Five must-have roles in your digital learning team

3 minute read

To meet the challenges of the digital age, organisations need to embed new approaches into their learning offers – and that means hiring HR and learning professionals with the right skills

Sian Harrington

User experience

Ed Monk’s son is no different from any Generation Z child. So, when his dad asked him what the capital of the Czech Republic is, he was not fazed. “I know that,” he said, taking out his mobile phone and scrolling through Google. “Yes, I know that. It’s Prague.”

For Monk, CEO of the world’s largest body dedicated to learning – the Learning and Performance Institute – this was not a surprise. He thinks smartphones will be ubiquitous in examinations in the foreseeable future. For the idea of what constitutes learning is changing, and today it is less about remembering and accessing answers and more about what you do with the information.

For business, this means being where the learning is happening. The days of banning YouTube and social media in the workplace are over. People expect to use services like this to help them find answers and solve problems, and that includes your employees.

According to The Economist, lifelong learning is now an economic imperative. Speaking at an event on 18 September 2018 on the Skills Economy, hosted by learning experience platform provider Coorpacademy in London, VP of Faurecia University David Jestaz said: “The ability to learn will be a core competency going forward.”

However, building a learning culture is proving difficult for many businesses, as 2018 research (below) by Fosway Group shows. It finds that 71% of organisations have started the digital transformation of their learning and development function, but 85% have a fragmented ecosystem for digital learning and only 18% of the L&D effort is focused on developing performance.

Digital learning realities research

This is a big concern for, in our fast-changing world, organisations need to find ways to reskill and upskill their workforce at speed and scale.

Monk identifies five new roles business should have in their learning teams to help meet this challenge:

  1. Community manager: responsible for networks, collaboration and engaging teams
  2. Performance consultant: responsible for engaging the business and aligning learning with business performance. And no, it’s not about measuring the number of courses you deliver!
  3. Live online learning facilitator: responsible for delivering bite-sized learning at a convenient time and place
  4. Video producer: responsible for the generation of short, empowering video content
  5. Digital content curator: responsible for sourcing resources from outside and inside

“The importance of learning to business, and the opportunities within learning are unprecedented,” says Monk. “However, it is vitally important that you offer modern, personalised, immediate, aligned, digital solutions as learning opportunities if you want to attract and retain the best talent.”

There is a myriad of learning solutions available and everyone wants to be the ‘Netflix’ of learning but, as Arnauld Mitre, co-founder of Coorpacademy and a former executive of Google, points out, it is all too easy to fall into the design trap and to forget the value of content and where digital learning fits into a company’s wider digital transformation journey.

“Making your company’s digital transformation a success is a major challenge. It’s about mastering the basics of digital culture so that everyone, from boardroom to frontline team member, can collaborate and work together to achieve change,” he says.

Published on ThePeopleSpace 19 September 2018
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