How personalised learning can transform capability development in 2021

In an increasingly dynamic business environment, it is more important than ever now for organisations to look at capability development as a ‘must-have’ rather than just a ‘good-to-have’

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According to the World Economic Forum, there is a fierce urgency for reskilling in the world, as over one billion jobs have been transformed by technology. To add to this, the pandemic has recapitulated the need for boosting capability development by exacerbating issues such as job losses, insecurity and uncertainty.

The need is clear: both organisations as well as employees must opt for upskilling and reskilling to stay relevant and competitive.

One of the most effective ways of enhancing capability development is by deploying personalised learning as an essential part of the learning and development (L&D) strategy. At a time when personalisation has become the flavour in everything – from movie recommendations to food and shopping choices — the learning function too is not far away from its influence.

Personalised Learning: The boon of advanced learn-tech

As per a Gartner report, 70 per cent of employees state they don’t possess the skills required to do their jobs effectively. Personalisation powered by advances in machine learning is leading to a revolution in L&D. When it comes to capability development too, employees want learning that is specifically customised to their needs, interests and goals. In fact, personalised learning is high in demand at a time when skill shortage is the Achilles’ heel of today’s workforce.

Offering a personalised learning experience through the LMS or LXP is an effective way to engage workers, regardless of where they are located geographically. Studies have shown that employees too are eager for this kind of learning with 80% of Gen Z-ers, 79% of Millennials, and 77% of Boomers saying they value personalised learning as per their career goals and skills gaps.

In fact, in the new normal, organisations need to look at capability development with a two-pronged approach. It is not enough to focus only on digital capabilities, developing human capabilities is equally important. Improving soft skills such as communication, wellbeing, collaboration, leadership, empathy, emotional intelligence, mindfulness and so on, will bring in the desired effect to sustain the human side of employees in an overtly digital world.

Through personalised learning, employees can be targeted based on the competency they need, with a specific focus on the skills (digital as well as human) they require the most to excel in that competency. Offering learners the relevant learning they need, according to their typical role requirements, helps establish their purpose in their organisation.

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Here are a few ways in which personalised learning can transform capability development in 2021:

· Offers relevant learning to enhance engagement: One of the biggest benefits of personalised learning is that it helps filter learning to remove all the irrelevant parts. Such a learning programme is backed by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which ensures that employees are able to take only those courses that are the most relevant to their role, needs and skill level. This helps enhance knowledge retention as well as engagement.

· Creates specific training paths: Personalised learning is effective to provide learners with specific training paths that give them more control over their learning journey. Through such paths, L&D can curate learning content based on an employee’s department and role. For example, someone from sales will be able to take training related to sales, while a person from HR will be able to take training related to HR. This way, valuable time is saved and training is optimised.

· Puts learners in the driver’s seat through self-paced learning: When learners get to control their pace of learning, they have a better learning experience. While L&D can provide the overall direction towards the learning, it is best to hand over the reins to learners so that they get the much-needed focus. Relevant suggestions for learning courses can also help close the capability gaps, while helping employees gain the skills they need, both soft and digital.

· Customises training delivery: In today’s remote work era, when the workforce is located across the world, a personalised training programme can be customised to give content to different users in different languages. However, personalised learning can go beyond bridging language barriers. It can also accommodate different learning styles.

Take Away

Today L&D teams face the challenge of trying to figure out how to train a workforce in a volatile landscape. Quality learning experiences are the need of the hour to help employees stay engaged and learn the skills of the future. Creating a personalised learning programme is one of the best ways to provide quality learning experiences and close the capability gap.

The author, Amit Gautam is the Founder & CEO of UpsideLMS and Plethora. He is a learning technology enthusiast and a passionate leader. An IIM and NIT alumnus, Gautam is the key idea generator for UpsideLMS & Plethora’s product teams, a Sales and Marketing orchestrator, a learning technology solutions consultant for clients and prospects, and a mentor for all the function heads at his company.

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