Train, retain, retrain: learning systems and HR’s changing role
The days of employees staying with one company or organization for life are long gone.
The fact is that people in these digital times have more options than previously: there’s freelancing, holding down two or more part-time jobs, zero-hours working, and all the variants on the gig economy. For employers, retaining talent is a continuing battle, especially when sourcing the right people in this environment is very difficult.
A vital way to help ensure that people stay with your organization is by developing them as people and as workers using learning and training continually. There are highly attractive other effects too for the business, such as a happier and better skilled workforce, plus, as we shall see further down this page, a more engaged, collaborative workforce that’s more in touch with the business’s overall ethos and strategic direction.
Some industries and employees value training more than others. There may be an established command chain in larger enterprises up which people wish to rise, or there may be a natural curiosity that can be better harnessed by employers. In information technology, for example, professional developers place the quality and breadth of the training on offer above that of perks and even salary.
To allow the modern organization to better manage its people’s HRM (human resource management), many are using learning management systems (LMS) to oversee all training, both on and off the job, across multiple media and platforms.
Here at Tech Wire Asia, we’re showcasing three suppliers of learning platforms that deploy the very latest capabilities of LMS technology. The companies listed below have responded to changes in the workplace and society in general, to provide a high degree of personalization of learning and personal development resources suitable for the current generation of digitally-fluent workers. The consumerization of technology means that people entering or working their way up through the workforce are now expecting the same type of ease and convenience in their training facilities that they get every time they subscribe to an online service or download an app.
Users of training applications on handhelds or online expect instant results, so many suppliers now use social media integration to grant “bragging rights” to pupils, as well as gamification methods like prizes and virtual baubles.
But the more involved the trainee, the better the results for the business. Aside from getting better qualified and more confident staff, employees can use training sessions as a valuable collaborative platform, a series of touchpoints where the company and the individual join in one space.
Additionally, the training platform can lead the employee towards developing their skills in ways that are proven to be useful to the company or organization. If an LMS is ‘aware’ of future requirements for skilled staff in a particular role or sector, existing staff can be offered courses of study and involvement that will help fill vacancies. Any HR Director will know that an existing, trusted and well-performing individual is preferable for a new role than a raw recruit who needs training and steeping in the company’s ethos.
As far as training platforms go, the suppliers featured here know that there’s no point in re-inventing the wheel. The incorporation into the training picture of different and well-known platforms means that in many cases, training programs can be used from established third parties, but the direction of and results from those types of study can be pulled into overall training statistics.
It’s by pulling together accrued data from training programs that HR managers get a deep insight into the overall progress of the workforce in general, but also the individual’s performance. Software can surface insights into gaps in the organization’s skill sets, and then design programs to fill those gaps – and monitor progress as staff develop.
Personally identifiable data is potentially a risk, so all the suppliers listed below also adopt the most stringent data protection regimens, capable of satisfying the most restrictive data governance or guidelines.
Armed with one of the four suppliers’ products covered below, your organization will be well on its way to develop its human resources, creating a skilled, intelligent and capable workforce, one that’s engaged with you as employers and one that’s also going to stick around because of the value you offer as employers.
The SumTotal human capital management system from Skillsoft has, at its core, a learning management platform that effectively connects the dots between what the business needs in terms of a skilled workforce, and the need felt by modern employees to learn and develop on a personal level.
The platform is clever and broad enough to provide personalized training right across the workforce, from courses for the digitally-savvy millennial, to the more mature employee who prefers one-on-one training, or group-based learning.
The activities and progress of all employees is tracked, centrally managed, and plans for each worker are formulated with the business’s and employees’ needs in mind: the solution suggests courses and programs based on common career paths and what the business needs in terms of new roles.
There’s a process of continual development baked into the system, with regular waypoints marked – opportunities for feedback and collaboration between personnel. There’s also gamification and bite-sized learning on the powerful mobile app, too. Getting people better at their jobs and happier in the workplace is what SumTotal is all about, and you can read more about the company here.
The SAP offerings concerning employee development come in various guises, due in part to the German company’s policy of acquisition by which different technologies are subsumed into the larger ERP suite. SAP SuccessFactors, for example, was bought in 2011, a US-based company specializing in human capital management (HCM), with its own ongoing staff learning and development functions, now called SAP Enable Now.
SAP Litmos is used across the globe with, the company claims, over a billion courses delivered in its history. The course catalog is extensive, plus ongoing administration of learning programs is managed alongside the rest of the larger SAP platform. The integration of strategic goals defined in the ERP with the LMS means that courses and development programs are always aligned, and so staff become fully contributing members of teams.
The reporting and management functions provide critical insights into individual progress, but also overviews of emerging talent and the fulfillment of a strategic need. Course materials are not confined, as the platform’s API can connect to many third-party training solutions, and out of the box, Litmos comes with over 50 pre-built connectors that allow integration with most common platforms, in dozens of languages.
Companies already ingrained into the SAP ecology would do well to go down the Litmos (or Enable Now) route, as the process of extending the legacy platform will be guaranteed in its implementation by your chosen SAP support company or internal resource.
Like several of the suppliers listed here, one of Cornerstone’s features is the ability to publish training materials and entire courses for consumption by third-parties – not just personnel in the business.
This capability means partners and supply chain companies can be trained up by companies to serve an extended customer base better – franchise owners may find this aspect of Cornerstone very attractive.
There are literally dozens of integrations with external third-party training platforms, some of them in very specialized verticals like healthcare and IT (in which most of the common certifications are available, for example).
Training staff up to be proactive and engaged employees runs through Cornerstone’s blood, and the powerful learning platform allows granular insight and control into all learning activities. Personalization is a given, with specially-created courses capable of being ruled out with just a few clicks, according to preset policy and subject to central HR control.
Cornerstone knows well that annual reviews of training today just don’t cut it, so its solutions include user-defined touchpoints and way markers, so workers always stay engaged with the employer.
Human Resource technology providers cover a broad gamut of offerings, with some platforms – in addition to LMS – including hardware systems (for time tracking), building access capabilities, and even biometric readers.
However, in the case of Saba Software, the emphasis is centered entirely on the experience, development and performance of business’s most precious resource– its people. Saba knows that getting the very best from your employees not only helps them develop as human beings and boosts employee engagement, but also increases individual and organizational performance.
Saba focuses on innovation and capabilities that create the engaging, motivating experience demanded by today’s modern workforce. Saba Video enables talent leaders to deliver high-performance, integrated and secure video across every facet of their learning programs. Their gamification and rewards store capabilities can turn development into an an engaging, challenging experience. The Saba hyper-connected talent environment is also available anytime, anywhere so employees and managers can learn, collaborate and coach each other on the go.
In an age of personalization, the Saba learning platform provides personalized, specialized training and career development frameworks for each employee – all while staying aligned and connected to the goals of the organization.
Headquartered in California, USA with offices all over APAC, Saba is your local supplier of learning management systems for medium to enterprise organisations.
*Some of the companies featured on this editorial are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia