Putting Learning at the Heart of Talent Strategy

Talent Strategy & Learning Development

More and more, HR, L&D, and business leaders alike are embracing the need to integrate learning across the talent lifecycle. To meet this need, LTG has assembled a portfolio of service offerings and technologies, including the Instilled LXP. In this post, LTG’s Chief Strategy Officer Piers Lea explains what it means to put learning at the heart of talent strategy.

In June 2018, LTG set out to do something exciting—to bring together experts in learning and learning technologies with experts in talent management.

Since then, we’ve achieved some amazing things, including launching gomo video and integrating NetDimensions award-winning LMS technology into PeopleFluent Learning. We also acquired Watershed’s best-in-class learning analytics platform and Breezy HR’s feature-rich recruiting software for small and mid-sized businesses.

And recently we launched the Instilled learning experience platform, designed to meet the growing need for structured, efficient learning across global enterprises.

Acquisitions and technology launches demand agility and adaptation and yes, learning. I continue to be struck by how crucial learning is across all our teams—from product engineering to finance to marketing.

Learning Is the New Work

LTG is hardly unique in this regard.

Across industries, work and workplaces are shifting to keep pace with technology innovation and digitization. Experts may debate its pace and progress, but no one disputes that the digital transformation is irreversibly underway.

And by its very nature, this constant technical innovation and the accelerated pace of business are putting organizations of all types squarely in the learning business.

That is, if they want to succeed, companies must invest in the programs and technologies it takes to manage change, develop skills, grow knowledge, and instill desired attitudes and behaviors.

It means that, as employers come to realize just how critical learning is to success in business, their talent strategies will refocus around learning, including

In systems terms, this also means companies need to adopt a constant process of redefining job roles and aligning qualifications—and compliance—with learning so they can scale and flex to meet new opportunities.

The Employee Experience – What Learners Want from Work

What this means for employees is that they must always be learning.

Predictions from top analysts paint a clear picture: From here on out, careers will hinge on the ability to keep pace with continuous change. They will be defined less by their jobs and skills and more by their experience and learning agility.

The good news is that employees seem to know this already. Not only do they see learning as its own reward, but they also expect to learn at work and count growth and development as a sine qua non.

In fact, in its 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte notes that the top reason people quit their jobs is the “inability to learn and grow.”

The synchronicity of this is worth emphasizing: Employees want to learn. And employers need learners.

It follows that, in order to attract the talented learners they need, employers will need to create and embrace a culture of learning by

And with that, we’ve come full circle: Just as your talent strategy is your business strategy, your learning strategy is your talent strategy.

What a Learning Culture Really Looks Like

The hallmarks of an organization with a true culture of learning aren’t hard to spot, because learning is, by nature, transparent.

A few key features of a learning culture include

Learning in the Context of Your Organization and Its Operations

Because learning is cultural, it must be founded, fostered, and facilitated within the context of your organization. And it must be incorporated across your operations, especially the talent strategies deployed by HR.

Each client’s landscape dictates which solutions will work best. The complexities of modern business demand flexibility—not monolithic technology stacks that force them to adopt and adapt.

Across industries—financial services, retail, pharma and healthcare, aviation, manufacturing, and more—companies need a blend of learning approaches. For certain roles, the learning management system (LMS) must track training and certifications to ensure financial planners or pilots, for example, are qualified. Fail-safes must be built into the system to stop work if anything is missing.

At the same time, companies are increasingly seeking low-touch learning tools that reach employees right in the flow of work—without interrupting sales, operations, or client care. And they need solutions that connect employees to one another to facilitate peer-to-peer learning, cross-functional mentoring, and coaching.

This need to blend and optimize solutions to suit each client is the reason we assembled a portfolio of best-in-class solutions. And it’s the reason we are constantly championing new technologies such as the Instilled learning experience platform—a technology that for one client facilitated a 2000% increase in learner-generated content and grew their learning community to 45,000 active participants in just 20 months.

Every company is unique. Their learning and talent solutions must meet them where they are on the journey toward maturity and readiness for the future of work.

That’s why we insist that each of our learning, talent management, and talent acquisition solutions can stand alone to serve a specific client need.

And that’s why we’re always working to integrate them more fully. So that our offerings together can fulfill a broader vision of interoperability and integrated talent management: A learning and talent management ecosystem.

The Future of Learning and Talent Strategy: 7 Exciting Questions Ahead

When I say that learning is its own reward, it’s not just an industry sound bite.

I’m personally and professionally energized by the opportunities ahead to learn more about recruiting and talent management. And I’m inspired by questions that blur the boundaries between learning and talent strategy, such as

  1. How can an employer assess a candidate’s appetite and aptitude for learning?
  2. If they can assess candidates, how can they incorporate the results into the onboarding process?
  3. From there, how can learning assessments feed into an employee’s individual L&D and performance plan?
  4. How can an L&D program help employees unlearn skills and behaviors in order to learn new ones—for example, to progress into management and leadership?
  5. In what ways can line management gain visibility into the learning needs of their teams and the impact of learning on team performance?
  6. How can learning become so ingrained in the operating DNA of a business that it’s routinely surfaced in management reports?
  7. How will you measure all this against business outcomes?

As a lifelong learner myself, I’m eager to pursue these questions and their answers, and to conceive and develop innovations in learning technologies that will help our clients put learning at the heart of their talent strategy.

A version of this post originally appeared on the PeopleFluent Edge.

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