Impactful Learning: The Driving Force Behind Business Performance
The digital transformation of learning is having an immediate and notable impact on business performance. Those who have adapted are reaping the rewards, says Daniel Antman, Managing Director of imc Australia. In his opinion, companies will need to redefine their organisation’s learning and development strategy in 2021. A personal statement.
As we approach the end of what can only be described as a tumultuous 2020 and look forward to 2021, the dominant behaviours that will define success are adaptability, nimbleness and alignment.
Many businesses are going through their 2021 strategic planning right now. And, some who may have already completed their plans are going back to revisit them, to ensure they are relevant to the changed and the probable long-term structural changes we have seen.
There is also a sense the language of business is changing. A few months ago people in business were still saying “when things go back to normal we’ll do this and that”. Now the rhetoric is changing.
There is greater recognition - at least, empirical recognition - that we are probably going to be forever spinning on a new axis. Think back to the 2011 powerful earthquake that moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet and shifted the Earth on its axis. It’s where we are at in terms of the business landscape too – spinning in a different place and probably never going back.
Adaptability and Speed Are Key
We’ve seen many examples of businesses having to adapt to this new business as ‘unusual’ environment. In a learning context, we’ve seen companies pivoting from delivering in-house training sessions, offsite sales conventions and other forms of in-person professional development to a full digital delivery format. Those who have adapted quickly may well be best positioned to capitalise on the ongoing benefits of digital learning.
It’s one thing to adapt, it’s another thing to do it efficiently and effectively. Again, in a learning context, those businesses who have been fast and adept at embracing new delivery mediums are having more success in maintaining effective connections with staff and key stakeholders.
Aligning Learning Strategy to The Digital Generation
Aligning the delivery of quick, effective and meaningful knowledge-transfer with the commercial/performance imperatives of the business has never been more critical. For many astute business people, the current climate has highlighted the critical importance of knowledge transfer and learning to drive increased engagement with staff and other stakeholders including customers. Stable, well trained and stimulated employees translate directly to the bottom line. Well-developed and informed customers/stakeholders become advocates for businesses.
A recent LinkedIn research study identified the primary driver that connected Millennials and Gen Zs to the organisations they worked for was… development. Not pay or work conditions, but development.
For organisations who see themselves as genuine learning businesses, and who are committed to developing and growing their teams, their time has come. They are embracing the technologies that will enable them to deliver the learning that is valued by those seeking the development, support and care.
Happy, stimulated, developing and supported employees are those more likely to stay and contribute to the ongoing success - something every C-Suite and/or senior manager needs to keep in mind.
Virtual Conferencing Tools and Learning
Throughout the crisis of 2020 businesses have turned to and utilised connectivity tools including Zoom, GoToMeeting and Teams to mention a few. In many respects, these tools have been a communication lifeline for business.
Yet, on their own, they are not learning, training or development tools. Genuine learning that is impactful, sustainable and measurable needs to be expertly designed to ensure it delivers the desired outcomes through the chosen delivery platform.
Virtual conferencing tools can and often do play an important part in a blended learning environment. However, they are not designed to be alternatives to expertly designed and delivered learning platforms.
Would You Like Cake & Coffee With Your Training?
Are those days gone? No longer can businesses rely on the attraction of food and drink to encourage staff to join the in-house training sessions in the communal meeting rooms. Nor can they rely on trips to the local café which doubled up as the overflow meeting room when the office facilities were booked.
Yet the challenges that 2020 have thrown out open the opportunity for innovation and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to learning. The sophistication and power of technology-driven learning platforms offer businesses with exciting possibilities to deliver knowledge in a way that can be a genuine game-changer.
Learning, training and knowledge-transfer are no longer the sole domain of the HR or Learning development teams. They should be a focal point for the C-Suite and boards when considering how to leverage digital learning platforms to develop, stimulate and ultimately retain the people they rely on to meet their business objectives.
Daniel Antman is the Managing Director of imc Australia, part of the global imc group and one of the world’s leading digital learning businesses.