As the corporate world continues to embrace new and evolving technologies, many storied practices are seeing upgrades and approaches are being reconsidered. Among these is the many ways virtual training is changing learning and development. The ascension of far more capable enterprise learning management platforms has ushered in a new era for organizations.
Christopher Lind, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer for ChenMed, has seen this growth in his own company, noting, “We think of onboarding and learning as the holistic ‘new hire experience.’ To improve this experience, we moved from fragmented employee communications on different platforms to one central source, compiled learning resources in one place, and provided resources for the critical time between accepting the job and starting, and we have been piloting automated text nudges. We’ve already seen significant improvement in how new hires feel during their first few months at the company.”
Let’s look into three ways virtual training is impacting corporate L&D programs for the better.
Creating a culture of learning
In moving away from a static, inflexible view of corporate learning and development, organizations are recognizing that virtual training can help unlock a culture of learning among L&D professionals, which is then passed along to their companies’ experiences. Dani Johnson, Cofounder & Principal Analyst at RedThread Research explains, “Today, we’re seeing more L&D practitioners embrace their role as agility enablers, which often means less content creation and more learning culture creation. Smart L&D leaders are getting out of the way and creating the conditions to help employees to focus on the right stuff to build the right skills to move the org forward.”
Part of getting out of the way includes embracing flexibility that allows workers to upskill and reskill on their schedule, in their current location—not on the dictated, overly structured system required by in-person training sessions. Virtual training provides enterprise learning and development in the ways most convenient for workers, allowing for more to take part.
Shama Hyder, Founder and CEO of Zen Media, adds, “Virtual learning systems help companies meet their employees where they are and get the best training resources available. Scheduling is simplified, especially in an age of remote or [blended] work, and workers can complete their training on their own time.”
Merging corporate learning and development with organizational objectives
L&D in a vacuum does little to push the needle for your organization as a whole. If your company has big goals, the way to accomplish them is to have your workforce on board and prepared.
This is evident through the results of PwC’s 2022 study of 52,000 workers, which found that “as companies take on ambitious business and societal goals, leaders must remember that employees can be a force multiplier or a detractor. In fact, PwC research has found that the workforce is the number one risk to growth—and also the principal means by which companies can execute growth-driven strategies. Understanding workplace power in all its aspects can help leaders energize their workforce, tap into the power of their people, and accomplish bolder goals.”
Virtual training unlocks analytics that can not only take your corporate learning and development from anecdotal positivity to trackable, realized success, but it can also aid in a true alignment of organizational objectives with L&D efforts.
LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report exposes this disconnect, noting, “While aligning learning programs to business strategies is L&D’s [number one] goal this year, the metrics don’t line up. The top five ways L&D pros are measuring success are vanity metrics, based on satisfaction with programs.” That same study identified that analytical skills are now seen as the second fastest growing skill needed in L&D. Leveraging the power of virtual training to reveal real, actionable data then creates a foundation by which organizations can unite L&D with organizational objectives.
Increasing agility to industry, market, and employee changes
The workplace is always evolving. Industry shifts, client requirements, economic impacts…there’s no end to how organizations are affected by internal and external forces. That same LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report found that skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25 percent since 2015 and are expected to double by 2027. L&D professionals must proactively build employee upskilling and reskilling for today and tomorrow in order to navigate the evolving future of work.
This emphasis on agility is only intensifying for enterprise learning and development. Rachel Richal, Vice President of Training for Buffalo Wild Wings and President of the Counsel of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers agrees, adding, “More than ever, learning and development professionals have to be change agents.”
Virtual training not only provides wider access to quality resources, it can also be made available regardless of an employee’s location or schedule. Workers already recognize how quickly their industries change and are actively looking to their organizations to empower them to remain successful—for both their own and the company’s benefits.
- Nearly half (47%) of office workers surveyed are worried they will be out of a job within five years because their skills will be outdated
- As a result, 86% say they wish their employer offered opportunities to acquire new skills, and 83% say they wish their employer gave them more opportunities to enhance their current skills
- 80% believed they would be more productive if they learned new skills
- 88% say they’d be more willing to continue working at a company that offered upskilling and reskilling opportunities
Technology has not only intensified the speed at which industries grow and evolve, it’s also unleashed tools that can help your workforce continue to evolve, as well. Enterprise learning management platforms can empower your workforce to upskill and reskill in ways that can align with your organization’s objectives while fostering a culture of learning that leads to the level of agility necessary to remain successful.
Ready to discover how your organization can tap into the power of virtual training? Reach out to a Class team member today!