Six Dimensions of Digital Transformation [Webinar Recap]
The professional learning and training space is going through a massive transformation. Most organizations spend more than $350 billion globally on training, but 70% of employees report they do not have the mastery of skills needed to do their jobs and only 12% of employees actually apply those new skills on the job. Today’s modern learner is demanding a fully digital, robust, and engaging learning experience to support their lifelong learning journey.
But making the move to a fully digital learning experience can be challenging and comes with many considerations. What are the content strategies to consider? How can you future-proof your business and stay ahead of the competition? What do you need to purchase from a technology standpoint that matches your business needs? And what about the people: what skills are needed to thrive in the digital age?
In a webinar hosted by Talented Learning, BenchPrep’s CEO and co-founder, Ashish Rangnekar, and Richardson Sales Performance’s SVP and Chief Product Officer, Chris Tiné, unpacked six dimensions of digital transformation: market triggers, strategy, content, technology, people, and promotion, for organizations looking to make the move to a fully digital learning world. Below is a video recap as well some highlights and key takeaways from that webinar.
Market Triggers and the Rise of Millennial Workers
There are both business realities and market considerations for moving your learning programs online. First, learners are demanding fully digital solutions. They want on-the-go, easy access to content. Digital learning is not just an option anymore, but an imperative. Learners are also demanding unbundled learning — the modern learner is busy and doesn’t have the capacity to sign onto a 6-month or a year-long program. Books and courses are being unbundled into blogs and podcasts; conferences into webinars, lunch-and-learns, and other shorter digital programs.
As a global leader in sales training, Richardson saw these trends play out firsthand. Chris and team realized there was a tipping point in the industry as many of their global clients had multi-generational workforces — in some cases, 5 generations represented within a single sales organization. As millennials become the largest generation in the workforce, Richardson needed to go out and reach their clients in a credible way and needed to have a robust digital offering. Gone are the days of weeklong, in-person training: Richardson needed an integrated digital solution, like BenchPrep, to present to their clients.
Strategy: Setting Goals and Doing Research
Aside from talking to customers, and doing competitive and market research, Chris made it a priority to first talk to learners.
“The most important thing we did in thinking about our digital strategy was to talk to end users of the training,” Chris explained. “At the end of the day, the learners are the ones who used to have to come out of the field for a week, or sit through 12 hours of online training in order to get a certification. We wanted to understand what was going well, and where we needed to improve to look credible in their eyes and to really breakthrough and surprise and delight our end users.”
Organizations should consider what their goals are. What is your digital ambition: is it to optimize or transform? What are the key triggers you’re seeing in the market and what are your customers telling you? And lastly, which leaders or teams are needed to execute on this plan?
Asking questions at each stage to help articulate a very clear and measurable goal is key in your digital transformation strategy. Are you looking to solve for revenue growth? Learner engagement? Learner outcomes? Internal efficiency? You need one clear goal that aligns to your customer journey.
But digital transformation is not a one-time project. You need to continually look at the data, customer behavior changes, insights and patterns to continuously re-evaluate and tweak your strategies.
Content: What to Ditch, What to Bring, What to Upgrade
As far as content goes, it’s not an all or nothing migration. People want to get better at their jobs because it’s going to have a direct impact on their business and ability to learn, and your content needs to reflect that. Being very clear on the skills you’re trying to teach and the behaviors you’re trying to change will help when evaluating which content helps to support these goals.
“You don’t just want to bring a giant library of IoT content online,” Chris said. “Think about how to make your content more engaging — there’s nothing that makes training more unappealing or less engaging than feeling like the content is out-of-date or cheesy. Your programs just won’t feel credible.”
For Richardson, chunking was a very important step in the process: breaking up the learning experience into smaller and more manageable modules. Features like flashcards, discussion boards, and other social learning concepts made it easier for Richardson’s clients to digest content.
Redesigning and recreating content is expensive and time-consuming, but lifting and shifting content online is not the solution. Ashish recommends figuring out what the 20% of content pieces, modules, or concepts, are going to drive 80% of your program value. Your learning platform should give you the data you need to figure out where learners are struggling, so leveraging these insights to help inform your content strategy is key.
Technology: Building the Right Stack
Now that your strategy and content is in place, it’s time to consider what technology you will need to deliver.
“There are table stakes considerations in the industry,” Chris shared. “Gone are the days of pre-authored e-learning chunks or bundles, organizations need a dynamic content management system that allows you to unbundle, tag, and gamify your content to create more of an integrated assessment strategy.”
Aside from those considerations, it was very important for Richardson to have a rock solid platform that so they could deliver a consistent global experience every time and in every region.
“I may be biased, but I think BenchPrep does an outstanding job on all three of these areas which is why they’ve been such a great partner with us,” Chris added.
People: Skills Needed to Fuel Your Digital-Only World
Chris made sure his team structure would reflect his strategy, content, and technology strategy. For Richardson, that meant having a group dedicated to content development, a team focused on digital products and platforms, and one focused on measurement and analytics. It was critically important for these teams to be in tune with the product team by meeting on a regular basis to ensure any content being developed marries the digital solutions being created and that there was a way to report and measure outcomes. He also ensured Richardson’s Customer Success and Learning teams were a part of the experience to ensure they were delivering a great user experience.
Chris made sure everyone was skilled on instructional design in the digital world — a skill he believes doesn’t need to be lengthy or expensive but one that is critical for providing the best learning experience. Lastly, ensuring his team was familiar with online courses helped to solve problems as a team and made sure they were building world-class products.
Promotion: Tips for Promoting and Marketing Your Programs
Your marketing programs cannot just be lifted and shifted and need to be re-evaluated for the digital world. Focusing on the customer journey, including the buying experience, will help to shape this for your organization. Your LMS should also have a best-in-class e-commerce engine, or one that integrates well with one.
Rethink how your marketing channel and approach fits with your digital product and think about what offerings make sense for your programs. Things like free trials, subscriptions, and bundled offers can help to create value-added packages to drive demand for your products.
Many of these tactics may be tricky in a non-digital world, but a digital world makes them possible as your product becomes infinitely scalable.
Want to learn more about Richardson's success? Download our case study to read more.