The best L&D platform for your organization

20 Jan, 2022Renske Start

In order for your organization to grow you’ve invested in setting up a learning and development strategy. Via the many shapes and sizes learning comes in, from bootcamps and training to the entire learning journey, your company is growing and developing skills. With every one of your employees improving bit by bit, becoming more productive ánd happier.

A L&D strategy is sure to make an impact, as said your employees are improving bit by bit. But we all know how it goes, we would like to see improvements sooner than later. So how can you make sure that you maximize the impact of your strategy, and that everything is in place for your employees to grow.

The basis for your L&D strategy

A L&D strategy consists of many moving parts, but one part proves to be the foundation: the learning platform that holds all the training, paths and data. What type of learning software or learning platform does your organization need to roll out to support its L&D?

E-learning Tech

LMS

A LMS, or Learning management System in full, is a software application that handles all aspects of the learning process. Where you keep, push and track your training content. 83 percent of organizations are using a LMS, so going off those statistics it is quite likely that you already know what a learning management system is and entails. (1) According to research by ATD the need for a LMS keeps rising, and will reach a value of $23.21 billion by 2023. (2)

LXP

However, tech is not standing still and the next evolution within training tech is the LXP: Learner experience platform. Where a LMS is a very broad term for training software the term LXP is used to describe a platform that focuses on:

“User experience, enhancing the usability and efficiency of the learning experience so that learners can seamlessly interact with multiple types of learning content and systems in one platform.” (3)

A platform focused on learners’ experience offers a tech solution that makes sure learners are able to interact with various types of learning content, through a variety of features, as well as reporting and analytics for HR and L&D teams.

“A good LXP will make elearning something to explore, and creates a place where unexpected, interesting material is suggested based on their previous behaviours and stated interests. This is why ‘Netflix-style’ is a term often used when discussing LXPs. The growth of the LXP market coincides with the growing attention on and power of artificial intelligence. AI is a key component of the LXP, enabling it to create that personalised learning experience.” (4)

A learning platform

When it is time to pick out the best L&D platform, whether this is a LMS or an advanced form of LXP, for your organization there can be a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration. We’ve put together the most important factors to consider when making a decision about your L&D set up.

Scale

Firstly, you’d like your learning platform to allow you to offer training on the exact scale the organization needs. This scale won’t always be the same, there might be a flux of new learners, or there might not be. The magic word in this is: scalability.

Of course you would like the entire company to invest in its growth, meaning every employee to invest in their development. However, getting each and every employee to take training might be just a bridge too far. If you want to start out with a couple of modules or even smaller, some specific training, your L&D platform should allow you to organize and manage this well with clear overviews of who is following which training, and which specific learning path.

However, the same applies when you want to offer training to the entire organization. And what if your teams are internationals? Everyone should be offered the same experience, as in the same opportunities for growth. Even when learning paths are different for each and every one of your employees, because L&D is most relevant when it is personal.

What does your platform or partner offer when it comes to learning content? Is the training on your platform a form of hybrid training? Will they transfer to a form of learning that concentrates online? And so what are the online channels available? Will these channels work for your employees, and fit into their flow of work? What does your training provider offer? And what are the options on your platform?

Make sure your platform or partner offers the options of scaling up and down, to best suit your organizations’ and employees’ needs.

Timesaver

Your L&D or otherwise HR team is incredibly busy. So of course you’d like to save as much time as you can. If there are tasks that make sense to automate, they should be.

One of the functionalities your L&D Platform should have is a form of automation for communications flows. You’d like as many of your employees to join the training you and your L&D partner offer and you’d like to know how they do. Does the platform you use have options to send automated surveys, before and after training? And custom email templates that you can send at the right time? You will want to notify employees of their learning modules before they start, give them a soft introduction into what is happening and what is expected. As well as wanting to gather feedback after learners have completed the final training, or a week after their last session. Whenever you think is a good time to collect feedback.

If you don’t have to worry about manually planning these emails, the automated collection of feedback will save you a lot of time. When responses can be collected via automation and can be organized without your team having to put in manual effort, all you and your team have to do is make sense of the data itself and track engagement.

This also goes for the content of your surveys, and what to ask to gain the most insightful feedback. If your L&D platform allows you to outsource this via automation, as in the platform offers custom surveys or your L&D partner does, this is a timesaver. When there are a lot of employees learning and developing through a variety of training, it can get very labour intensive to gather feedback for each course and employee on time.

Automation, or unburdering, will save time but will simultaneously also give you more time to do something with the feedback and insights that you gain. Which teams are performing well? Which could do better? You and your team will have a lot more time to take action!

Reporting

Of course learning and development is fun for your employees, but you’re not just investing in L&D because it is. You and your team are investing time in development to see changes in behavior and to make an impact for your organization. So ensuring your platform includes a way of reporting this impact is crucial.

The type of learning and the content can vary, but it should be always possible to export feedback and training data in order to compare and evaluate. Does your platform allow you to pull data per employee? Or per training course?

It is important to be able to pull reports, in order to see what types of progress your employees are making and if they are getting the desired outcomes. Can they really apply newly learned skills to their day-to-day work and are there patterns to their learning paths that you need to take into account? Secondly, it is also important to keep track of the training score, is the training relevant? Do they get good scores, and what about the trainers? If you don’t have an insight on your training data it will be tough to improve on personal learning journeys, as well as improving on the development for the entire organization. (5)

Feedback

As mentioned earlier, it is essential to be able to pull reports so you know if your employees are engaged. Add these reports to automated collection of feedback, and it’ll prove that when you have the right data you’ll be able to construct meaningful insights. And importantly, act upon them.

That makes feedback functionality, a form of scoring, for training and trainer crucial. Because you need this type of feedback if you want to improve your L&D offering.

Your employees will also want to let you know how they are doing, what they think of the training. When you have a clear overview of their feedback, they will see that you are thinking of their learning path, now and in the future and this will result in a higher engagement.

All in all, gaining feedback through your L&D platform proves essential if you want to find the sweet spot between skills and relevance, and training at the right moment in your employees’ career. The better the fit of the training, the higher the engagement.

The collection of feedback can be mostly automated via e-mail or a rating system during training. While your platform should also allow for the feedback data to be saved, combined and put into a report. Important when thinking about the process of feedback and your platform is that the tool allows you to let feedback become a natural part of your training process without additional effort.

Mobile Learning and learning in the flow of work

Does the learning content you’d like your employees to interact with translate to mobile? Probably yes. Most platforms and training providers have been thinking about mobile learning for quite some time, and it has become a standard in L&D to offer this.

Easy-access to training material via smartphones or tablets is crucial, as many training companies know. When learning content is more than five clicks away, it will most likely not stick with your employees.

The content learned within training should be integrated into the flow of work. When learning content becomes part of day-to-day routines, it is sure to stick! And importantly, your employees will be able to directly apply what they’ve learned on the job when still in the flow of work.

Although most learning platforms do offer this functionality, there might be some difference in how they do it. Depending on whether there’s been some extra thought put into the LXP, mobile learning might include a good app with a great learning journey: bite-sized content, games, app and email push notifications, video content, in app scoring system and so on. (6)

Gamification – VR

And last, but really not least does your training platform allow for new and innovative ways of learning? Of course mobile learning is important, as it allows learners to integrate learning into their day-to-day routines, however learning should also evolve along with us, using new tech proven to upp learning retention ánd be fun. Let’s not forget that!

Gamification within education is not new. There have been video assessments, and the use of game-based elements such as competition, forms of teamwork, scoring points etc. in training for quite a while. VR is the next step in learning, and proves quite the trend. Not surprisingly, because it brings a lot of great features to learning. Learners and trainers for instance can be put into the same classroom, without ever having to leave home. This means that VR learning combines elements of elearning with a classical setting, allowing trainers to offer optimal support in a very flexible setting.

But the popularity of VR within the world of learning is not just trend based, but also based on research that shows proven effectiveness. Information retention goes up, when training with VR.

“Surgeons who used VR training for 2 hours improved their time on task by 83% and were more than 70% ‘more efficient’ in movement and measurements. There was no comparison group in this study.”(7)

Why? Because VR (and Artificial reality as well) combine a lot of learning styles, such as visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinetic, catering to a diverse learning needs of the people involved. So overall this immersive form of learning will increase engagement. Because learners will have new exciting ways to interact with the environment, making it more fun, but also a more productive way of retaining content.

“VR and AR help students visualize what they are learning and make them feel like they are experiencing it as they learn.”(8)

This results in making information more memorable and consequently, resulting in higher information retention. Employees will remember the training better and it will stand out for a long time in their minds.

From learning platform to partner

A learning platform can make the lives of many HR and L&D professionals a lot easier provided it can save time via automation, and fits the company’s scale just right.

It will also be extremely valuable when the platform allows for insightful reporting, gathering feedback, scores and progress of training. Creating an overview for you and your team of your employees’ learning paths and their development.

What you’d like is a software, or platform, to unburden you of the many manual tasks it takes to set up a great L&D strategy, and offering training for your entire organization. This is no easy feat.

Depending on the scale of your L&D intentions you can make the best decision for your organization. Are you training only a few employees? Then a great LMS will do. There are many lists to be found of L&D platforms that you can implement within your organization. Providing you have time to do this, and set everything up properly. (9, 10)

But would you like more insights, more structured learning paths and a bigger impact, then consider a L&D partner. They already have a platform, and you can choose a partner that suits you!

Together with a partner you cannot only talk strategy, but they will also set you up with the right training, structured learning flows and many valuable insights. When you work together with a training partner they can implement automation, and update you on the most valuable insights on engagement and effectiveness regarding your employee development.

You’ll have the time to really focus on your people, act on the insights and feedback you gather, and help your employees grow and become the best versions of themselves.

Sources

  1. https://www.shareknowledge.com/blog/what-learning-management-system-and-why-do-i-need-one
  2. https://www.shareknowledge.com/blog/what-learning-management-system-and-why-do-i-need-one)
  3.  https://www.learninglight.com/top-lxp-solutions
  4. https://www.learninglight.com/top-lxp-solutions
  5. https://trainingindustry.com/articles/learning-technologies/how-the-right-ld-platform-strategy-can-improve-your-employee-retention/
  6. https://petramayerconsulting.com/elearning-platforms-follow-top-trends-in-learning-and-development/
  7. https://www.interplaylearning.com/hubfs/Blog/Case%20Studies/A%20Modular%20Interactive%20Virtual%20Surgical%20Training%20Environment.pdf
  8. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/03/05/how-vr-and-ar-are-impacting-immersive-learning/?sh=79dc1e7d395b
  9. https://trainingindustry.com/top-training-companies/learning-technologies/2021-top-learning-experience-platform-lxp-companies/
  10.  https://www.learninglight.com/top-lxp-solutions/