning services partners must anticipate the future needs of their partners and be prepared to guide them as they transform their business. “Going beyond” means having thought leadership, innovative ideas and solutions, and qualified resources at the ready.
These managed learning companies are uniquely positioned to go beyond the usual. Working with multiple customers across a variety of industries and on a global scale, these companies have a unique insight into the needs of the learning organization. They can stay on top of learning trends not only from an awareness perspective but also by having practical, hands-on experience using the latest innovative tools; resources with the most in-demand skillsets; and the expertise to guide customers along their transformation journey.
The Modern Managed Learning Services Partner
Managed learning services partners are progressing beyond making training better, faster and cheaper by employing a variety of modern learning strategies. Using design thinking, learning experience methodology, and new administration and automation deployment techniques, these partners are designing L&D initiatives with business goals in mind.
The modern managed learning services partner:
- Centralizes siloed L&D functions and provides governance and oversight on a global scale.
- Brings capabilities and expertise to the learning function that it doesn’t have.
- Manages multiple suppliers and processes while increasing the capabilities of the partner organization.
- Builds in continuous improvement through regular analysis and innovation exploration.
- Provides access to industry experts who have an eye for nuanced and customized needs and are experienced in designing and deploying projects on a global scale.
- Tailors digital needs based on experience with the countless learning technologies brought on by digital transformation.
- Develops a data strategy based on experience compiling and synthesizing the mountain of data collected by new digital technologies for the most critical and effective business insights.
- Implements user adoption solutions to ensure that improvements, innovations and benefits spread.
For example, an analysis performed at a Fortune 500 company with a decentralized L&D structure identified a need to improve operating efficiencies. The analysis found uncoordinated external vendor spending, duplicative learning programs driving higher spending, a lack of visibility to track spending at a global level and costs twice as high as the costs at benchmarked companies.
The company worked with a managed learning services partner to create and implement a federated learning model to restructure the L&D function. This model was designed to improve efficiency, visibility and alignment to the company’s operating goals. The partner provided the needed services to ensure optimization and initiated a change management program across business areas and between L&D and business stakeholders. As the organization implemented a shared service team in phases across business lines, the business and L&D used a standard analysis period to examine what was working well and to mitigate issues as they popped up. The organization leveraged its findings for future deployments to improve service quality and speed up the pace of implementation. The first divisions deployed took four months to stabilize operations, but deployment of subsequent divisions took only two to four weeks to stabilize.
The company started consistently achieving 100 percent service level agreement compliance within the first three months, and it enhanced the infrastructure with cloud-based solutions that improved employee access and provided new feature sets. In addition, the managed learning services partner helped reduce the reliance on multiple redundant learning technologies and reworked the company’s technologies into a strong set.
Looking Ahead to Future Needs
As the world becomes increasingly digitalized and globalized, learning organizations need to evaluate how, and if, their learning partnerships are evolving and bringing added value. Having a partner that goes beyond better, faster and cheaper enables the learning organization to more effectively equip its workforce with the skills needed to meet key challenges and remain competitive in a market faced with constant change.