The learning and development (L&D) department has grown more centralized, strategic, and cross-functional, which indicates that digital transformation has begun to permeate the L&D function. This transformation has caused organizations to become increasingly concerned about employee experience, connectivity, upskilling, reskilling, and capability building. As organizations continue to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape, they must assess and analyze the demands of this transition with great care. Learning leaders will play a crucial role in ensuring this transition’s success.
According to the LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 87% of L&D professionals have contributed to workplace development and helped their organization become more adaptable to change in 2022. The learning leaders must maintain the same level of commitment and diligence in the coming year. There is much more to digital transformation than the Internet and social media. Being digital, rather than merely having a digital presence, is at the heart of digital transformation.
The Need for L&D Teams to Adopt Digital Transformation
Although digital disruption has benefitted businesses with new and smart innovations, it also generates pushback within an organization. The success or failure of digital transformation initiatives depends heavily on corporate culture and behavioral barriers, such as a desire to accept new tools or various workstreams. Learning and development teams must be able to fully leverage and embrace the changes that digital transformation brings. This will help L&D teams to:
- Address changing work patterns mindfully
- Retrain existing employees to learn new skills and adapt to change
- Attract, hire, and retain L&D talent
- Shift to employee-centered, active learning
- Adopt immersive technologies
How Learning and Development Departments Can Approach Digital Transformation
The term “digital transformation” usually refers to replacing traditional workflows with the latest technologies and processes. The power of digital disruption can be understood through the innovative forms of work and talent management practices that have dominated organizations since their inception. Even in the learning and development department, the function of L&D as we know it has been revolutionized by digitalization and tech-enabled learning.
Workplace development has become a prime focus for organizations, and the L&D departments that take a strategic approach and advance technological prowess will thrive in the new digital landscape. The five steps below can help leaders in the field of learning steer the ship through this transition.
Set Clear Goals and Objectives
The first thing is that learning leaders should clearly understand the need for training programs. A clearly stated training mission mapped to organizational objectives and targets will help choose the technology that fits into the training brackets. In addition, everyone in the company must be on board with the process, which requires total organization-wide focus and commitment. It may necessitate revising existing techniques and retraining employees on the new methodologies. Additionally, individuals may share their thoughts; collective wisdom is beneficial.
Make Training a Continuous Process
Learning leaders must take measures to imbibe training and development into employees’ daily routines. Small, structured pieces of information, called microlearning, will make learning and using information easier. Furthermore, utilizing online learning platforms or learning management systems (LMS) will allow learners to access the courses wherever they are and on their preferred devices.
With clear learning goals and key performance indicators, learning leaders can track learners’ progress and set new goals using tests, quizzes, and course-end assessments. Providing badges and rewards at the end of any course module will add learner interest and engagement to the training program.
Follow a Social Learning Approach
Social learning is a cognitive process in a social setting and can occur through observation or teaching. People learn by seeing, listening, and doing; by combining visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning strategies. Creating a community of learners where they can share knowledge, learn from each other, or become mentors will help boost engagement and team building.
Move Towards Agility and Flexibility
Moving towards digital transformation necessitates a robust learning management system. Learning managers must determine which platforms are reliable and enhance employee skill sets while also benefiting the organization. In the digital era, flexibility and agility are essential elements of a successful organizational culture. If L&D leaders don’t see workplace development, they must be prepared to change their processes and incorporate new digital technologies. Learning leaders can revamp the L&D infrastructure and processes, creating internal career mobility to move toward digital transformation.
The importance of digital transformation in the future of learning and development programs cannot be overstated. Employee training methodologies that rely on interactivity make knowledge more accessible and open new possibilities for the learner. Incorporating a learning management system and using digital resources is only the beginning of the transformation. L&D leaders can only realize the full potential of digital L&D programs with a cultural transformation.