The Learning and Development (L&D) landscape is constantly evolving, driven by advances in technology, changes in the global workforce, and the ongoing need for upskilling and reskilling. L&D leaders have their work out for them, owing to the marked changes they have to deal with, such as:
Which has only been accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Global Market Insights predicts that the e-learning market size will reach $1 trillion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 20% (2021 to 2028):
With LinkedIn's 2023 Workplace Learning report throws light on the trending L&D priorities for 2023:
Unsurprisingly, the same report claims that employees are looking for more personalized learning experiences that are tailored to their specific needs, interests, and goals.
Which is becoming increasingly popular. It allows learners to acquire knowledge and skills via bite-sized learning opportunities. L&D managers can create digestible, short courses on topics that your employees might find relevant (think: relating to in-the-moment challenges or opportunities).
Which continues to be a major challenge for organizations as they struggle to find talent with the right skills. McKinsey claims that up to 43% of executives are experiencing skills gaps in the workforce. Collectively, 55% claim that they expect the skills gap to persist or worsen over the next ten years:
Have emerged as a raging priority to close the skills gap and prepare employees for the future of work. For 36% of UK L&D leaders, upskilling employees is paramount.
It's a major cause of concern for 92% of L&D professionals in the current climate of the 'Great Resignation.'
The writing is on the wall: The current L&D landscape is characterized by a people- and skill-first approach to drive organizational success. However, issues such as skills gap, increasing employee attrition, and a lack of an L&D-driven culture are preventing L&D leaders from unlocking the value of the L&D strategies.
What does a lack of flexibility in L&D adoption actually mean? It basically refers to the inability of learning and development programs to adapt to the unique needs and preferences of individual learners, organizations, and the changing business landscape. This can manifest in various ways, such as:
Learners are less likely to engage with L&D programs that do not cater to their specific needs, interests, and learning styles.
When learning programs do not adapt to learners' individual needs, the learning outcomes can suffer, leading to lower retention rates (and ROI) for the organization.
Learners may struggle to apply their new skills and knowledge to their work when the training does not align with their specific job requirements and work environment.
To address these challenges, L&D professionals must:
The Joint Industry Board (JIB) offers a Joint Apprenticeship Training Program to provide safety and advanced technology courses for electrical workers who want to maintain their skills and be up-to-date on the latest advancements.
The Gyrus team conducted a thorough review and developed a detailed understanding of the customer’s requirements.
The team initiated a custom detailed data import including:
The result: Gyrus' proprietary and nimble business model allowed the company to adaptorate them into the product easily and quickly.
Poor user experience refers to the difficulty users face when trying to engage with a new learning and development (L&D) system, ultimately leading to low adoption rates.
|Aspect of UX
|Clear and intuitive navigation, easy to find what the user is looking for.
|Confusing navigation, difficult to find information or complete tasks
|Visually appealing and consistent design that enhances usability.
|Inconsistent or cluttered design that detracts from usability.
|Fast loading times and smooth performance.
|Slow loading times or frequent errors.
|It trains you to excel in particular work.
|It rains you to excel in leadership skills.
|Relevant and useful content that meets user needs.
|Irrelevant or outdated content that does not meet user needs.
|Accessibility features that make the site usable for people with disabilities.
|Lack of accessibility features that make the site difficult or impossible to use for people with disabilities.
|Clear and informative feedback that helps users understand what's happening on the site.
|Vague or unhelpful feedback that leaves users confused or frustrated.
|A consistent and predictable interface that follows standard conventions.
|An inconsistent interface that makes it difficult to learn or use the site.
|Personalization features that allow users to customize their experience.
|Lack of personalization features that make the site feel impersonal or irrelevant.
Use-case: Most LMS systems do not take into account the user-friendliness of the interface, leading to low adoption rates. For instance, if your users are not able to jump between courses and assessments without opening multiple tabs, you can say goodbye to them.
Think your organization is in a similar soup? Pivot your design and start by asking the UX team the following questions before redesigning the user experience:
Deep-diving into the current pain points will provide you with a roadmap of how to proceed ahead.
If your organization has embraced a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to using an LMS without considering the unique learning needs and preferences of targeted users, you are most likely to struggle with issues of limited customization. The lack of customization can ultimately lead to low engagement and ineffective learning outcomes.
The Harvard Business Review suggests that L&D leaders focus on 'lean learning'--a concept in which "employees not only learn the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reasons, but also that they retain what they learn" or else, learners will forget 75% of the new information in just six days:
Use-case: STRATA Skin Sciences Wanted to Train Employees Across different Locations—And Here's How Gyrus Helped.
STRATA Skin Sciences is a medical technology company focused on the therapeutic and aesthetic dermatology market.
The brand wanted a self-hosted LMS through which they could provide training for about 150 employees in different locations across the US. For the LMS system, their top-3 priorities were:
Gyrus provided a sandbox for use in training and learning outside the self-hosted environment. The sandbox was helpful for self-hosted customers as it allowed easier sharing of views and examples.
Once the training began, Strata re-evaluated the options and decided to switch to Gyrus Aim Learning Cloud. Ease of user access via remote access was a key factor, along with other internal considerations. The Gyrus team quickly created the v17 instance for them. They also developed training module plans and transitioned them to the new environment.
Strata quickly became independent with the Gyrus system and has since participated actively in the brand's Customer Council, analyzing product design and developing new enhancement ideas to improve user experience.
Integration issues in L&D adoption are more commonplace than you'd think. Without the ability to integrate your LMS with third-party tools such as CRM, Data Warehouse, HRIS systems, compliance systems, and so on, organizations cannot deliver a 360-degree learning experience. Here are the key integration challenges your organization might face:
A CRM system is used to manage customer relationships, while an LMS is used to manage learning and development. Integrating these two systems can be challenging, as they may have different data structures, making it difficult to map data between the two systems.
Data Warehouses are used to store large amounts of data from multiple sources. Integrating an LMS with a data warehouse can be challenging because of the sheer volume of data that needs to be processed and the complexity of mapping data between the two systems.
An HRIS (Human Resource Information System) is used to manage employee data such as employee profiles, job titles, and performance data. Integrating an LMS with an HRIS can be challenging because the data structures of these two systems may differ significantly, making it difficult to map data between them.
An LMS is often used to deliver compliance training. However, integrating an LMS with compliance systems can be challenging because compliance regulations are continually changing, and compliance systems need to be updated frequently to remain compliant with new regulations.
Integrating an LMS with other systems requires technical expertise and can be time-consuming. LMS systems may require custom APIs, plugins, or other integrations that can be complicated to implement and maintain.
As a result of these, the learning process is burdened with inefficiencies, redundancies, and errors. Consequently, learner engagement and learning outcomes suffer.
Use-case: If your organization is currently using a separate LMS and LCMS to manage its learning content, you are likely to face integration and compatibility issues in the long run.
To address this, you must:
Another side-effect of a misaligned LMS is not having access to accurate and meaningful data about learning outcomes and performance. This can happen when L&D solutions lack robust reporting and analytics capabilities, which can make it challenging to measure the impact of learning programs and make data-driven decisions about future learning initiatives.
Use-case: Let's assume your organization has invested in a costly LMS tool only to find that you cannot drive game-based learning--a big mistake as most learners are generally highly engaged with this learning format. Without truly understanding your employee's current requirements, you cannot deliver an exceptional learning experience.
To address this, you must look out for a learning analytics system that allows you to collect data on individual learners' progress and performance. For instance, these are the most in-demand soft skills employees want (versus what they get):
As per the State of L&D report, employees also want the following integrations within the learning program:
Without capturing these powerful insights, L&D leaders will be in the blind about what their employees need and prefer. Long story short, the tool should also help you to:
If your LMS tool is difficult to implement and use, it is already a failure. Like most tools, LMS platforms too can experience technical hurdles, such as issues related to software, hardware, connectivity, or other accessibility-related glitches and bugs.
To ensure that your employees navigate the technical hurdles mentioned above and don't get stuck on their learning journey, make sure to:
Inadequate data tracking occurs when L&D teams are not able to accurately measure the impact of their training initiatives due to a lack of proper data tracking mechanisms in place or due to a lack of reliable data sources. It goes without saying that tracking and analyzing the training data can help evaluate the effectiveness of your L&D programs and empower the team to prep smarter for the future.
To address the challenges of inadequate data tracking, L&D teams can adopt the following solutions:
Use-case: How Gyrus Helped BWX Technologies to Ensure Employees Meet Industry Standards and Compliance. BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) is a leading supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government.
As a provider of quality assurance in the nuclear field, BWXT wanted:
The Gyrus team began with detailed discovery and team planning. With multiple team members participating from two divisions, it quickly became apparent that the two division needs were quite different. Hence, the two divisions were put on separate implementation tracks to better serve their specific needs.
To establish their self-hosted platforms on Gyrus’ v16 platform, IT personnel from each division worked hand-in-hand with the Gyrus IT Analyst to walk through each step of their system setup. The divisions were then able to load and test their own data.
To cater to BWX's specialized needs for assessment setup and test results delivery, Gyrus worked with BWXT to gather detailed specifications and requirements and created a custom assessment module and webhook API that will become standard offerings for future customers.
The result: BWXT benefited from a highly secure self-hosted environment that met strict organization standards.
First things first, understand that every organization's L&D goals differ, and by extension, so will their LMS needs. So, when picking the right tool, it is important to understand what your employee's learning needs look like. To that end, conduct a few brainstorming sessions with the team to analyze:
That said, here are five expert-approved tips on how to evaluate the right LMS option that will help you get started on the right note:
Choosing the right LMS is crucial as it can greatly impact the effectiveness of your L&D programs. A poorly designed LMS can lead to a lack of engagement among learners, which can result in decreased retention and poor outcomes. Conversely, a well-designed LMS can significantly enhance the learning experience and make L&D programs more effective. Therefore, when selecting an LMS, it is important to consider factors such as:
Before selecting an LMS, make sure to identify the unique needs and requirements of your organization. To ensure that the LMS you choose is aligned with your organization's needs, consider factors such as:
Pro tip: It is crucial to involve everyone in this decision-making process, from the down up. You want varied perspectives so that you can select a holistic solution that caters to everyone's needs without compromising on customization.
When evaluating LMS options, it's crucial to assess the features and functionalities of each platform. In addition to the must-have features mentioned previously, factor in functionalities such as:
Pro tip: Remember to make your feature list as comprehensive and customized as possible to help you deliver engaging and effective training programs.
An important step that most L&D leaders skip is not researching the vendor's experience and reputation when evaluating LMS options. To make the most out of your L&D tool:
Finally, it's important to consider the integration of the LMS with other systems used within your organization, such as HRIS, CRM, and other business applications. Note that the ability to integrate the LMS with other systems can significantly enhance the efficiency of your training programs, streamline processes, and eliminate the need for duplicate data entry. So, ensure that the LMS you choose offers integration capabilities that align with your organization's needs.
They say that an L&D program is only as good as the LMS in use (and rightly so). Evidently, the biggest hurdle for Learning and Development (L&D) leaders in their L&D journey is the lack of robust Learning Management Systems (LMS). With a poorly-aligned LMS system, the frustrations for L&D managers can be wide-ranging:
While LMS systems are critical to the success of L&D programs, they can also hinder progress if not tailored to meet your specific organizational needs. The need of the hour is for L&D leaders to work closely with LMS providers to get to the bottom of their needs while ensuring that their systems provide the necessary tools to drive growth and development within the organizations. Thoughts?