Learning is about to get hyper-personal, mobile and flexible.
Jean-Marc Tassetto, co-founder of skills and training leader Coorpacademy, says helping the Learner, even if it means furnishing them with skills that they will take elsewhere, is now essential if you want to remain competitive in today’s fast-moving world
"It’s not so long ago when we really did think we would have the same job for life in the same company. Now we expect to re-train at least two or more times in a longer working lifetime, and no-one expects their University education alone to sustain them for their entire working life.
At the same time, we expected the state would provide the kind of training and education that would ensure all citizens got a fair employment deal. But with older social democratic forms retreating in the face of de-regulation and major global changes, government help is also less of a factor.
Crafting an Individual Learning Pathway
The reality is that we are all responsible for our lifelong careers. Hence the rise of the Individual Learning Pathway, the idea that employees and citizens need a learning CV that reflects all their training and development and not necessarily in traditional metrics of a Bachelors or City & Guilds qualification.
We witness this with the brands that we work with. It’s clear how seriously employees take the notion that they are responsible for crafting their own learning pathway.
They put a high value on training they receive and training-forward firms find that investments in L&D equals increases in employee engagement, productivity, morale, and loyalty. Among millennials — the largest generational group in the workplace — 87% consider learning opportunities important when considering where to choose to work.
They also value the ability to follow their desired career path through the kinds of training on offer.
These switched on individuals want to access learning that may not be directly related to their current job role or company, but it will prepare them for their next step on their career and will furnish them with the skills we all need to acquire in the next industrial age that is just dawning.
It seems that occupations that rely on such soft skills may account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030 according to Deloitte.
Skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration skills are what candidates may need to show they are good at in contrast to technical competencies more reliant on fact-retention.
And let’s not forget that training has often been done poorly. Traditional workplace PPT-driven instruction has been dull at best and traditional e-learning courses have often simply transferred the ‘death by PowerPoint’ classroom experience online which has proved equally uninspiring.
Low engagement rates and poor acceptance turn training budgets into an expensive resource-wasting, tick-box exercise – but also makes any attempt to convince your staff you are serious about helping them up-skill and re-skill somewhat unconvincing.
The learner of today, millennials especially, want content presented to them differently. Think, training content that is diverse, interesting and easily accessible, mobile, always on, always available, delivered in engaging, bite-sized chunks that fill useful gaps in knowledge.
And where appropriate, firms should exploit the engagement potential of techniques like gamification, online competitions and learner quizzes.
The Learning Experience Platform (LXP) is a very powerful way to make this happen and that can deliver Individual Learning Pathways at scale by making training relevant and exciting and by putting the learner at the centre of the learning experience.
For one, LXPs offer what workplace learners demand – flexibility and the ability to learn not what the company calendar mandates, but what the employee knows she is missing for her currently and future wise.
L&D leaders know that when a course is labelled ‘mandatory’ it becomes the kiss of death and at the same time the Net Promoter Scores falls.
For instance, on an LXP platform an employee can find courses on the technical aspects of the new product, but she can also find training courses that help her develop her skills as concerns creativity, collaboration skills, critical thinking and communication skills
It’s also true that if a catalogue contains hundreds of thousands of courses, that choice if not curated in some way can be overwhelming. Users may not want the regimented learning structure of the Learning Management System, but they did benefit from its structured help and prompts.
Artificial Intelligence tackles this content challenge. An LXP platform offers relevant and practical suggestions – Amazon or Netflix style – about ‘what to learn next’.
This way learners build Individual Learning Pathways that they can recognise make sense for them, and acquiring certificates and other recognised measures of progress along their learning jouney. Meanwhile managers get the advantage of deep insight into what learners are consuming and what trends in L&D demand are emerging.
Looking out for your learner
The LXP also helps both the administrator and the learner by constructing a meaningful picture of her. Cross-discipline academic research has revealed a number of new, and highly useful, KPIs for learning in the workplace.
These attributes of curiosity, perseverance, performance and others are found in nearly 100% of learning pathways, and they can be clustered into individual learner profiles that offer behavioural insight into what your teams are accomplishing with the 1,000 plus training courses they are accessing.
So smart software allows the CLO to support the Individual Learning Pathway in their organisations.
Consider Sory Fofana who has used this platform as part of the Paris Airports MOOC to develop his skills for hotel management. “I’ve never seen an online training platform as comprehensive as this one, with as much learning content. It was completely new to me and really great! The more you finish modules, from Basic, Advanced and Coach, the more you want to learn more. The pedagogy is great, and it’s playful at the same time.”
Training has a crucial role to play to skill and upskill your employees in the skills you and they need. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Firms also need to pay heed to the quality of the learning experience in order to fulfil on their commitment to building those Individual Learning Pathways for employees.
Get ready for the hyper-personalised, hyper-mobile, hyper-flexible Individual Learning Pathway world of not tomorrow – but today."
The author is co-founder of learning experience and upskilling platform Coorpacademy, and a former head of Google France.
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