Building a Successful Workplace for the 2020s

This guest blog post by Jeremy Blain was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse as part of a week-long series of blog posts featuring the five drivers for success as we head to the 2020s workplace, according the white paper “5 Key Drivers to Build a Successful Workplace for the 2020s” published by Cegos Asia Pacific.

 
Driver #2 of 5: Impact of Technology
Welcome to the fourth industrial revolution — digitization of work, communication, collaboration, learning, life…
 

Considering an increasingly remote and potentially independent workforce of the near future, 83% of respondents believe that as Gen Z enter the workforce they will require and will demand far greater peer connectivity using mobile devices.

 
Technology remains at the heart of modern business, and is playing an increasingly important role in how we connect with clients and associates alike.

Respondents told us they are already preparing for the changes that come with new technology; many believing that our working practices will become more automated over time.
 

Technology Now

We asked a group of business, learning and HR leaders how their organizations were using / benefiting from new technologies, enabling greater efficiency of and effectiveness within their workforce.

Their top 5 outputs were:

LMS: Evolution or Extinction: 8 Trends That Change Everything (Part 2 of 8): Extended Enterprise LMS

Trend #2: Extended Enterprise LMS

While most companies (71%) still use their learning management system (LMS) mainly for employee training (see chart below), the globalization and increased competition have led to the rise in the number of partner relationships, distributor and reseller networks, franchises, and contractors, and consequently the need for a centralized learning solution for the whole extended enterprise.

LMS-user-community-chart-BHG

Centralized training and certification management allows companies to keep product and service quality consistent across the whole value chain.

At the same time the increasingly strict and continually changing regulatory environment has created a need for compliance management across the whole value chain, especially in highly regulated industries.

The delivery of training, licensing, and certification programs to external channels increases partner, customer, and end-user engagement, satisfaction and product usage. It is the most cost-efficient way to bring external stakeholders to the same level of competency and product knowledge as the internal employees.

By creating customized and branded learning portals, companies can provide engaging learning experiences for different audiences across the extended enterprise. Mobile solutions also allow the contractors, such as sales agents, to take training in a flexible way, at the point of need, even when not connected to the Internet.

High-quality training, certification management, and the ability to measure KPIs across the whole value chain can have a direct impact on an organization’s business performance. Learning in the extended enterprise should also be an interactive process. For example, the dealership network is able to give valuable insights from buyers and market when the LMS supports such collaboration.

To measure performance against defined KPIs using advanced analytics tools, reports can be segmented by learner group, whether they consist of internal employees, partners, suppliers, or dealers.

When thinking about using an LMS for the extended enterprise, security management needs to be taken into account. A compliance-focused LMS can support central management of security with features such as access and password control, version control, workflow management, e-signatures, as well as audit trails of all activities.

What to consider for your LMS in terms of the extended enterprise:

  • Portals, branding, and personalization
  • E-commerce capabilities
  • Security
  • A new role of the LMS
    • Revenue generation
    • Quality management
    • Documentation distribution
    • Partner certifications
    • Analytics

Given these considerations, can you leverage the same LMS investment for both internal & external audiences?

This is the second of an eight-part series on LMS: Evolution or Extinction — 8 Trends that Change Everything.

LMS: Evolution or Extinction: 8 Trends that Change Everything (PART 1 OF 8)

Trend #1: Informal and Social Learning
(Part 1 of 8)

Informal and social learning within organizations around the world continue to fuel discussions about the relevance of the Learning Management System (LMS) in today’s corporate learning, performance and workforce support programs for both internal and external learners. Has the LMS become a dinosaur? T-Rex image

It is estimated that at least 75% of learning is informal — through collaboration, communities of practice, user-generated content (including user-created video), or learning at the point of need.

Meanwhile, social learning and collaboration tools enhance both formal and informal learning programs by improving learner engagement and drive greater knowledge retention.

High-performing organizations take a social learning approach that merges formal and informal learning. They strive to not only meet formal training requirements, but to also provide a platform that encourages the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge across the enterprise.

Such a platform could be a wiki that supports both open-access communities and restricted-access communities. Employees can then publish and share information and knowledge with other professionals, especially because the communities are often related in terms of knowledge or expertise.

No matter what platform or software tool you decide to deploy in your organization, the technology is always secondary to formulating a learning strategy and experience that is well suited to members of your organization.

What to consider for your LMS in terms of informal and social learning:
– Ease of integration with corporate social networks
– Syndicated search and expertise locator
– Gamification options and capabilities
– Performance support (“the 5 moments of need”)

Important questions to ask yourself before choosing a path are:
Am I looking for a “socialized” LMS application or for an LMS as the social platform of choice?
Which choice will help evolve our learning strategy to meet our current and future needs?

This is the first of an eight-part series on LMS: Evolution or Extinction — 8 Trends that Change Everything.

Learning & Compliance: Friends or Foes?

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for the Inside Learning Technologies magazine on the role of learning systems in compliance training (“Is your LMS compliance friendly?”) Compliance is one of those topics that rarely get enough attention as one of the key drivers in our industry.

Survey-chart
Source: Compliance Survey 2012, Brandon Hall Group.

However, a recent survey by the Brandon Hall Group found out that regulatory and company compliance combined constitute the most important learning program for organizations’ business strategy today. In addition:

– Over 65% of organizations find it critically important or very important to demonstrate learning compliance to some external regulatory agency.

– At the same time companies understand that compliance is now impacting more on their workforces with over 60% of organizations claiming that compliance requirements involve more than three quarters of employees.

Just yesterday, it was reported that the Federal Aviation Administration announced a fine of $3.5mn to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for failing to train its police officers to perform rescues and fight fires. In addition to the fine, the Port Authority will need to take further measures to better oversee rescue and fire-fighting training compliance. According to the settlement, at JFK airport, the Port Authority allowed 77 police officers who were untrained for their duties to work 357 shifts from early May to early June 2012.

Compliance requirements for employees and organizations place new demands on learning systems that more traditional, developmental requirements do not. Our industry nowadays seems flooded with learning and talent management systems. But for such systems to succeed in a compliance-related role, they must be able to readily adapt to changing needs, operate at enterprise software level, and offer the requisite functionality around auditing, reporting, and security.

It is important that L&D and HR departments are up-to-date with the compliance requirements specific to their business. Here are a few suggestions to make this easier:

  1. Talk to your legal team and to your compliance officer to better understand who in the organization is responsible for what.
  2. Define clear requirements and objectives for training and the technology implementation.
  3. Question your vendor and demand a software validation for the learning or talent management system. For the technical parts, don’t be afraid to ask your IT team to participate.
  4. Make compliance an ongoing part of your business via well-defined workflows, checks & balances, and actionable reporting.
  5. When it comes to training, reinforce formal compliance learning with recurring programs. These initiatives may include informal collaborations (such as forums to discuss ongoing compliance issues), on-the-job assessments (to better evaluate the effectiveness of the compliance training), and performance support (to provide easy access to compliance-related materials at the point of need).

For more information, you can read the blog post from David Wentworth of The Brandon Hall Group on “The Problem with Canned Compliance” or, even better, join the webinar “Mission Critical: Managing Compliance Training in Europe” on April 16th.