The adoption of consumer-oriented customer-facing technologies to improve the user experience is challenging everything we know about behaviour, what people want, and importantly for L&D, the expectations people have about how organisations plan to deliver career development opportunities. The problem becomes even more acute when we consider this transformation with regard to the development of your IT department. Technology is simply moving faster than organisations are, meaning the skills required to match this shift are not there. According to the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2018, 65 percent of IT leaders say that the lack of skills is holding back their strategies; while a PwC report highlights that 77 percent of CEOs see the lack of key skills as the biggest threat to their business.
The challenge for L&D
I think we can all agree that this means there is a rising sense of urgency around the delivery of training, putting HR and L&D under tremendous pressure to not only design and implement such programmes, but also to deliver results. This last part is the most important and yet it is often the hardest to achieve. Research by Towards Maturity illustrates that one of the primary barriers to providing effective L&D is cost, or rather proving the value of learning opportunities. As Penny Asher, director of executive education at Open University Business School says, “If you’re a global organization, then learning and development really has a commercial impact and businesses are demanding much more from their L&D function”.
Assessment methods need to change
Skillsoft helps organisations prove the worth of their learning programmes. As part of our IT Training portfolio, we enable L&D departments to align their training programs with the skills required to complete a particular project rather than just assigning popular trending subjects that bear no relation to the task at hand. We also assess a learner’s progress. Using the Ipsative assessment technique, we look at the learner’s previous work, further enabling the organisation to match knowledge acquisition with the needs and requirements of each user. In this way, the organisation can move forward now that the employees have the necessary skills.
Proving operational value
Recently, I had the pleasure of discussing this focus on operational learning with Dr. Anthony Basiel, programme leader at Arden University. Dr. Basiel specialises in Learning Technology Design, and our conversation touched on today’s issues with performance and solutions to how best we can move forward to ensure relevancy and impact. One thing is for sure, memory-based testing is old hat and needs to change. For this to happen, education and organisations need to grow in sync with a new methodology, and there needs to be a stronger bridge between the graduate and the professional. We also agreed that practical, real-life collaborative scenarios such as hackathons are fusing our strategic, operational approach with the latest content, technologies, and solution services to make learning functional.
To hear more about how to ensure your learning programs are providing real value to today’s workplace, join us on September 25 for A Lesson in Pitching L&D to Your IT Operational Partners webinar. World expert and doctorate in Learning Technology Design, Dr. Anthony Basiel from Arden University, Lynne Scott, organisational excellence and learning and development director at AstraZeneca and AstraZeneca’s senior innovation architect and the creator of their first AI chatbot, Steve Woodward, will explore:
- The challenges and shortages in talent faced by the operational functions within organisations
- The importance of Ipsative Assessment
- How L&D can partner with IT Operational Partners for wider organisation success
- A case study with AstraZeneca
- Practical tips on how to embed yourself as a key partner for IT
Christopher Sly is a Solution Principal, IT & Digital at Skillsoft EMEA.