Digital learning and the use of virtual training platforms provide the scalability and flexibility at lower costs that many organizations have long sought after. New digital innovations that enrich the virtual and on-demand learning experience have gained significant traction across industries, but particularly in the asset-intensive industries AspenTech serves.
Many companies we work with are driving forward their digital learning initiatives and embracing virtual training as part of a strategic approach to upskill their workforce and build organizational competitiveness. The efficiencies achieved with this approach often go hand-in-hand with delivering consistent outcomes to the business.
Changing Market Conditions, Increased Customer Demands and Emerging New Technologies
Any (or all) of these scenarios should compel businesses to act quickly to raise the competency and performance standards of their employees. In the past, looking at worker training programs as an organizational development tool to close the skill gap always seemed to make sense. A discussion about the range of training options would be typical. Perhaps deploying a blend of learning methods could help employees learn more efficiently and achieve a certified professional status faster. But that was before the world changed.
Today’s truth is that we are operating in highly volatile market conditions, full of uncertainty, magnified recently by an unprecedented pandemic and a massive transition to remote working. This is quite likely not the “normal” list of considerations on an enterprise’s checklist as they embark on employee learning and development programs.
However, around the world, as we all get acclimated to the “new normal” and many businesses are shifting to new ways of working, it is now more important than ever that organizations take care of their employees’ development needs. In many industries, this means retraining them for the skill requirements of tomorrow.
There are several reasons why.
First, today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment demands that organizations become more agile and cost-effective by upskilling their workforce to stay ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage. Second, the process and achievement experienced through a structured training and certification program can provide a catalyst for employees (who are feeling uncertainty at times) to gain an increased sense of belonging and value at precisely the time when they need it most.
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for keeping employees motivated, and training alone is not the full solution, setting learning targets for employees to work towards can instill feelings of success and pride that can go a long way to galvanize their performance.
The current circumstances could be a driving factor to accelerate your virtual and digital learning strategy while finding out what works (and what doesn’t) for your team. For software users, for instance, the blended range of live instructor-led virtual or online training, supplemented by self-paced bite-sized eLearning, can be mixed and matched to reach a concrete competency target measured by the number of certified users. Comparing eLearning outcomes and costs versus the traditional in-person classroom training can reveal the best approach for your business.
Simultaneously, just as many of us are breaking down barriers and limits to our own productivity and creativity as we are working remotely for the first time, those currently in schools — the young professionals of tomorrow — are experiencing the same revelations. Instead of a structured routine and curriculum in a traditional classroom setting on campus, learning is taking place today remotely, both online and digitally.
Many college students have been adapting to virtual classrooms and are perhaps completing their degree programs away from university campuses. Employers will be looking at students who are embracing new digital learning technology and new ways of education (and possibly having lots of fun doing it), and the organizations that act fast to replicate this dynamic in the workplace will be the ones that benefit the most.
These revelations should be taken very seriously by companies who are creating innovative employee training programs to accelerate their digital transformation. It could be the differentiator for today — and also for tomorrow.
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