Future-proof your corporate learning strategy:

4 simple steps to cut through the clutter

By Blackboard

Learning and Development (L&D) leaders know the challenges facing corporate trainers today: shrinking budgets, a dispersed and mobile workforce, evolving business demands, and shifting employee expectations.

Equally daunting is all the research on learning, new teaching methodologies, and endless technology. Rather than empowering leaders, it can lead to information overload. Employees suffer the same fate. While access to the information they need to perform their jobs delivers clear benefits, it also has its downsides: distraction, poor time management, and burnout. It’s therefore imperative to cut through the clutter and assess the best path forward.

Here are four simple steps to help you find the right partner and develop a successful learning strategy for your company.

1Make professional development job one.

It’s not enough for today’s workers to be complimented for “a job well done”. They also value continuous learning and professional development. Centering a training program on this will not only benefit businesses by
increasing productivity, it may also reduce turnover. Workers know that to stay relevant, they’ll need to reinvent themselves constantly, and will look to their employers to help them. It’s important to regularly assess employees’ job satisfaction and align them with solutions that further their companies’ objectives.

  • Identify skills gaps and evaluate if graduates have the skills to succeed at your company
  • Poll supervisors for insights, and jointly develop skill assessments
  • Ask workers if training meets their needs, what changes they’d like, where they currently go for information, etc. 

  • Determine the average tenure of your workforce, assess if certain departments have higher attrition, and how you’ll manage future openings

2Focus on core competencies.

Competency-based education (CBE) is a win-win for both employees and organizations. It enables workers to train at their own pace, while empowering companies to assess mastery and establish quantifiable benchmarks. It offers the personalization that workers demand, and the scalability that businesses need.

Hallmarks of a CBE program include easy access to learning regardless of time, pace, or place, as well as dashboards and visualization tools that allow learners to track their progress. And the benefits to companies are clear — from increased proficiency and savings on travel expenses, to reduced productivity loss due to employee absence and more time for coaching and mentoring.

  • Determine what learners need to know, think, or be able to do after training
  • Assess how your program supports desired outcomes, and identify gaps
  • Evaluate trainee performance, identify strengths and areas for growth
  • Choose a partner that possesses both a technological platform to support CBE, and L&D expertise

3Create engaging experiences.

For today’s learners, it’s all about tailoring experiences to their interests and needs. While it can be tempting to go with an exclusively online solution, studies show that a blended approach is more successful. Develop a comprehensive program that includes online, mobile, and in-person training, and create “engaging experiences” that span all forms of learning.

  • Design content that can be immediately applied
  • Use real-world scenarios to allow people to practice what they learn
  • Leverage peer-to-peer learning by connecting mentors with more junior employees online
  • Incorporate multimedia elements (such as video and gamification)

4Choose a partner, not a piece of technology

L&D leaders shouldn’t be bogged down with connecting “this system” for content, “that system” for delivery. They should be free to focus on the information and skills required for employees to succeed, and let their partner do the heavy lifting.

Consider the benefit of a partner that offers leadingedge technology, and understands the intricacies of education and your industry. They understand the needs of both learners and instructors, are well versed on new learning strategies, offer a customizable platform, provide a wealth of resources, and may even be familiar to your workers (e.g., Blackboard’s experience within the university sector means employees may have already used our solutions).

Choose a scalable, enterprise-grade technology platform that:

  • ensures consistency, permitting updates from a central control point.
  • provides access from anywhere with an Internet connection.
  • integrates tools into a single portal.
  • provides blended learning with experiential practice,
    group collaboration, learner preparation, and instructor
  • enables scheduling and managing courses, classrooms,
    and webinars outside the learning management
    system (LMS).
  • tracks learner progress.
  • improves reporting process.

Working with an experienced partner who offers a comprehensive solution, understands the business of learning, and demonstrates a commitment to customer service, frees up L&D leaders to focus on their core mission: training and retaining a productive workforce.

For more than 20 years, Blackboard has pioneered the way learning is delivered, from K-12 to higher education to the business world. We understand the unique training needs of businesses, supporting more than 1,600 corporate, healthcare, and government clients and 10 million employees worldwide. Blackboard can help you deliver effective content that will have a direct impact on your organization. Learn more: Blackboard.com/business