Learning & Development teams had to shift into high gear over the past two years, working to quickly upskill and reskill the workforce during a time of unprecedented change. The dynamics of the workforce and how employees interact with the company, technology and each other changed dramatically. For instance, in a joint study between Brandon Hall Group and SAP Litmos, we found that for 85% of companies, at least some of the learning audience is remote. Additionally, 82% of companies say at least some of their learners are mobile, meaning that they do not learn in one place, but on the move, outside the home or a traditional office.

This puts more pressure on L&D teams to create personalized learning that fits into the new flow of work. According to Brandon Hall Group’s Upskilling and Reskilling Study, 93% of companies say personalized learning is either very important or critical to driving both individual and organizational performance. But developing and delivering personalized learning requires organizations to have an expert understanding of learners and their environment. By identifying the characteristics of every learner as well as how, when and where they learn, learning can become much more targeted, focused, and impactful.

Yet few companies have a complete grasp of who their learners are. Fewer than half say they are either familiar or very familiar with when their learners learn, and about the same number say they are familiar or very familiar with learners’ personal and professional growth objectives. This means more than half of companies are essentially throwing learning programs against the wall, hoping something will stick. Without this knowledge, it is impossible to personalize learning at any scale. The lack of connection between the learners and the learning leads to poor engagement, less knowledge retention and ultimately, an inability to achieve business objectives.

To make matters worse, when learning is not personalized or at least contextualized to some degree, learners will seek content outside the purview of the L&D function because they think it is easier to find and more useful. Let’s face it, if the information someone needs is not readily available, they will search the internet to find it, leading many learners to incorrect, outdated or inappropriate content.

The time is now for a bit of “getting to know you.” Organizations need to do a better job of understanding their learners and providing them experiences that best suit their needs. What sounds like a lot of effort doesn’t seem like much when compared to the resulting engagement and performance. 

Brandon Hall Group and SAP Litmos will be hosting a webinar focused on understanding the learner that will feature results from the joint study and strategies for driving personalization. 

David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group @davidmwentworth

 About Brandon Hall Group Inc. 

Brandon Hall Group is the only professional development company that offers data, research, insights and certification to Learning and Talent executives and organizations. The best minds in Human Capital Management (HCM) choose Brandon Hall Group to help them create future-proof employee development plans for the new era. For over 28 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world influencing the development of over 10,000,000 employees and executives. Our HCM Excellence Awards was the first to recognize organizations for learning and talent and is the gold standard, known as the “Academy Awards of Human Capital Management.” Our cloud-based platform delivers evidence-based insights in the areas of Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management for corporate organizations and HCM solution providers. To learn more, visit https://www.brandonhall.com For information on Brandon Hall Group’s research and how we can assist your organization, please visit www.brandonhall.com

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David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.