Elearning and Talent Management Strategies
23rd July 2014
There are many new practices that the digital era has ushered in. In fact there are many challenges to traditional business infrastructures that the internet and better connectivity has introduced.
The office is much bigger now and employees can travel but remain productive thanks to high speed internet, smartphones, and more integrated remote working policies.
However there is another area that businesses would do well to not only consider but also utilise. Elearning is a practice that’s gaining traction and it removes much of the constraints of the traditional teacher/pupil dichotomy. Much like the office setting becoming bigger, the classroom setting too is no longer stuck between four walls. Instead it can be accessed from smartphones or internet enabled devices wherever the learner desires.
Elearning challenges traditional teaching methods
In the past learning was a difficult thing to implement. A course designer would have to write a lesson structure, then rewrite and edit it, develop it and probably have to do the whole thing all over again. All of this would have to happen before the course could be implemented meaning that not only was it a costly undertaking but also a time consuming one.
Perhaps the most counter-intuitive part of this whole cycle was the fact that even after everything, even after the learners had completed the course, it could still fail. Now however time is of the essence and people want things delivered as quickly and professionally as possible.
Elearning provides this platform and instead of the incessant design cycle of the past there’s now the possibility of implementing a course and updating it as you go. This can be updated based on the learners themselves and the feedback that they provide. This is a transparent and honest process that champions good communication between the designer and the learners.
You can’t exercise control
Instead you should be celebrating the diversity of your learners and their opinions on the course on offer. Those learners know best what’s working and what’s not so listen to them. As long as you have clear objectives and ones that are actionable you’ll find that you have a lot more freedom to tweak and adapt the course than you may have initially thought.
Once the course is implemented there’s no going back. Instead it’s worth remembering that it is now a collaboration between you and the learners. Collectively, you can achieve very specific business goals and together you can develop and become a better and more talented workforce.
Effectively you are a support worker in this scenario and you need to facilitate your learner’s success. Work with them and you’ll notice a marked increase in engagement.
You’re in good company
Elearning is something that more and more businesses are embracing. In fact it should be so entrenched in a business’ infrastructure that employees have access to learning options throughout their entire time under your employee.
It’s estimated that in 2011 alone there were around $35.6 billion spent on self-paced elearning worldwide. That number has grown however and it now stands at $56.2 billion and most importantly, that figure looks set to double by 2015. Really though this isn’t a surprise when you consider another key piece of data.
For every $1 that a company spends on employee training that company can receive $30 worth of increased productivity. Elearning is a solution that is so multi-faceted that any business, regardless of niche or type, will be able to utilise it and notice marked increases in productivity and employee skillsets.
Elearning and talent management
Creating a talent management strategy is a recommended practice as it provides a business with effective ways of communicating with and retaining its high-level staff members. Really though this approach should be considered by HR management, rather than by line or senior managers.
However talent management is a difficult to define concept outside of a given context. It’s completely reliant on the setting itself, the organisation, its needs and culture. There’s no way that this article could provide anything definitive for such a far-reaching and ill-defined management approach.
Having said that, there is great scope for a conversation on the general benefits of this approach. Talent management, when implemented successfully, can greatly aid a business through providing it with the tools needed to devise a strategy that encompasses diversity and fulfils the needs of a given organisation.
The importance of a good talent management strategy
Any business will have key skills and aims that it needs to address and meet. Those aims should be well defined across the enterprise, but a talent strategy will help a business fulfill those goals. An organisation should consider the skills and experience within its business and it should look at the potential capabilities. Then it should use a talent management strategy to achieve those goals.
The highest priority for any business really is the employees that work there. Talent and diversity are important to a business as it ensures a productive and happy workforce. With the current economic problems there’s never been a better time to invest in staff and retain them within your workforce.
Culturally and socially we’re becoming much more diverse and the internal workforce of a business should reflect this; in fact, it’s increasingly important for a business and its future prospects. Businesses need to be innovative and forward thinking and diversity within the workforce provides that and it also ensures that there is mix of perspectives and opinions.
If your workforce isn't diverse and you aren't championing and celebrating your staff members then you’ll find poor staff retention rates and a lower quality of work and productivity.
Here are some key benefits to a business if it adopts talent management strategies:
- Good leadership that’s diverse and talented
- Target and remove discrimination from the work place
- Fulfil key business objectives
- Develop and maintain a well-trained and professional employee pool
- Better targeted spending – increased value for money
- Nurturing of knowledge workers
Benefits to the employee
- Can feel more valued and appreciated
- Increase job satisfaction
- Better working relationship with others, including management
- Better understanding of their own work
- Increased pride in their job role and responsibilities
A new strategy can always be difficult to implement but the above list of benefits highlights just how useful a talent strategy can be. By implementing it via an elearning platform you can ensure that the new approach is updated and kept fresh. Employees can constantly refresh their knowledge in the transient modern workforce.
There is however some risks to this approach and in the interests of a fair case we’ll consider them now.
A talent management strategy can:
- Give false expectations that the business cannot meet
- Be expensive, and it can take time
- Time consuming investment will ill-defined returns
Talent and talent management
There’s huge scope in the elearning model to implement and monitor your new talent management strategy. For HR professionals this new strategy can greatly aid their job and it can be integral to a good relationship being fostered between them and the line managers.
Effectively this strategy can boost employee involvement and commitment and this shows the strength of a model that has good feedback and interaction with its participants. However to fully utilise this it’s worth considering integrating it within an elearning model and providing staff with learning and development activities to monitor their success.
Elearning is a huge growth industry and in this economic downturn it’s worth jumping aboard. The poor job market and the lack of new and well-trained employees means that it’s necessary to retain your skilled staff members.
Use elearning and a well-devised talent management strategy to retain your employees and ensure a better and more productive future for you and your staff members.