Don’t get left behind: L&D in the digital age

Transformation in learning and development is seriously lagging behind and failing to keep up with user demand

We don’t need to look very far to see how mobile technology has revolutionised industries. Uber boasts 95 million monthly users from around the world with 5.23 billion rides delivered in a year. Deliveroo have enjoyed revenue growth of 650% year-on-year and Doctors on Demand has more than two million users accessing board-certified physicians in all 50 states in the US 24/7. But where is the mobile technology revolution seen in the learning and development space.

Is L&D lagging behind?

If we take what we know about the increase in demand for quick, instant and virtual experiences and apply it to learning and development you’d expect to see many new initiatives in this space. Unfortunately this is not the case. According to a CIPD report only 18% of L&D budget is spent on technology and 26% of learning is digitally enabled.

This isn’t due to lack of interest. Sixty-four per cent of learners say accessing their training content from a mobile device is essential, and 71% of Millennials say they connect more with mobile learning than L&D activities delivered via desktop or formal methods.

So how do we successfully implement mobile learning into L&D strategies? And to be clear: this is not instead of any current effective non-mobile L&D activities this is as well as. The above statistics highlight a missed opportunity if virtual experiences are not integrated into existing plans to develop and sustainably change behaviour. In the absence of mobile learning you will be limiting how quickly and effectively you can achieve your L&D objectives.

Bringing L&D into a new era

Coaching is a great example of where you can integrate technology into your existing approach. Coaching is widely recognised as a powerful tool to develop your employees. More and more successful organisations are recognising the monetary value of coaching and how it can help their revenue outperform that of their competitors (46% of organisations with a strong coaching culture indicate revenues above their industry peer group). Forty-four per cent of people cite coaching and developing others to be the most valuable competency for first-time people managers, yet only 36% of this same group are providing coaching to their new leaders. One of the reasons often given for this is cost.

That’s why mobile learning is so important. Using this technology you can democratise coaching and offer similar benefits in an interactive, accessible and cost-effective way. There are a few platforms out there currently trying to marry the power of coaching and mobile learning but they are often faced with problems. The systems and content can often be overwhelming, cluttered and have clunky interfaces that only cause friction for the user, discouraging them from engaging fully. So to find a coaching mobile app that your employees can and will engage with you’ll need to consider these three things:

1. How relevant is the app to the individual’s context? Learning has to be customised to the individual and their objectives. Look for an app that has been designed to complement human behaviour so they can pick and choose where, when and how they engage with a coach.

2. Ask about scale. There is a large expectation on mobile learning so you want to make sure you work with a supplier that can accommodate your needs and offer access to a large selection of accredited coaches who understands both the individual and the organisational objectives.

3. Making sure it is measurable. The beauty of using apps is that you can report and analyse how users engage with the tool. An effective app will be able to provide the analytics and insights you need to understand more about your people.

Whether you want to coach first-time managers, high potentials, new starters, transitioning teams or remote colleagues, mobile coaching can help you deliver your L&D objectives to more people in your organisation. It’s why at LHH we built ezra – coaching redesigned for the digital age.

If you would like to discover how ezra can help you achieve your L&D objectives and deliver coaching to more of your employees, register your interest for a demo and find out more here.

Greg Hart is the marketing manager, EMEA at LHH