“The delivery of employee training has moved online, but most organisations are still using platforms that were designed for meetings rather than engaging and interactive learning experiences. To succeed in their learning and development (L&D) programmes, companies need additional tools in order to engage learners,” says Matt Baker, SVP Strategy/International, Class Technologies.
Class Technologies is a sponsor company at the marcus evans HR Summit 2024.
What are the biggest challenges that HR leaders are facing in L&D today?
The two pain points are skill shortages and employee retention challenges. According to Gallup, more than 50 percent of Australians are quiet quitting and 92 percent are open to accepting a new job. This shows they don’t feel connected or supported by their organisation. This is especially concerning for industries such as healthcare.
What is the root cause of this?
According to research, it is not pay but career growth and flexibility that play the biggest role for the distributed workforce that we have in Australia today. It is not easy to support people working from home. Australia has always been at the forefront of remote or hybrid working, but the post-pandemic work environment solidified it. What changes do we expect in the next few years? Organisations are having to figure out how to deal with these challenges, which means more online training and remote activities moving forward. The future of work is a connected organisation that manages both in-person, online and hybrid, and supports people in all three modalities. Organisations must be very nimble to respond to all their needs.
What does this really mean for HR? How can it better serve employees?
It is not easy to create a culture for constituents you never see in person. There may be unintended bias, with HR having a better relationship with the people they see regularly. This creates unique challenges as well as unique opportunities.
What tools could be used to engage remote learners?
Over the pandemic, almost all organisations had to rely on Microsoft Teams and Zoom, but these platforms were built for meetings. Someone goes online and everyone else just logs in, turns off their camera and microphone, and sits back. Very few people pay attention.
These traditional meeting platforms are not effective on their own for engaging people in a training, onboarding or upskilling environment. HR needs additional tools that are built on top of Teams and Zoom, that have the ability to track people’s focus and attention.
Only a few percent of trainings are still delivered in-person. It is just not happening anymore. But an aspect that many people don’t capture is the post synchronous, meaning the people who don’t and can’t make the initial training. How do you support them? We have tools that allow for a very powerful and flexible hybrid and blended environment. HR does not have to lose out on anybody. We are not trying to replace or replicate in-person training, but bring in tools that would make the hybrid and online training experience as powerful as possible. Our focus is on engagement, keeping people connected to the presenter, and making sure there is that connection. You could have all the tools in the world, but when you lose engagement, you lose the opportunity. Engagement is what drives value and a return on the technology investment.
Can online training solutions surpass in-person training?
The online component is better at supporting accessibility and eliminating unconscious bias. It helps support equity, especially in a distributed workforce, and increases the potential ROI of the dollars you put into training. Flying in ten people to a location and providing training where the retention rate will be maximum 20 percent is not a good ROI. But if your virtual program is effective, your ROI goes up dollars for dollar. When budgets are constrained, it becomes a big ROI opportunity.
How can HR make hybrid and remote workers feel part of the community?
This is where the technology itself becomes important. People need to feel connected on the platform. On a regular corporate meeting platform, who knows which video will appear next to which, and how productive it will be. The videos and content need to be managed effectively. Culture is not driven by the leaders, but by how the employees interact. If the platform doesn’t facilitate interaction, at the only time remote or hybrid workers have come together in a large group, they will not feel engaged and part of a community.