Learning and development in the workplace is something any organization should look to leverage in order to create a competitive advantage. Adopting a modern learning platform is an important part of that.
Many employees today are seeking to grow and expand their knowledge and expertise as they dive deeper into their careers, and effective, modern learning and development programs powered by the right platform are a valuable incentive that organizations can offer to attract and retain top-notch talent. As technology has improved over time, so too has the availability of learning resources and tools. No longer does advanced learning have to take place in a classroom on or offsite. Instead, using a modern learning platform, employees can easily gain access to the knowledge and resources they need, when they want it.
By taking advantage of the unique, tech-powered functionalities of modern learning solutions to remove the constraints of traditional classroom-based workplace learning, organizations can enable their employees to expand their knowledge both in and out of the workplace, on their own terms. When searching for the right learning platform, there are a number of features that will help certain solutions stand out from the rest. Here are five key modern learning platform features that can help you provide your teams with the tools they need to effectively expand their knowledge and expertise on the job.
Most learning platforms will enable users to create, organize, edit and share different forms of training documentation, from written tutorials to more advanced multimedia. When searching for the right solution, seek out a platform that provides not just text and picture-based tutorials, but video capabilities as well. Video has become a preferred learning medium for many users—86% of YouTube viewers, for example, regularly turn to the platform to learn something new—and provides an engaging, visual learning experience that can transcend written tutorials.
With the right video capabilities, users can record their own video content to capture and share knowledge and subject matter expertise, explain in-depth topics, and upload those videos and others into their team’s database. Employees can also use video to record demonstrations of critical skills and then solicit constructive, asynchronous feedback from coaches, managers, mentors and other subject matter experts at scale in order to improve performance. They can even broadcast, using webinar software, for others to participate in.
The ability to index videos, store them in a repository, and provide a searchable database for ease of use and in-depth organization is also key, and, beyond simply offering pre-recorded video tutorials and courses, some solutions can even facilitate one-on-one or even group video conferencing. Also, with fully integrated web conferencing, employees can also leverage video to engage in interactive training lessons as well as share knowledge with their peers.
Easy content creation & curation capabilities
Having easy content creation as well as curation capabilities is important in order to be able to quickly create learning content, as well as provide an organized and comprehensive knowledge base of training and learning experiences that are aligned with your organizational objectives. To ensure agile learning in a time when the world of work is changing at an increasingly rapid clip, it should be as simple as possible to create new learning content or edit existing content in order to ensure that employees’ skills and competencies are up to date and that employees themselves are up to date with the latest developments, internal or external. The right learning platform will not only enable you to quickly create and edit learning content but also create a database of modules that are easily navigated and properly organized.
Content creation capabilities that enable users to create their own modules include multimedia like files, links, and images, as well as submodules and sections are also key. Modules should be organized like the chapters in a book or the files and folders on your computer. And moving beyond simple creation, a complete modern learning platform will also enable users to curate existing learning content from well-known and best-in-class providers. Aim to build out not only a comprehensive database of your own content but include industry-leading resources as well.
Social learning and assessment
Beyond simply providing employees with resources, encouraging and facilitating an overall culture of employee engagement is also important. To that end, tools that will enable your employees to interact with one another, and share information and resources on their own are essential. The aforementioned video conferencing capabilities can go a long way towards providing employees with a simple and effective way to communicate and interact with one another. Video conferencing is an amazing way for users to interact and share information and feedback, providing the platform to reach out and collaborate.
However, video isn’t the only answer when it comes to creating a culture of social engagement. Online forums and message boards are also important for fostering peer-to-peer engagement amongst employees. Employees can submit their own topics, lessons, questions, or ideas on these message boards and forums, which can serve as a community hub. At the end of the day, it’s about supporting the critical aspects of social engagement and collaboration within the learning environment.
Not every single module or lesson, included in your online learning database has to be a full-fledged course or expansive breakdown of a topic. While those kinds of comprehensive lessons and tutorials absolutely have their place and are necessary to break down complex topics, they should be supplemented with bite-sized learning content that allows employees to access key knowledge and training at the point of need. Short learning snippets are a great way to complement the learning and development experience by helping users to reinforce what they have already learned or quickly learn something new. They can include things like short training videos, very quick, detailed modules, or even interactive features like quick quizzes.
Engaging users on this smaller scale provides them with the resources they need to lead their own learning and keep learning and expanding their knowledge without requiring a large time investment. Instead, watching short videos or reading “quick hit” articles on a complex topic can help break it down into individual components that can be reviewed at different times. Also, using timely quizzes, other automated tools, and elements of brain science can help ensure employees retain their knowledge by reinforcing what they’ve learned before they forget it.
Learner engagement metrics and analytics
A critical element to consider is the provision of in-depth metrics and analytics. Your organization will want in-depth metrics and reports to better understand how exactly your teams are utilizing and leveraging the learning resources available to them. Analysis of employee usage with help provide critical insights into not only how they’re learning—so you can improve employee learning outcomes with timely, well-informed and strategic learning interventions—, but how the learning and development experience can be improved overall.
For example, if an analysis of your learning metrics highlights a dip in engagement with a specific topic or module, your team can investigate the root cause for that. This information will empower your team to maximize the resources and encourage further engagement as well as collaboration between users. These metrics can help your team optimize. For example, if the majority of the team is utilizing video resources over text-based modules, then the necessary adjustments can be made to focus more heavily on video over other content.
The bottom line
Employee learning and development programs are an absolutely critical element to any organization that is looking to attract and retain the best talent and gain a critical competitive advantage in an ever-evolving business landscape. Employees are thirsty for knowledge, and your organization has the resources to provide it to them. Employees should be encouraged to continue to expand their expertise and skills, as this provides a double-edged benefit to both the individual and the organization as a whole.
When searching for the right employee learning platform, your team will want to find a solution that includes the kinds of tools and capabilities that will allow you to empower your employees in the best ways possible. In order promote and encourage engagement in a learning and development program, your organization should look to provide employees with a complete modern learning platform that fosters learning via multiple methods—including video, collaboration, and bite-sized learning—while offering the data and analytics capabilities that will empower you to not only improve individual learning outcomes, but also the learning and development experience overall.
These features will help you increase the efficacy of and engagement in your learning and development initiatives while actively encouraging your employees to continue expanding and sharing their knowledge.
Reuben Yonatan is the CEO @ GetVoIP, a leading VoIP systems comparison guide that connects shoppers with relevant providers.