3 pillar learning system to increase l&d impact
Training & Learning

Curating A Future-Proof Learning System: 3 Pillars To Increase L&D Impact

In today’s market and economy, cost-effective and impactful L&D that engages learners in our remote environment is more important than ever.

But when we’re asked to tighten the belt on our L&D efforts, we must find innovative ways to deliver impactful learning experiences that meet the needs of learners while still staying within our budget.

In our ‘What You Missed at ATD’ webinar (get your replay here), Paige Kracke, Senior Manager of Curation at OpenSesame, and Leslie Kelley, Chief Revenue Officer at 360Learning, discuss how through our partnership, we are collaborating with our customers to approach learning and development in a different but impactful way. 

Read on to hear how 360Learning and OpenSesame are working to help customers build a cost-effective learning system that empowers L&D as a strategic business partner, plus five quick wins for making an impact, and the three pillars of a future-proof learning system.


Have the robots really taken over?

First, let's explore the definition of a learning system, as explained by Paige and Leslie.

A future-proof learning system that makes an impact

As Paige explains, the exciting part of the discussion is that they are talking about learning systems—the real focus. 

When they talk about a learning system, Paige and Leslie mean a specific comprehensive system that empowers people to transition from being the typical L&D admin and content manager to a true strategic partner in your company.

“One of the key reasons why we are here together,” she says, “is that we have created this system and integration where you can bring this marriage between off-the-shelf eLearning content, which is the OpenSesame world, and this innovative platform for content delivery and content creation in the 360Learning space.”

And what Leslie loves about our partnership is we can dive deep into how we will build this learning system together. “When you start to build that system and adopt the mindset, you can take it anywhere you go in the future,” Leslie explains.

Step away from the ‘doing more with less’ conversation

In the past year, many learning and development professionals were asked to do more with less due to budget cuts, hiring freezes, and layoffs.

But the big question resonating with L&D leaders is how do you do more with less? Because you still need the resources and tools that the L&D function requires to fulfill your role within an organization: to make an impact and meet learners’ needs.

“We have to stop talking about doing more with less and make it possible for L&D teams to be super effective no matter what,” explains Leslie.

So, let's discuss how you can be effective with five quick wins you can generate today.

5 quick wins for L&D teams for impactful learning

Leslie has five quick tips for generating more wins for your learning system in a cost-effective and impactful way.

First, your L&D practice must avoid long, complex projects to stay relevant and make a regular impact. 

1. Stay visible

When you commit to long and complex projects, you and your team can become hidden from the business. 

In today’s market, it’s super important that people know what you are working on and that you are making an impact regularly. Senior leaders and influential stakeholders need to see you every quarter, not once a year.

2. Don’t expect to achieve less

Learning and development teams can’t take a day off because they’ve been asked to do more with fewer resources and tools. 

Even with squeezed L&D budgets, employees will still expect to grow in their careers. Therefore, it’s crucial that you know what your employees want and need from you and your learning system.

3. Use data and evidence to prove value and improve performance

Gathering data and evidence helps you make the right decisions that are impactful for you people today.

When building your perspective on your employees’ learning needs, the data will help you stay visible within the organization and empower you to regularly discuss your impact on business goals.

4. Leverage subject-matter experts alongside content integrations

Our data shows that you only need 2% of your employee base to be willing participants to build a robust learning system.

Additionally, 64% of learners say that learning from their peers and colleagues is the most effective way for them to learn. Therefore, your SMEs will be your win-win way to make the biggest impact.

5. Free up your team to make time for high-value work

Keep your focus on high-value work like securing stakeholder buy-in and developing your internal mobility strategy, and don't let resource loss distract you from those tasks.

“The administration of running an L&D function will never go away,” Leslie explains. “Especially when you have evergreen problems like compliance training and onboarding.” 

How you strategically leverage AI and automation to cover administrative processes to free up time for you and your team will make a measurable difference.

The 3 pillars to increase L&D impact

As Paige and Leslie explain, there are three pillars you can leverage to increase the impact of your learning interventions. 

First up, automate the low-value busywork of daily L&D. 

1. Automate the busywork

You should divide all the tasks your team is responsible for into high-value, low-value, easy-to-automate, and hard-to-automate quadrants.

For example, what you will find in the quadrant of high-value, hard-to-automate tasks are those we love to do. They are why we got into learning and development in the first place, such as developing your L&D roadmap and strategy.

Tasks like scheduled reporting and booking rooms will be in the low-value, easy-to-automate quadrant. There are no low-value tasks that can’t or shouldn't be automated and don’t forget about the high-value and easy-to-automate tasks.

When looking at your learning platform, here is how you can leverage automation and AI:

  • Administration: Automate reporting, reminders & manual tasks.
  • Recommendations: Increase learner engagement with personalized and automated content recommendations.
  • Content: Use Generative AI and integrated course catalogs to develop highly relevant SME-led courses and extensive learning resources.

2. Close skills gaps

With more and more L&D teams focusing on skills this year, we have to think about our employees and ensure we are engaging and upskilling them from within.

Upskilling from within means we are:

  • Recognizing and rewarding existing staff rather than hiring internally.
  • Creating upskilling opportunities with SME-driven learning experiences.
  • Promoting internal mobility and reducing ‘brain drain.’

To get started closing your skills gaps, map out your company’s skills, identify those jobs that are becoming redundant, and foster internal mobility with reskilling programs, training recommendations, and other tailored learning experiences. 

You can also use course catalogs to curate learning experiences for different skills gaps and for levels by building role-specific learning journeys and making learning accessible in the flow of work. 

And you can tailor these learning paths to develop and nurture skills while leveraging AI curation tools to automate the content selection process.

3. Curate blended learning experiences

Finally, to drive impactful L&D and help build your learning system, you will need to curate impactful learning experiences that boost business outcomes.

The problems L&D faces include that skilled labor is scarce and resigning, skills are the number one bottleneck to innovation, and top-down learning won’t empower you and your team to upskill employees fast enough.

So, how do you create that fast and engaging environment or pass those skills to new employees?

The solution is a fundamental shift in mindset from top-down L&D to a collaborative learning approach where experts and learners shape the content and agenda, which ramps up engagement through tailored content and fast and continuous upskilling for the jobs of today and tomorrow. 

To make this happen, you will need your SMEs. Here are three quick tips for creating impactful learning in collaboration with SMEs:

  1. Engage your subject-matter experts by showing them the data.
  2. Make it easy for them to share their expertise.
  3. Let them know the impact they helped to make and reward their contributions.

With a content integration like OpenSesame, you can also directly leverage curated off-the-shelf learning to quickly address skills gaps, curate learning pathways using AI tools and SME expertise, and reinforce instructor-led training sessions using off-the-shelf resources.

Quick recap: maximize L&D impact with 3 key pillars

Maximizing L&D impact through these three key pillars will help you build and ramp up your learning system. 

Once you have automation in your corner and put the repeatable actions on autopilot, you can focus your time and energy on closing skills gaps and internal mobility. You can also improve your company's bottom line and create a learning culture in which employees are happy to participate.

And most importantly, you can build a system that secures your seat at the table at your current organization and at every company you will be at in the future.

Keen for a deeper dive into how to curate cost-effective and impactful L&D? Get your replay of Paige and Leslie’s discussion of what you missed at ATD today!

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