Reflections & Projections in L&D Part I | Webinar Recap
Wisetail | 7 min read
The last couple of years have made for a wild ride, and while we don’t have a crystal ball to help navigate the ups and downs of learning and development, we can certainly reflect on the past year, and present some educated predictions for the future of 2023. During the first of multiple discussions in our Reflections & Projections webinar series, Wisetail leaders sat down to discuss where we were, where we are, and where we are going. President, Ali Knapp, Head of Sales, Kat Claypool, and Director of Client Success, Ryan White, addressed the recent changes and challenges they’ve witnessed in the L&D, all while offering their predictions for future L&D trends.
We have all experienced system overload over the last few years. We were reactionary to the shift changes of the world and how we gathered technology to support those changes. Digitized tools and software were adopted rapidly to assist companies with training and management. That trend has since mellowed, and there is now a drive to fully harness these technologies/tools to their full potential, really taking advantage of engaging elements like gamification, and upskilling.
Since this push to fully utilize training software and technology, there has been a noticeable uptick in the use of social features. There is more user-contributed content, use of badges, and a wider utilization of points for gamification. These are incorporated into learning programs to make sure clients are being as efficient as possible with the technology that they’re using.
Organizations are expected to keep placing an emphasis on technology, and using it to fill the gaps within preexisting business systems. Wisetail clients have expressed increasing interest in upskilling current employees, and ensuring that there are learning opportunities and pathways for continued knowledge and career development. This is paramount for companies that want to retain their talent and see greater ROI, as the power of the future is to meet employees where they are, and help get them where they want to be.
While Wisetail leaders were able to reveal a lot about the evolving world of L&D, we were not able to tackle all of the thoughtful questions from our viewers. So, here you will find our answers to every question asked during Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going in 2023.
Q: What systems/platforms/gamification apps you’ve been using or heard of?
A: When we referenced the social features and the gamification, we were referencing the features we have within Wisetail. A lot of the features that our clients are using center around the ability for users to contribute content, whether that’s a video, a photo, something that can be a highlight at a specific location, which a lot of admins are actually turning around and repurposing into training content. There’s a big increase in clients using points to incentivize certain behaviors in the system, whether these points are being awarded for completing a certain training, posting in dialog boards, or posting user contributed content. Clients are further incentivizing users to participate by establishing a points store where users can redeem those points to get a gift, a gift card, or some company swag. It helps create the habit of logging back into the site, getting announcements, interacting with colleagues, and contributing to the community.
Q: Do you see tech being used for some reasons in particular more so than others?
A: There’s always a component of person in person learning that will always exist, and there’s pieces that we can’t replicate in a digital space, but we’re seeing tech being used more and more effectively to create experiences, and trying to get employees to be more effective, faster. We’re seeing tech used a lot in time to productivity training. We’re even seeing it being used before employees have their start dates, as there are onboarding pieces that tech opens up. We’ll continue to see tech being used a lot from the onboarding perspective. There will always be the shoulder-to-shoulder training, with pieces that need to be observed in person, but we believe in doing what you can digitally to scale it.
K: Even one step further, it’s looking at how we can incorporate learning and doing together. Most people have a phone in their pocket at all times, and you can pull it out, look at the training, look at what you need to know, and be good to go. A big component going forward is going to be that mobile and tablet friendliness, so people don’t have to find a computer. They have their training when they need it.
Q: Best guesses at what proportion of training is going to be in-person vs. remote/digital/LMS in 2023? (Again with the crystal ball!)
K: That specific breakdown is really going to depend on the industry and what market we’re in. For example, it would look very different from a company like Wisetail in tech, to a restaurant, to a retail business. It’s really going to depend on the industry.
R: Industry specific, the industries that we support that require an employee customer interaction, so retail, fitness, restaurant, I would say a majority of those clients are using and are going to use some element of blended learning. 80-90% of those clients are going to use the blended learning features to enhance their learning programs.
A: A lot of it will also depend on the size of the organization. A lot of larger organizations are able to do a little bit more of the standards and compliance training, whereas a smaller organization is going to be in a very different spot in terms of resources. It really depends on the organization.
Q: What do you think success looks like in an L&D program?
K: High levels of engagement! If your learners are logging back in, completing their training, going back in for upskilling, that’s a successful program because your users are active and engaged with it.
R: Only thing I would add is seeing continuous improvement, and continuously seeing that training gets better, the engagement gets better. You have to make sure you’re being responsive to what users are saying, and ensuring the program is meeting their needs.
A: Inclusive learning experiences and making sure the experience resonates with the entire group. We need to make sure that we accommodate all different learning styles, and all different learners, creating a process to train the entire group. We always make sure we’re looking at experiences collectively, and that the learning experience is something that resonates with the entire company.
Q: Do we ever see, or use, level four of the Kirkpatrick scale to measure the value of the training, trying it closer to strategic alignment?
R: Level four of the Kirkpatrick scale focuses on results, and how targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training, support, and accountability package. We do see this! Wisetail recently did a case study with Bagel Brands outlining exactly this. The results we see are based on their streamlined training process, which translates directly to ROI. They reduced the time employees spent onboarding, and thereby reduced costs significantly. This was done by implementing a very targeted training pathway and ensuring learners have access to training at their fingertips, easily and quickly.
Q: What are some best practices for continuous learning using the LMS platform?
R: Best way to ensure continuous learning is to release content and communications with some kind of cadence. You need to give your users a reason to come back to the platform, and you need to schedule time for users to come back to the platform. One of the most effective ways to do this is with microcontent. Little TikTok style videos on how to treat a vendor, how to put together a recipe, and information on LTOs, for example. These are great resources employees can have at their fingertips to keep learning.
Q: The Metaverse, e.g. Oculus 2, has been shown as being effective for teaching how to work on a jet engine, plumbing, woodwork, etc. Has anyone seen a use in the Metaverse for soft skills training such as coaching, delegations, leading meetings, etc? If so, can you share any success parameters?
R: While we do not doubt the metaverse will be successful in these areas, we’ve yet to come across clients using it for training… yet!
Q: What do you see happening in the State and Local government sector?
R: Wisetail is fairly removed from these agencies, but looking at industries as businesses, there are a lot of parallels. They need to train their employees, they need to push out communication, and they need to do so efficiently. A lot of what we’ve seen exists on a more macro level, including major delays in USPS. They’re having a hard time hiring enough employees and retaining employees, and that’s exactly what we solve with learning development programs and software. You make sure that onboarding is seamless for employees by delivering a great training program, and support so they can grow. The goal is to provide such a supportive environment, that employees don’t seek a reason to leave. This applies to businesses and government agencies, across the board.
Q: Do you see tech being used for some reasons in particular, more so than others?
R: We are seeing tech for interconnectivity across different businesses. A lot of businesses made a shift to more remote models, but a big reason for shifts was the need to hit wider audiences with communication, updates, training, etc.. For a lot of businesses that operate out of brick and mortar locations (retail, restaurants) we did see a greater shift towards acceptance of allowing employees to access learning or tech on their personal devices. This delivers more just-in-time training, and ensures consistency in training, brand standards, and updates across the business. This is especially true for businesses that are more spread out nationally and globally, as they can use tech to reach a really wide audience, in a cheaper manner.
While there is no way of knowing what the future holds, the Wisetail team will be here, holding discussions that (hopefully) prompt your own reflections around how you can improve your own L&D programs. To help you dive even deeper, we created a reflective worksheet! This tool guides you through a thoughtful exploration of your company’s L&D programs, to help you establish benchmarks, identify the cracks in your strategy and do more with less.
This worksheet also helps you prepare for Part II of our Reflections & Projections series where we’ll dive deeper into L&D programs. Join us as Wisetail leader Rebecca Blanksma guides us through a facilitated reflection exercise to identify gaps in your L&D programs. We hope you join us for a short pause and reset for the year going forward. Save your spot today!