Learning for excellence: How SMBs can build competencies to embrace the future of work?
While leading businesses emphasise the importance of building skilled talent from within, one cannot overlook the detailed financial planning this entails. Recent reports have highlighted the budget constraints of startups and fast-growing companies due to inflation and limited investor capital resulting in mass layoffs. When faced with these challenging circumstances, the only way to sharpen the competitive edge is to curate avenues for internal competency building, business growth and innovation.
In a recent webcast led by People Matters in partnership with UpsideLMS, industry leaders Margaret Dsouza, Head of People Success at Zeta and Amit Gautam, CEO of UpsideLMS, shared their incredible insights on how fast-growing companies can optimise on learning solutions to strengthen their learning culture and empower a workforce ready to thrive in the future of work.
Keep the business goal as your learning goal
As the session kicked off by outlining the learning goals for the year, both our speakers had an interesting take on designing the organisational learning journey. While Margaret stressed the importance of ensuring your workforce’s clarity on the larger business ecosystem with all its disruption and product innovations, Amit called for aligning one’s work and vision with the customer’s success.
Both focus areas are gaining rising prominence, especially in the face of evolving skill demand and the urgency to mine opportunities for growth in the future of work. However, for learning to succeed in today’s dynamic business landscape, it has to be aligned with the business goal. And one of the optimal ways of getting this done is ensuring that your business goal is the learning goals, and then walk backwards to design that impactful, outcome-driven L&D strategy.
Invest in your talent development for the long-term
The emergence and evolution of new-age technologies have put a dent in the skill span today, which is why knowing your business and digital roadmap for the future becomes critical. Only then will leaders be able to envision which skills must be part of their core talent, which need to be borrowed and which need to be nurtured. As companies of all sizes invest in learning and encourage their people to craft their career journeys, learning technologies are an enabler in building the right career architecture.
Short-term talent development strategies will no longer give the results that growing companies seek. Instead, one has to invest in learning solutions and use those programs and processes to support career transitions and growth within the organisation.
Optimise your learning budgets
When we discuss budgets for learning solutions, one has to keep their priorities in check. One of the challenges that companies face is a stretched bandwidth when implementing learning systems. Hence, the solution one invests in must be in self-start mode, easily integrated into the company’s workflows and needs no manual intervention, thereby saving time and energy that can be dedicated to more strategic tasks.
With companies fighting for the same pool of talent today, SMBs can be at a disadvantage to larger corporations when it comes to investing in Learn Tech. This is where stakeholder buy-in becomes important, and one has to really showcase how LMS plays a role in increasing productivity and efficiency and achieving the targeted ROI. Technology can empower organisations to grow faster and build better products and services, but so much of it does depend on the learning technologies in play.
At this juncture, the webcast revealed the surprise it had prepared for its attendees-saksham, an LMS software pioneered by UpsideLMS designed to meet the learning needs of SMBs. And most importantly, overcoming the challenges of L&D budgets by offering its solutions at no cost. The vision is to ensure that all companies, regardless of their size and stage of development, can thrive in the future of work with creative, agile, impactful learning journeys.
Create a learning culture for the modern learner
For any learning culture, especially one driven by Learn Tech solutions, the user experience is crucial in ensuring the modern learner's engagement. Therefore, one has to constantly personalise the learning journeys with creative formats such as shadowing, live projects, blended learning options, research papers, pre- and post-assessment, hackathons, experiential learning and more. Only then will we not push the learning system onto the learner but rather draw them in. This is where LMS comes in with its options to play with multiple features and formats so that the talent can always be up to speed and we can champion learning in the flow of work.
Additionally, organisations must also prioritise learning in terms of skills that are must-have, good-to-have or can be learned by the employee later on. Finally, the modern learner must not succumb to digital fatigue but instead be given the flexibility to learn at their own pace and have easy access to content when needed.
Learning metrics are hygiene checks
As we measure the effectiveness of our learning solutions, learning metrics are mostly hygiene checks that help organisations differentiate between active and inactive learners; what’s important is also to evaluate all partner systems that are part of your learning ecosystem so that one can get insights on the L&D models that learners engage with more. There also needs to be clarity on the career journeys in terms of role transition and growth, along with ensuring that middle managers are part of the L&D strategy as they tie learning interventions to the workplace in partnership with L&D teams.
Finally, one has to break away from the analytics mindset. What will make a difference will be trusting in your teams for the long haul and strategising in line with employee and customer expectations.
Learning is a key investment for all organisations, especially fast-growing ones. But strategising around your learning solutions will play a significant role in achieving the desired success. To catch the complete discussion, click here.