The shift from offline to online learning and development can be an understandably daunting prospect. For organisations dependent on traditional in-person learning, ‘going digital’ may even seem like a counterproductive move – bringing with it a new set of challenges, costs, and processes to learn. In truth, switching to an online learning (or e-learning) solution is a clear indicator of an organisation’s progression and growth. It signals that L&D is effectively utilised to deliver the best results, while ensuring employees are given every opportunity to develop their careers. And, most importantly, an investment in online learning brings with it a multitude of benefits that can be felt at virtually every level of operations. The most complete and far-reaching e-learning solution – the talent experience platform (or TXP) – delivers the most transformational impact. Read on to discover how.
Talent experience platform - what is it and how does it work?
A talent experience platform is the ultimate online learning package – delivering online training, collaborative learning, and performance management via one unified solution. Building on the success of the learning management system (LMS), the talent experience platform goes further, bringing together a powerful LMS with a learning experience platform (LXP) and a performance management system – meaning these three crucial L&D solutions and their associated activities are digitally connected, easily tracked, and accessible anytime, anywhere.
Often disparately managed and improperly aligned, performance management and training processes are, in fact, directly related. By bringing these processes into close contact in an easily navigable digital space, the talent experience platform seeks to dramatically increase the efficacy of training programmes – and the specificity with which they can be applied to organisational goals. And, as indicated by the name, the platform does so by delivering an engaging, transformative experience – for both the learner and the administrator or manager.
How to transform L&D with a talent experience platform
Bring together formal and collaborative learning
While an LMS is an effective e-learning tool, it doesn’t have much capacity for collaborative and informal learning. For delivering compliance training, policy guidance, and even gamified lessons and quizzes, an LMS is unsurpassed. But bolstering an LMS with an LXP adds a completely new learning space for discussion and collaboration – and this is exactly what a talent experience platform provides.
With a talent experience platform such as the Totara TXP, it’s possible to empower learners to seek, consume, and create their own learning materials through the LXP solution (Totara Engage) – alongside the formal e-learning programme delivered by the LMS (Totara Learn). The LXP is particularly useful for gaining valuable advice and first-hand insights from colleagues or peers – for example, how best to deliver a successful proposal to a particular client, how to handle a problematic phone call, or how to get to grips with some formal training you're struggling to understand. While the LMS is ideal for efficiently covering training with objective learning outcomes, the LXP provides a framework in which colleagues can share best practice ideas, useful insights, and simple reassurance and understanding in a social setting – meaning the library of available learning content continues to grow and evolve.
The Totara Talent Experience Platform
Totara Engage has been configured with social and collaborative learning at its core – meaning it has all the tools leaners need to communicate effectively. From forums and Q&A spaces to content libraries and playlists – there is everything a team needs to produce compelling learning-based discussions and material. And the great thing is, it doesn’t require additional managerial/high level input – because once properly implemented, an LXP is essentially run by its users.
A fully fledged talent experience platform delivers an even better result when the collaborative space supports the formal training space. By electing SMEs (subject matter experts) – perhaps by using the LMS reports functionality to identify the highest levels of competency and understanding – L&D teams can direct experienced staff members to ‘lead’ LXP discussions and content creation. Whether using anecdotal notes or audio recordings, YouTube videos, PowerPoint documents, or photographs, Totara Engage playlists can be assembled and shared with relevant learners quickly and easily. Much like a social media post, playlists can also be shared, liked, and commented – meaning all users are involved in the process of learning from, reflecting on, and enhancing learning materials together. When these playlists directly support training courses delivered through the LMS, an organisation’s training and support mechanisms run independently – with empowered learners acquiring (and contributing) learning content and support from the LXP, without the need for ‘high level’ involvement from managers or L&D leaders.
Make training a core component of performance management
E-learning is a fantastic tool – but that doesn’t mean that an LMS will automatically deliver results. As referenced in a 2021 Finances Online article, 69% of surveyed companies with an LMS reported low or declining productivity, whereas 67% reported a failure to meet performance objectives. In our Medium article, ‘Why aren’t all LMS Projects Successful?’, we cited a lack of encouragement for learners to make progress as a key reason for LMS failure. Arbitrary training with no clear connection to organisational goals or employee progression is unlikely to engage or inspire learners. Simply put – why bother learning something if there is no clear benefit? And this is where the talent experience platform excels – making the connection between training progression (and necessity) and career progression as prominent and transparent as possible.
Central to the TXP philosophy is the notion that e-learning progression should be a recognisable accomplishment. For example, Totara Learn includes a function to automatically schedule and issue badges and certificates recognising learner progression. In turn these progress indicators can be shared and celebrated by learners on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, or internal communications tools such as Teams. The performance management system component of the Totara talent experience platform – Totara Perform – builds on this approach by linking online training/e-learning with professional performance in a formal capacity.
Scheduled one-to-ones supported by a performance management system help to inspire and motivate employees
Totara Perform provides a complete performance management dashboard overview which, in tandem with readily available overviews of learning progression, makes it easy to quickly ascertain ongoing, upcoming, and overdue activity at a glance. This applies to both managers/administrators and learners, meaning that e-learning and performance management are brought into the flow of work with reminders and deadlines clearly visible and easily trackable.
When setting goals in Totara Perform, e-learning progression is a key consideration – whether that of formal training or wider TXP activity such as LXP content creation or collaboration. Record keeping in this regard is straightforward, with integrated reports detailing learner progress, manager comments, and 360 feedback all at hand. This data also makes identifying skills gaps far simpler, clearly highlighting areas for improvement or previously unidentified competencies. What’s more, a simple to use evidence bank function allows evidence from across the talent experience platform and elsewhere to be uploaded and stored ready for discussion in appraisals. This evidence is further recognition of employee development – strengthening the importance of e-learning/training when it comes to career progression.
With a highly visible and involved performance management process delivered through a TXP, learner engagement and satisfaction is virtually guaranteed. As with the LXP, performance management software empowers the employee as much as it does the manager to discuss, monitor, and determine goals and professional development. Combined with e-learning in both a formal and collaborative capacity, performance management technology motivates employees and improves performance – while embedding a culture of learning and self-development. All of which is excellent news for an organisation’s bottom line.
Choose a provider that understands your organisation
Launching a talent experience platform takes time, planning, and commitment from stakeholders. But while the system itself is important, in many ways the system provider is what makes the difference between success and failure. Getting your team to grips with the new technology, ensuring your system is calibrated to your organisation, integrating company software, continued support and expertise – all of these factors are crucial considerations, and you’ll need to count on them being delivered along the way to ensure your TXP generates results.
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