It was hard not to name this post "What We learned at Learning Solutions 2015!" That being said, we learned a lot. The conference was highly educational, with a variety of fabulous sessions and excellent vendors on the floor. Our favorite part? Meeting with like-minded individuals that are as passionate as we are about making learning and training more effective and efficient.
Here are three important takeaways we would like to share with you:
1. Why is innovation so important to learning?
In his thought-provoking opening keynote session, Tom Wujec spoke about innovation in learning. He discussed what approaches we can take to innovate our training and learning practices and stressed that these practices are never "finished" and that we should treat them as ongoing projects, always asking "How can we improve this?"
We can all agree that innovation is fundamental to advancement and to the success of the organization, especially in today's globalized and outsourced economy. And we have all felt the increased push from business operations to improve efficiency and effectiveness in order to meet business results. This is one of the biggest challenges that L&D faces since most learning activities are not designed with business KPIs in mind, but rather focused on the transfer of knowledge and skills. The disconnect between L&D and Business Operations is referred to as the "business barrier."
In order to break the business barrier that exists between L&D and business operations, innovative solutions have been introduced, called Performance Support solutions. Performance support allows L&D to develop and implement training programs that directly affect business results AND learning goals. It also enables employees to achieve their KPIs as quickly as possible after the training program has been completed. By providing just-in-time process guidance and task automation from within the business process, employees are able to complete business processes efficiently and accurately.
And that's not all folks! In his session, Performance Support, the missing link to the learning ecosystem?, Yanay Zagury explained how innovations in performance support and the Tin Can API now make it possible for L&D to readily identify and measure where learning programs are effective and demonstrate the impact of training on business results. More on that here.
2. What’s the future of learning in the workplace?
Another prevalent topic at Learning Solutions 2015, introduced by keynote speaker Michael Furdyk, was the future of learning. Michael asked us to think about how we foresaw technology changing how we work 5 years from now? His session discussed how technology and social media can be used to make employees more effective, more engaged, and happier.
L&D departments are very aware that engaging employees is vital to the success of the organization. Engagement plays an important role in motivating the employee to contribute to organizational success and it also helps enhance their own sense of well-being. With this comes the challenge of creating customized training programs that are directly tied to business objectives and well as tailored to the trainees' specific needs. Traditional classroom approaches have been replaced with blended learning approaches that are more effective in catering to the varying learning needs of employees.
In their joint presentation, Kryon Systems and Time Warner Cable discussed how this is particularly challenging in the customer service industry, where customer expectations are off the charts, and presented a case study by TMC. Maria Leggett, Director of Learning Design – Residential at Time Warner Cable and Francine Haliva, Head of Marketing at Kryon Systems, made the case for deploying Leo Performance Support. They shared the benefits of Performance Support - improved bottom line results with a reduction in lost revenue for the inbound sales agents by 14% - and emphasized how what started out as an exercise to improve the training program transformed the entire learning culture of the company. View the slideshare here.
3. Why is training and eLearning not enough?
Last but not least, this is a question that was discussed at Learning Solutions that is truly near and dear to our hearts. Training and eLearning are incredibly important to any organization, but often they are not enough. Once an employee leaves the training environment, they need to put their learning to actual use on the job. This is not as simple as it appears. There are many circumstances that can leave an employee unable to perform the task at hand. In some cases, he/she may be dealing with an infrequent scenario that wasn't covered during training. And even the best trained employee can't be expected to retain one hundred percent of what they learned from a training experience weeks, months, or years earlier. This is where performance support comes to the rescue.
Performance support is increasingly being used by organizations to enhance the effectiveness of workplace performance and extend the value of training programs beyond the classroom. In those circumstances where an employee doesn't know what to do, performance support solutions such as Leo, will guide them on any application from within the business process in real time. It will even alert them if a mistake has been made and can be set up to automate tasks. In short, performance support helps employees get the job done and helps the employer achieve business results and deliver business value via learning. Read more on this topic here.