How and why so many organizations are hustling to modernize their learning model

How and why so many organizations are hustling to modernize their learning model

November 8, 2021

How and why so many organizations are hustling to modernize their learning model

Dream Chua (they/them)

Product Marketing Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Cornerstone

Workplace learning is a top priority for leadership teams today. Research suggests 64% of global L&D professionals agree that over the last year, learning became a “need to have” rather than a “nice to have.” And that’s good news for organizations who invest in developing their employees’ strengths, as it’s proven to lead to increases in profits, sales and customer and employee engagement.

But organizations cannot take the same approach to L&D that they always have, which in many cases still has its roots in the original purpose for learning in the workplace: compliance training.

Enterprises needed to make sure employees were meeting local and federal regulations. The best way to prove that was to have workers complete trainings on topics like safety at work and sexual harassment.

From there, L&D evolved into an onboarding tool. HR teams used learning management systems (LMSs) to house not just compliance training content but training videos geared at educating the workforce in a specific task, about a new product, or about the company as a whole.

But to meet the evolving nature of work, learning must move beyond siloed, single-purpose training into a strategy that actively connects learning content with growth opportunities. Organizations are ready to modernize their learning models, with over 73% acknowledging their L&D strategy had to shift in light of the pandemic. They need to offer employees learning experiences tied to skills development and career advancement opportunities to be engaged, satisfied and retained — and to drive company agility and growth.

Connecting employees with learning and advancement opportunities

Older learning models have one fundamental disconnect: They separate learning from advancement. Employees might have had access to learning, but lacked insight into how they can apply it to their futures.

If an employee takes a course or completes a project and comes back to their team or role without an idea of what they should do next, you’ve only provided them access to learning, not access to growth. Or, perhaps employees saw a clearly defined career path but didn’t have the tools to get there, leaving workers disengaged, frustrated or wondering why they’re not advancing.

It’s no longer enough to tick off compliance boxes or provide welcome videos when new workers arrive. Employees need to be offered learning opportunities in the context of their career development and aspiration — and research shows they’re craving it.

93% of employees say they would stay longer at a company if it showed a direct investment in their career development.

Offering your employees a true growth experience means evolving your learning experience to one that can affect real change in your employees’ future paths. It’s about providing learning content in the context of their own goals, so employees can optimize learning opportunities that fit their own pathway to success.

A modern approach to learning also acknowledges that there’s more to it than just providing employees with content or training — that's not the only way people learn. People also learn through mentorship, through access to new projects, through watching videos or doing research online on their own time. The more ownership employees have over their learning journey, the likelier they are to remain engaged with the organization and perform to their highest potential.

Why organizations are investing in modern learning

A learning and development strategy that better connects those two elements not only improves the employee experience, it also drives organizational well-being by extension. That starts with retention. Keeping employees engaged with your organization — and aware of how they can reach growth opportunities — better positions you to fill positions by hiring from within.

The less engaged your employees are, the more likely they are to look for new employment: Gallup research shows 74% of disengaged workers are actively seeking new roles, compared to 30% of engaged workers.

Investing in learning also helps position your organization to adapt to changing circumstances or potential challenges in the future, and building critical skills competencies remains the top priority for HR leaders in 2021. A modern approach to learning can connect your employees with the right skills to help fill any organization-wide gaps.

Remember: Your workforce is your competitive advantage. When obstacles arise, the workforce that is the most adaptable, that has the skills to resolve challenges, is the one that's going to help push your company forward.

Cornerstone Xplor powers a modern learning model

With Cornerstone Xplor, our new system of work, HR teams will finally have a single platform that creates a meaningful connection between learning and growth — empowering employees with personalized, curated learning content determined by their self-selected skills, interests and career goals. Cornerstone Xplor combines the functionality of an LMS, a learning experience platform (LXP), a career development or career exploration tool and a skills engine to accomplish an interconnected, holistic view of learning and growth.

Workers can easily identify a realistic pathway for their own advancement, and Cornerstone Xplor then surfaces the learning content they need to reach their goals — regardless of if that learning content is purchased, created in-house or generally available on the internet. Cornerstone Xplor recognizes all these learning avenues and surfaces recommendations tailored to the way an employee, as an individual person, is driven with purpose. That way, employees are more likely to come back to keep learning as their skills progress.

Gone are the days of time-consuming manual creations of your workers’ skills. The program automatically connects all of your organization’s skills to your people and connects these people to tailored learning content. As skills are gained or become obsolete, Cornerstone Xplor also maintains and updates itself, making sure your organization always has an updated skills library to direct learning opportunities — and reducing a huge lift of administrative burden from HR teams.

A learning solution for the future ready workforce

The days of learning as a compliance requirement are behind us, especially for organizations who want agile, engaged workforces.

With a modern learning approach supported by machine learning that encompasses all these aspects — personalized content recommendations, defined learning pathways, skill assessments, career pathing, mentorship suggestions, job matching — employees can find a deeper purpose with meaningful career development, and organizations can feel more confident in their ability to adapt to future change.