6 minute read
A basic guide for Human Resources
Whenever we think about change, we always think about 3 main things: People, Processes and Technology. Transforming your L&D function should be no exception. Nonetheless the change process we are dealing with is complex and varied, and, in reality, ‘the sky’s the limit’ when it comes to digitising your L&D function. You should never be disheartened by its complexity, though. You should start by using an iterative approach and build on it with small ‘baby’ steps. Here are a few considerations around People, Processes and Technology that you may wish to consider when drafting your transformation plan.
When thinking of digitising the L&D function, you will need to ensure that you have the right L&D resources on board, each focusing on different elements that create a personal dynamic between the trainer and the student, from planning to execution. Learning, like many other professions, has become highly specialised and having the right people or learning partners on board is essential.
Appointing subject-matter experts should be the first step in the L&D developing stage, with experts of a particular field providing thought leadership and learning materials on each particular topic or even assisting you with curating the right training material.
Instructional designers are needed to develop and depict an interactive approach to the learning materials provided by the subject-matter expert (SMEs), with the use of compelling interactions and features. Instructional designers can do this not only for your classroom learning modality but also for your hybrid, digital or even blended learning journeys. An ideal instructional designer is comfortable with a vast array of training modalities and will make use of them in order to make learning stick, deliver an exceptional learner experience and ultimately achieve the learning outcomes and objectives.
A training project manager, or as more commonly referred to as, a training coordinator, is a fundamental role in the development of training programs. The training project manager ensures that all the people involved in the training project, whether they are instructional designers, SMEs, trainers, digital designers, etc, are all working towards a coherent blended learning structure. The training project manager sees the training program from planning to development, the training coordinator is in charge of harmonizing the different aspects of a training program into a learning journey.
While training project managers may be considered to be the backbone of any training experience, actors and coaches may also be utilised to facilitate the learning and coaching process. The may aid the traditional trainer who, nowadays, has the challenge to culminate and feel comfortable in the use of the different learning modalities that have been set forward by the instructional designer.
If your instructional design contains bespoke digital learning content, the role of digital learning experience specialists is a must, from story boarders, graphics artists and voice actors.
One cannot think about transformation without considering data, and learning has a lot of data that provides the necessary feedback and support for the enhancement and development of learning programs. Training analysts are responsible for the collection of interim data during the learning journey, whilst also providing feedback on the learning outcome for the implementations of any changes in the learning program, if necessary.
Shifting your L&D function from a one-man-show to a complement of roughly 6 different learning specialists is no easy feat. It is, at times, more efficient and cost effective to initially outsource your L&D specialists through learning providers who can coach you in becoming, if not all, then at least partially autonomous in the digitalisation of L&D. In this regard, partnerships and training agreements with such providers can improve the likelihood of better exposure.
Learning has become more complex, because work has become very specialised. A practitioner approach to learning not only addresses learning the task you really need right now but will also address a change in training mindset moving away from traditional systems to an increasingly blended and flexible approach. Blended training has proven to be more effective, particularly in the context of bespoke programme design. Many organisations fear that upskilling their employees is making them attractive to their competitors, therefore giving them a chance to leave the organisation. However, being able to fully understand the bigger picture of talent management and knowing the best upskilling approach will give the opportunity to drive growth within the organisation.
The Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE) learning model is a common process traditionally used by instructional designers and training developers. The five phases provide dynamic and flexible guidelines for building effective training. The 70-20-10 Model for Learning and Development is also a commonly used formula within the training profession to describe the optimal sources of learning by successful managers. It holds that individuals obtain 70% of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal educational events.
Whatever learning process is used whether it is ADDIE, 70/20/10 or the 5E’s, the starting point to change your learning process is to move away from the traditional mindset of simply bringing in a SME for a given time investment and expect the employees to go back and make it happen at the workplace. The models suggested above will help you to start thinking of all the elements that need to go into planning, designing, development and evaluating training by giving you the ability to think beyond subject, trainer, room to start exploring audiences, learning outcomes, objectives, learning modality, learning resources, learning spaces. In doing so, learning can be truly personalised.
We must revamp how and what we teach to nurture critical skills of passion, curiosity, imagination, creativity and critical thinking and persistence. No one will be able to thrive without these abilities and our journey will help people acquire and improve on them.
For starters, to deliver training properly it is recommended that dedicated learning spaces are utilised. This may mean the use of proper learning conferencing tools such as big blue button, webex or microsoft teams for online live sessions, or if you intend to make your learning hybrid then it might require some more visual and audio technology investment in the classroom.
A way to start transforming your L&D function is to invest in a Learning Management System (LMS), such as Cornerstone and Moodle, which will allow you not only to digitise the administrative part of L&D but it will also allow you to grow in the space of providing different learning modalities through synchronous and asynchronous training, learning analytics, and even assessments and evaluation to all your staff.
Many studies have shown that moving to a purely digital learning solution without ensuring interactivity and a social aspect, can be detrimental for the learner’s experience. This doesn’t mean that technology cannot be used to make the social aspect of learning more efficient (such as online coaching, group discussions, leadership dashboards, etc).
In fact, you can make use of many web tools that aid different parts of the learning process, such as self-reflection, analysis and gamification. Finally, you can make use of digital apps as part of your human resource tools in order to enhance your staff’s learning and coaching experience.
Probably the term the ‘sky’s the limit’ would really be applicable in the learning technology space, however this could again be a progressive journey.
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are used in order to get a better understanding of any skills gaps and future skills demanded in the workforce whilst virtual reality tools could also be deployed for proper hands-on learning on demand.
Although as a L&D specialist in the 21st century you are pressured to utilise the latest learning technologies, like AI and VR, remember that the main aim is to achieve learning outcomes whilst keeping the learner hooked and therefore the choice of technology is not the starting point but the means to the end.