Organizations are being pushed to transition from traditional learning management systems (LMSs) towards new learning experience platforms (LXPs) to boost employee engagement and retention. Here we provide an overview of what an LXP is, why it is important, and how organizations can successfully implement one.
Employees who want to learn a skill or take a new course may often face challenges finding the right content in their organization’s learning management system (LMS). HCM industry analyst Josh Bersin refers to this as the “problem of discovery” and, ironically, it was the primary driver for the evolution of the LMS in the first place. However, most LMS systems were designed to serve as content repositories within organizations and were never intended to be employee-centric.
As more millennials and Generation Z are now entering the workforce, they expect a learning experience at the workplace that is similar to their experience with on-demand video streaming platforms such as YouTube and Netflix. This has spurred organizations to search for alternatives to LMSs and the learning experience platform (LXP) seems to be a promising option.
What is an LXP and how does it differ from an LMS?
In simple terms, an LXP is a content delivery system that is designed to make it easy for employees to find and consume all types of learning content, whenever and wherever they may need it. To meet its goal of providing learning “in the flow of work”, an LXP must have the following key capabilities:
- Content creation, curation, and aggregation: An LXP curates and recommends learning content based on the employee’s role, experience, goals, and interests. Dayforce Learning provides different learning options such as eLearning, classroom, and webinar courses.
- Social and experiential learning: An LXP encourages collaboration and knowledge-sharing by allowing employees to publish, share, and discuss learning content they find useful. Dayforce Learning enables employees to create and share content and get answers from peers and subject matter experts.
- Smart technology: An LXP uses data analytics, AI, and machine learning to recommend, nudge, and push learning content to employees based on the skills they want (or need) to develop.
- Trigger-based learning: An LXP suggests learning content based on the user’s short-term needs. For example, when an employee gets promoted, changes roles, or joins a new project team, the LXP recommends content that can bridge the employee’s skill gaps.
- Micro-learning: An LXP provides bite-sized learning content in short bursts as opposed to long classroom-type courses. It only offers content that is needed at a particular point, so it can be consumed in the flow of work. Dayforce Learning allows employers to create short courses to address compliance requirements and drive employees to meet learning milestones.
- Integration with performance management: An LXP identifies the employee’s skill or knowledge gaps based on performance reviews and recommends appropriate learning programs.
- Game-based learning: An LXP can provide a gamified learning experience and leverage advanced technologies such as augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR). AR and VR can be used to create immersive virtual environments that can help organizations train their employees to identify and respond to real-life situations. Leading companies in the manufacturing and retail industries, such as Boeing, Volkswagen, Chipotle, and Walmart, that have used VR for employee learning report faster training times and higher knowledge retention.
In contrast, an LMS is primarily used as a content cataloguing system to provide a fixed set of learning courses that employees can choose from. Employees using the LMS are often required to complete these courses based on a pre-defined deadline and cannot share their knowledge. This is because the LMS was designed to focus on business rules and compliance, and not on enriching the employee experience.
Why are LXPs important for modern organizations?
The changing world of work has brought in new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which are leading to the fourth industrial revolution and fueling a need for reskilling to build a next-gen workforce.
McKinsey estimates that digitization, automation, and advances in AI will force as many as 375 million workers, or approximately 14% of the global workforce, to switch occupations by 2030. The World Bank notes that investments in learning and reskilling initiatives will be critical to ensure that individuals remain competitive in the new world of work. This would also provide organizations access to the high-quality talent they need to continue driving innovation and growth.
Attracting and retaining top talent is a persistent challenge for organizations and it will only intensify in the near future. The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Survey reveals that 75 million jobs are likely to be displaced by 2022 in 20 major global economies, while technological advances lead to the creation of 133 million new roles.
As organizations scramble to realize the full potential of these changes, approximately 54% of all employees will need to reskill or upskill by 2022 to be considered suitable for these new opportunities. According to PwC, the critical skills necessary for thriving in the future of work are:
- Business and science skills such as domain specialty in marketing, organizational design, and finance, along with deep knowledge of physical and social sciences.
- Human or soft skills including communication, critical thinking, adaptability, problem-solving, leadership, creativity, and innovation.
- Technology skills ranging from basic data literacy to advanced AI applications for solving real-world problems.
With its focus on enhancing the employee learning experience by giving them greater control over what, where, and how they choose to learn, the LXP is ideally suited to address these challenges.
How can organizations implement a successful LXP?
An employee learning system is only as good as the content it provides. A good LXP must not only provide recent and relevant content, but also recommend the required content to meet the evolving learning needs of the employees.
Bersin by Deloitte states that content curation is both an art and a science. It involves the identification of relevant information for a specific target audience and contextualizes and organizes this information before presenting it to the users.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), employees typically spend about 9.5 hours a week searching for learning content, so content curation and aggregation helps them reduce time spent on finding content and helps focus their attention on what they need to learn.
Content creation, curation, and aggregation continues to be the biggest hurdle that organizations typically face while preparing to implement an LXP. Learning and development managers can either create their own learning content or engage with an external vendor based on their needs. However, the key steps they must take to build a successful LXP are:
- Create a curated “Resources” page to make it easier for employees to find learning content.
- Ensure that the learning content is frequently updated to keep it relevant to the changing needs of the employees.
- Provide employees the ability to choose what they want to learn, in addition to the required/suggested content and courses made available by their employer
- Allow employees to suggest learning content, based on their interests and needs
To learn about other key HCM trends, download Ceridian’s 2019 Human Capital Management Trends report.