Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Give Employee eLearning a Boost?

As organizations adjust to a new normal caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a spotlight is shining on the benefits of eLearning and online training for employees. The practice of using learning management systems (LMS) to train employees has been gaining popularity in recent years, and the trend will likely gain even more momentum.

Better Results with eLearning

In 2017, research showed that nearly 77% of U.S. companies were incorporating some type of eLearning into their employee training programs. Elearning solutions offer consistency, scalability, and flexibility – no matter your location in the world – and companies save time and money training employees through eLearning.

Additionally, the Research Institute of America estimates employees who participate in online training will have a 60% increase in learning. The studies indicate eLearning participants can learn up to five times more material without increasing time spent in training.

The COVID-19 Pandemic may give Employee e-Learning a Boost

Using eLearning for Important HR Functions

Consider how eLearning can be used to increase the reach, scalability and success rate of your HR and benefits function. Take benefits enrollment, for example. Each year, companies that offer health care benefits go through the process of annual enrollment, communicating changes to employees and holding employee meetings. For those companies – especially those with multiple locations – these meetings require logistical planning. And after the meetings? Follow up questions flood the human resources and benefits teams. It’s a labor-intensive process, and an LMS may provide some relief.

Imagine instead that benefits enrollment information is presented through an online training module that includes content, quizzes and other features that reinforce employee education and understanding of the key messages. And, as long as employees can connect to the online training from home, they can share the presentations with their spouse or a family member who helps with benefits decision-making. They can revisit the training module as often as needed.

The opportunities for eLearning and online training within organizations are numerous: new hire onboarding, employee or manager training, sales training, etc. Elearning increases the breadth and reach of any HR and benefits function, without increasing staff.

Deliver Consistent Messages Across the Organization

One of the key advantages to eLearning is consistent messaging. Online training programs can be developed for specific groups of employees, allowing organizations to consistently deliver information based on an employee’s job, role, location, or other demographic. Trucking companies and retail corporations, for example, are seeing the benefits of eLearning. With access to the internet through a laptop or mobile device, employees can log in and connect to the information that traditionally would have been delivered through an onsite meeting, conference call, web conference, or printed piece. Employees can complete online training courses according to their schedules.

With the LMS tracking participation, the organization will be provided a list of employees who haven’t completed the training, so that reminders can be sent.

Secure and Flexible Administration

Users, roles, and permissions represent the most basic concepts in computer security. Nearly all LMS have these features, although to different degrees. “Users” is the term used for the group of people that should be able to access an online system. “Roles and permissions” refer to the various system administrator roles ranging from those with full access rights to other roles which may be limited by job, location or other demographic. Depending on the permissions granted to the user by the administrator, each user will have access only to the sections of the LMS that pertain to their particular job or situation. User logins are required to access the LMS and are typically managed by the corporate LMS administrator. Many LMS also have a single sign on (SSO) feature.

Regardless of whether employees are accessing the online LMS while at work or at home, the employees will be required to use their unique login. And, some organizations limit LMS access to be available only while in the work place.

Implementing an LMS

With all of the benefits that an LMS offers, why isn’t every organization taking advantage of eLearning and training? Some may not be aware of the availability of these training solutions, while others are skeptical of the costs involved and level of technical expertise required. And then there is the development of the content that makes up the learning module. Who is going to develop that?

These objections to moving to an LMS can be overcome. There are LMS configurations for nearly every budget, and a simple cost/benefit analysis can show an estimated return on investment. Cloud-based systems are relatively easy to implement and administer. And the content development and management of the system can be, and is often, outsourced.

For more information regarding selecting and using an LMS, or to get a better understanding of how to develop content, contact Nancy Pokorny at 216.875.1939 or Nancy.Pokorny@findley.com.

Published April 13, 2020

Print this article

© 2020 Findley. All Rights Reserved

AI Technology Transforming the Next Generation of HR

The right mix of technology, artificial intelligence and the human element is a differentiator.

With the coming of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and broader uses of technology, HR professionals will be challenged to manage and humanize HR systems to achieve their objectives. AI is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn. Call it what you will, HR Technology (HRIS, HRMS, HCM) are here to stay.

Steven Hawking once said that “Unless we learn how to prepare for, and avoid, the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization.”

HR is Already Using Artificial Intelligence and Leveraging Technology

Many experts predict that AI will replace jobs involving repetitive or basic problem-solving tasks, and even go beyond current human ability. AI systems will make HR decisions instead of professionals in industrial settings, customer service and other interactive roles. 

Likewise, Human Resources technology and AI are used increasingly in every facet of the organization’s employment lifecycle as listed below.

  • Employers use social media to brand their companies and attract candidates
  • Applicant Tracking Systems technology improves HR professional’s recruiting and hiring efficiency and productivity
  • Screening technologies, such as video interviews, assessments or automated scheduling/screening help to vet candidates
  • Technologies have automated several HR-related tasks such as employee onboard processing, employee benefit elections and processing retirements
  • Performance management systems track individual performance and link that performance to company results
  • Employee engagement surveys, and 360 feedback systems capture the employee perspective
  • Training modules are distributed to employees and their utilization tracked via learning management technology systems
  • Compensation data surveys and cloud-based technology tools are available to compensation professionals that subscribe to them

Today many employee or prospective employee interactions are not with a human being. Instead, leveraging AI in HR, candidates apply for a job to an automated HR system, have an initial online screening, interview via video and through conversational job matching, are assessed to determine if they are talent worthy of further consideration. The assumption is that these HR software solutions are faster, more accurate and cost-effective at selecting the best talent.

How has the Human Resources Professional’s Role Changed?

Businesses that are late adopters of technology will be left behind. In today’s competitive market your speed to attract, hire, manage, develop and reward your talent is a key success factor. As we have seen in the marketplace, organizations that are lacking in this space have higher employee turnover and lower productivity. They are not meeting the needs of today’s generation which require immediate capability to engage and transact certain activities. Organizations using traditional HR approaches and software solutions struggle to land and keep top talent.

Human Resources professionals will need to significantly adapt and add new skills beyond being people experts. HR teams will need to develop a stronger understanding of systems, process and data analytics). We see this movement in the world of professional sports where data analytics augments identifying top talent. Businesses are slowly following this AI trend and are beginning to reap the benefits.  

Building Your Next Generation HR Team

One of the best innovators in hiring today is a company called Catalyte. In fact, Catalyte’s mission states: “Catalyte advances human potential for the digital economy. We use artificial intelligence to identify individuals, regardless of background, who have the innate potential and cognitive ability to be great software developers.”

Catalyte uses AI to review candidates for pure ability – not experience – and then builds skills through a strong apprentice and training program. The organization looks for raw talent and molds that talent to develop the computer programming skills they need to succeed.

Is your HR team combining innovative technology with raw human skill to build your workforce for the future? What kind of HR talent do you need to create and lead this kind of approach?

In larger organizations, where resources may be more plentiful, the focus of systems, process and data analytics may be assigned to specific departments. In smaller organizations everyone shares the burden of addressing these AI areas. Irrespective of the size of the organization or the specific role, HR professionals will need to build their technical acumen and become the conduit to building a workforce for the future.

After all, even AI uses algorithms built off of desired outcomes, as identified and input by human experts. Therefore, HR teams today require a mix of both art and science.

Questions regarding how to develop an innovative HR strategy or assess your current HR function or talent, contact the Findley consultant you normally work with, or Dan Simovic at dan.simovic@findley.com, 216.875.1917.

Published August 14, 2019

© 2019 Findley. All Rights Reserved.

Print the article