The digitization of the workforce and emerging technologies have disrupted learning and development (L&D). Today’s tech-savvy workforce expects technology to be a natural and frequent part of learning and working. This means that companies must provide mobile and social opportunities in the flow of work for employees to develop new skill sets.
L&D organizations need to become invisible, bringing their offerings into on-the-job experiences in the context of everyday work. “Creating a seamless user experience for the learner is what matters in the new invisible L&D organization,” according to Jennifer Juo, human resources and L&D insights editor at Udemy for Business. “Rather than creating content, L&D’s job is to curate content and find ways to surface this to learners in the moment of need through social media, AI, or internal websites.”
Here are three key technology principles for integrated employee learning experiences:
Build the Foundation Before Bringing in the Latest Trends
Organizations tend to place a lot of emphasis on industry trends, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), but forget to build the underlying data and technical structures to support the ideal user experience. Afterall, AI is only as smart as the content it accesses.
It is important for content creators to properly tag, describe and link their content pieces into a holistic and seamless experience. Content owners are now required to critically consider the relationships between the content they’re creating, where and how the content will be consumed, and how to optimize it for discoverability by adopting tools within the organization and applying a metadata taxonomy.
Standardize Content Development Tools
It is easy for organizations to be tempted by the latest tools in the market. However, chances are the tools necessary to create and publish content are already present in the organizations’ ecosystem. Bringing in new tools without proper analysis can be detrimental to the learning experience. Using existing tools available to an organization is a cost-effective solution that adheres to a company’s existing policies and strategy.
Make L&D Part of the Larger Ecosystem
With all the content from various tools, repositories and channels in the L&D tech stack, it becomes even more important to provide audiences with a consumer-grade, cohesive experience.
As Kelly Rider, global head of learner experience at SAP, says, “The future learning experience isn’t about holding employees ‘hostage’ in one single application. It’s about saving employees time and making it easier to find what they need so they can perform their work.”
In order to unify various interactions into one cohesive L&D experience, learning organizations need to apply the latest data-driven approaches and tools in the industry. For instance, a learning record store (LRS) allows users to track experiences and interactions with content outside the bounds of the formal, education-driven learning management system (LMS). When enterprise recommendations engines use LRS data, in addition to other user data, they can recommend more relevant experiences and content over time by applying machine learning to workforce development.
High-performing organizations focus on the simplicity of the learning experience. Consider implementing an adaptive, unified source for not only learning experiences but also for content from sources that employees are already using. Embed learning experiences in work experiences that are relevant to each audience segment.
A holistic understanding of people, their needs and experiences is crucial to enabling employees to develop to their full potential. By adopting an experience management strategy for technology, organizations can create an enterprise system of action that not only improves employees’ everyday experiences throughout the employment lifecycle but also empowers business leaders to make strong talent decisions.