According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report, the skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25% since 2015. By the year 2027, this number is expected to double. How is your organization preparing for this shift?
With everything that is going on in the industry right now — talent disruption, skills shortages and global tensions — more and more organizations find it all the more relevant to lean into training and upskilling. In fact, in Deloitte’s 2023 Global Human Capital Trends survey, where they polled 10,000 business and human resources (HR) leaders across every industry, 78% of them are trying to create a future workplace where workers can prosper by redesigning existing business processes or reimagining work itself.
If a company wants to remain competitive, the adoption of new learning technologies to redesign existing processes is no longer optional, but rather a strategic imperative. 2021 LinkedIn Learning data found that 73% of L&D professionals expected to spend less on instructor-led training, while 79% expected to spend more on online learning. However, 84% of employees are somewhat or extremely concerned that “reluctance by managers to encourage new ways of learning and working” is holding L&D teams back. There will always be challenges especially when integrating new learning technologies into training programs. Thus, L&D professionals need to be adaptive and flexible when it comes to navigating development in this new workplace.
This article aims to provide actionable insights and strategies that empower L&D professionals to navigate these challenges and ensure a smooth transition to a new learning technology.
Common Hurdles in Learning Technology Implementation
The first step in addressing any implementation challenges is to recognize and understand the barriers to break.
- Employee resistance: Generally, people are often apprehensive about change. In the workplace, it could be due to a lack of incentives, mismanaged changes in the past, and/or loss of autonomy and control.
- Technology compatibility issues: Seamless integration with existing systems is critical because compatibility issues can disrupt learning processes. The time spent troubleshooting or adapting to incompatible tools takes away from productive learning.
- Fear of change: A pervading fear of change can negatively affect morale and job satisfaction. Employees may feel unsettled or anxious, leading to decreased motivation and enthusiasm for adapting to new technologies.
- Lack of communication: In the absence of clear and consistent communication, employees can become susceptible to misunderstandings and confusion. Everything becomes a guessing game. When employees feel uninformed or uncertain about the changes occurring, they may become disconnected and resistant to adopting new technologies.
- Job security concerns: New technology may spark job security concerns, which can lead to low morale and increased anxiety among employees. This emotional strain can impact their well-being and, consequently, their performance and productivity, as well as their willingness to learn a new tool.
Here are strategies to help manage resistance and facilitate a smoother implementation process:
- Maintain transparent communication: Keeping employees informed about the changes, the reasons behind them, and how they will benefit from the learning technology is vital. Remember that transparency builds trust and reduces uncertainty.
- Involve employees in decision-making: Empower people by involving them in the decision-making process. Their insights and feedback can help shape the implementation strategy and make them feel more invested into the learning technology’s adoption.
- Highlight the benefits: Make it clear how the learning technology can benefit or even transform learners’ job roles by making certain tasks more efficient or effective. Demonstrating the positive impact of the technology on their daily tasks can motivate employees to embrace the change.
- Adopt change management strategies: Implementing comprehensive change management strategies can ensure that employee resistance to new learning technologies is not only acknowledged, but also proactively managed. These strategies can include training, support and continuous feedback loops.
- Ensure a robust information technology (IT) infrastructure: A robust IT infrastructure plays a crucial role in supporting learning technologies. When you have a well-established infrastructure, you are better positioned to facilitate the transition seamlessly. Keep in mind that proactive technical support can swiftly address issues and prevent disruptions, contributing to a more efficient technology implementation process.
Long-Term Benefits of Effective Learning Tech Adoption
Organizations are encouraged to proactively address these challenges and ensure a smoother and more successful transition. Embracing learning technologies not only leads to immediate benefits, but also can support long-term business transformation, including improved employee engagement, enhanced learning outcomes and a competitive edge in an ever-evolving business landscape. The long-term commitment to effective learning technology adoption is where the true rewards lie.