With an increasingly distributed workforce across the globe, organizations have been tasked with reimagining many of their previously unquestioned processes. Among these has been reexamining workplace learning, professional development, upskilling, reskilling, and training programs.
U.S. government agencies are no exception to this shift. There are currently more than four million U.S. federal government employees. 2022 FEVS data showed that 31% of federal employees were working fully in-office, 55% were on hybrid schedules, and 14% were working fully remote. While many businesses and organizations need to ensure new innovations to their processes are effective, the federal government must also prioritize security and compliance. This endorsement comes from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).
FedRAMP is a federal government-wide program providing a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Its primary goal is to help government agencies migrate to the cloud in a secure manner by endorsing and certifying cloud service providers that have met the most rigorous testing available.
So, what are the top challenges and key learning and development trends for government agencies in 2023? And what does the future of learning in government look like? We recently brought a panel, hosted by Carahsoft, of government training professionals together to discuss answers to these questions and more.
What are the top challenges facing government agency training programs?
Budget challenges are dramatically impacting agencies’ workplace learning, both in accommodating travel and in supplying the resources necessary to keep current employees up-to-date on required training as well as to onboard and train new employees. Additionally, government agencies are restricted by the security and compliance requirements already noted above.
As mentioned in the webinar, CoSo Cloud uses the CIA Triad, which stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. CoSo Cloud’s role is to protect the platform that manages the courses and related information with high data encryption, secure connections, and other security controls. Ultimately, the course materials and user data are protected. And then, as part of our responsibility of delivering a FedRAMP Impact Level 2 (IL2) compliant platform, the CoSo Cloud platform is inspected by third-party auditors and government agencies to verify we are meeting the requirements.
Robert Thayer, Account Executive at Class, addresses another challenge facing government agencies, adding, “As we’re moving some of this [to] hybrid/online, you’re going to want to try to figure out that [interpersonal] connection in more of a quantitative way, as opposed to qualitative. And we’re looking at ‘How do we build stronger engagement through statistics?’ and ‘How do we make it better by collecting information, analyzing that over time to improve that virtual training experience, and make it a lot more like it’s in-person?’”
What key learning and development trends will shape 2023?
Upskilling and reskilling—the processes of acquiring new or additional skills to enhance or change professional capabilities—can be impactful components of government learning and development. Matt Mandrgoc, Head of U.S. Public Sector for Zoom, expounds, “We’re seeing upskilling and retooling as we’re seeing some of the generational things happening from new employees coming in. People switching different areas—the remote, hybrid, or in-person environments—you have to train differently.”
Mandrgoc pointed to a growing need for government agencies around standardized training for professional development through a foundational platform. Government agencies, as well as the military, have employees and personnel stationed across the world who also have specific training requirements. Class allows you to provide those courses—and provide them in a way that is better suited to the stressful lives and schedules of military and civilian employees.
A secure foundational platform also provides flexibility for employees away from their desks engaging in workplace learning with the option to use smartphones, tablets, and other tools; thus, increasing reach and accessibility for training and providing top-caliber talented instructors, regardless of geographic location.
What does the future of learning in government look like?
The future of learning in government looks like what Class and Coso Cloud can now offer: a secure, FedRAMP-certified platform that allows government employees and service members to take training from all over the world that aligns with their schedule. It leverages the power of hybrid and virtual training to overcome challenges such as budgetary restraints, geographic limitations, and more. As Joe Zewe, Vice President of Government for Class, confirms, “I truly believe the hybrid approach is not going away within the government. If you just look at the data and the numbers of how many more virtual employees or hybrid employees there are now than there were three years ago, we’re going to have to keep developing our technologies to keep up with the hybrid workforce…It’s important that we have the right tools so the customers and the agencies that we work with can take advantage of that.”
Class and CoSo Cloud not only meet specific government compliance requirements and save government agencies money, they possess the ability to enhance the quality of the training by leveraging digital coursework, increasing government employee engagement, and the ability to scale the impact of top-notch instructors regardless of their location.
How can government agencies choose remote and hybrid training options while ensuring security and compliance?
There are now tools uniquely designed for government training, reskilling, and upskilling which meet FedRAMP and IL2 compliance. Utilizing such a robust platform will continue to increase agencies’ effectiveness and efficiency while also matching the demands of the future workforce.
Is your agency in need of a secure and effective training platform? Speak with one of our team members at Class or CoSo Cloud today, and let’s take your agency onboarding, training, reskilling, and upskilling to the next level!
Want to learn more from our expert panelists on this topic? Watch our webinar in its entirety on demand.