The caliber of an employer’s learning ecosystem can be the catalyst for breakthroughs in training, upskilling, reskilling and career pathing—or an impediment to it all. Absent the state of the art in thinking and software for learning on the job, organizations struggle to set goals for their people or have an effective impact on overall internal culture. So learning has always been incredibly important in the workplace, and the proliferation of work-from-home (WFH), work-from-anywhere (WFA), hybrid work, and more has only laid bare and underscored this importance. More than ever, organizations must lean heavily on their learning ecosystems—the learning management system (LMS), the content feeding it, and anything else involved. The all-important employee experience hangs in the balance.
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It doesn’t have to be, but learning in the workplace can be stale and one-dimensional, consisting mainly of compliance-driven annual training that is uninspiring, even boring. It occurs at organizations that have not yet rethought their learning in the workplace with a mind for the potential for employee development in driving career alignment, employee satisfaction, and greater retention of talent or baking learning into a future-of-work-minded strategy for talent acquisition. As they approach learning and sourcing the content for it with little intentionality, very little of their focus, if any, is on employee development (3Sixty Insights 3SIAG2214 – “The 3Sixty Insights Human Capital Management Themes for 2022,” January 2022).
These suboptimal circumstances develop for various reasons. For example, the employer may be in an early stage of maturity in human capital management. These are often, but not always, small businesses. For a lack of exposure to the latest thinking, these HR teams (if the function has even been established as a department yet) just don’t fathom the upside of learning in the workplace. This, combined with an overwhelming administrative load across HR, keeps these organizations from embracing and harnessing the new possibilities in career-driven learning made possible by the state of the art in learning management systems, learning experience platforms, and content diversity, availability and curation.
For others, it may just be a traditional culture that has yet to entertain or sanction the idea of transforming its learning or any other people-related processes. And for others still, there’s a will, but not yet a way, and the primary directive becomes finding that way. Such was the case in October 2021, when Penny Simpson joined Orbus Software as the organization’s global head of learning and enablement. Her journey at Orbus is the subject of this Anatomy of a Decision™.
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