Date: 07/12/21 | Duration: 00:35:35

The rapid uptake of digital technology to deliver organisational learning during the pandemic has changed the L&D landscape forever. But as we move forward, how can organisations capitalise on the momentum to further embrace digital solutions and provide effective, engaging, immersive and safe learning experiences? 

Join Nigel Cassidy and this month’s guests – Andy Lancaster, Head of Learning and Development at CIPD, Gaelle Delmas-Watson, Founder at SyncSkills and Marco Faccini, Digital Learning Architect – as we discuss how people professionals can ensure that the use of technology, such video, webinars and mobile apps, continues to evolve and enrich employees’ professional development.

Nigel Cassidy: Workplace learning has gone virtual thanks to Covid-19, but is your mix of digital courses, wall to wall webinars and video really hitting the spot? Hello, I’m Nigel Cassidy and this is the CIPD Podcast.

Now when it comes to learning and development, it was the pandemic, of course, which saw off the face to face and classroom learning that so many have been meaning to update for years. Yet now, after almost two years of make do and mend, that training mix borne out of an emergency may not be ideal. Take the CIPD’s own research. It suggests that a tiny minority of organisations are making use of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality or, even, mobile Apps. But it’s not just about the digital platforms that you use, I mean are you still lecturing when you should be interacting? And how do you choose and make the switch into new technologies to better develop your workforce and meet business needs?

So here’s ideas to raise your digital learning game. SyncSkills founder, Gaelle Watson, has been designing and supporting webinars and virtual classroom training for 15 years. She says, long before it became fashionable. Hello.

Gaelle Delmas-Watson: Hello Nigel.

NC: Marco Faccini is a digital learning architect steeped in helping businesses to make effective use of immersive technologies from video-based learning to 3D virtual reality. Hello Marco, you are real?

Marco Faccini: I am real, currently. So thank you Nigel and hello to Gaelle.

NC: And from the home team, that’s Andy Lancaster the Head of CIPD’s Head of Learning and Development who’s leading the organisation’s wider new vision for L&D. Hello.

Andy Lancaster: Hi there, great to be here, and also thanks to the other two guests for joining us today. It’s a privilege to be on the panel with you. We’re going to look forward to some interesting conversation.

NC: Absolutely. And Andy I’ll start with you. Covid 19, of course, as I say, it’s forced the pace of change, hasn’t it? And in a way, the way we train may not have been carefully considered now or even wanted.

AL: Indeed, Covid has been a learning technology game changer and I want to start with some evidence-based insights, not just hearsay or anecdotal ideas. So at CIPD we undertake an annual learning survey which looks at trends within organisational learning. So on technology and learning we noticed, in the 2020 research, just before the pandemic broke, there was some really interesting trends around technologies. So we were seeing a real, significant increase in things like mobile, device based learning, things like virtual classrooms. Those were on the increase and we were seeing a decrease in things like instructor led learning off the job and even things like external workshops and events. So that trend towards was digital was already happening.

Now fast forward that a year, during which we entered lockdown and many were forced into job change scenarios, either homeworking or hybrid working, and our 2021 learning surveys saw a significant acceleration in the use of digital solutions. Unsurprisingly 75% reported they were increasing their digital technologies but more noticeably for us, 80% said they planned to use more learning technologies over the next 12 months. So the speed of learning technology adoption is significant, and frankly Nigel it’s not surprising. And, again, one of the other statistics which really took us aback, only about 18% said they planned to return to their pre pandemic learning strategies. So for us this shift to learning technologies we believe is significant and baked in for good. 

And just a few things you mentioned there about what’s happening. We’re seeing a real move towards virtual classes, the use of videos, podcasts and online resources. But really interestingly, there’s a real move to empower learners to take more control over their learning, and I’m sure that’s going to come out in the conversation. There’s a real shift to connect learners in digital, social situations and we also saw a real difference between what we were terming as basic technologies: posting content on websites or learning management systems to more sophisticated users who are using apps and chat bots and virtual augmented reality. And just to kind of round off on this evidence base, what was interesting for us was the more sophisticated users of technology were almost twice as likely to report things like knowledge sharing, self directed learning, and also an increased demand in technology.

So without doubt, as an opener, there is a real divide now between, I guess, what I would call the vexed who may have been caught out by the pandemic and had to react, to the visionaries who now this is a very welcomed catalyst for the greater use of technology. And it’s those visionaries who are seeing the greatest returns.

NC: OK Andy, so it’s pretty clear from what you say that some people have moved into the current phase with a fairly sophisticated suite of parts, if you like. Others are making do and mend with whatever they’ve been able to cobble together during the pandemic. So I wondered, Gaelle, whether you could pick that up for us and tell us how you think we’re managing at the moment? What is the best and the worst use of current technology as we kind of move virtually, very quickly.

GD-W: Thanks Nigel. Well it’s quite interesting, isn’t it? Because virtual classroom is not a new technology, it’s been around for, at least, two decades and it’s been on the towards maturity, least of, you know, wanted to, you know, grow for the past, well as long I’ve seen the reports, so for the past five or six years until the pandemic it was always the one that L&D department and HR department wanted to grow but seems to be stagnating, and then COVID hits. And then obviously everybody reversed from the day to the next to virtual learning, right?

Now it’s very interesting because we all know that we should be interacting in the virtual classroom otherwise why wouldn’t we be using video, right? You record a video, people watch it, you plug a questionnaire attached to it and bang. It’s an efficient way to do it. So if you ask your participants, your learner, your employees to join a live session, so synchronous session, you would expect that there is some concrete, tangible, behavioural outcome to work on. And I think intellectually we all agree on that: visionary and reactive organisations, both. However, we’ve got another challenge here is the facilitator. It is a very different experience to be in a virtual classroom and, also, thanks to the technology most of us can be on webcam, many choose not to be on webcam.

NC: Oh no, this is an interesting point. Do people, kind of, in your view have the right to say, look, I don’t want to switch my camera on. They might have, in their own mind, pretty good reason for that. 

GD-W: Absolutely and there’s multiple reasons not to be on webcam. First the speed of the bandwidth it can affect your virtual experience, it can affect a lot of things. Some people may not be comfortable to be on webcam. I think the etiquette would like them to inform the participant they should be on webcam.

NC: To tell them in advance, look, we would like to see you, and then that gives them less reason to refuse?

GD-W: Absolutely or you’ve got the option as well to say, well we are a small group with six, eight people and I expect all of you to be on webcam. It’s mandatory.

AL: I think that’s a really valid point around people’s comfort zones around that. And, again, we also know that many people are working in very different environments You know, I’m lucky to be broadcasting today from a shed down the bottom of the garden, but not everybody has that. So I guess you’re seeing now that the context in which people are connecting with these technologies has a huge bearing on, you know, how they’re using them.

NC: Let’s bring in Marco. What’s your sense of how well or badly we’re actually using what has been cobbled together by many organisations because they’ve had to drop the face to face learning.

MF: I think a plus from the pandemic is that we, as people, are, I’d like to think we are probably even more productive with the advent of digital. I see lots of benefits so, you know, a great example I was ill a little while ago. I suffer sometimes with cellulitis and I phoned my doctor and the doctor said, send me some photos. I put it here online and at 7 o’clock in the evening I got a phone call from the doctor and he said, yes, you don’t need to come in, you’ve got cellulitis. Let me prescribe you some antibiotics.

That is a brilliant scenario there. I didn’t have to travel and actually I wasn’t even in the country at the time. But I think a bad element that has occurred is that a lot, and I see this a lot, a great deal, is that a lot of the digital strategy was in the early days, and Andy you may be able to talk better to this because you have more evidence than I. So mine’s a lot more anecdotal, and from what I see on a typically daily, weekly basis but companies went, well, people are going to be at home.

So what we now need to do is create all our courses into E-learning. So everything went into E-learning, or a good, vast majority did. And that for me is a minus because not everything is best suited to E-learning. And I guess Gaelle you can probably talk a little bit because it’s your expertise, you know, we don’t, the online facilitation is a skill and not many people in L&D have that skill. Or that it’s not something that they have had to do in the past.

NC: Well you’re right on Gaelle’s area, of course, because that’s one thing that she does. I think she’s converted something, like, 200 people from the classroom to being effective in a virtual situation. So just before we leave this point about the current, sort of, mixed economy Gaelle. Just any other points about the best and worst use that you see at the moment, and what might be the causes of that?

GD-W: Well, I would say that in terms of my experience is that very often, and partly due to the facilitation skills and a lot of time constraints, and too many learning objectives being packed in a one hour, two hour sessions, a lot of the interactive bits are being often shortened or ignored because we’re running out of time. So the part that’s really valuable for the learners are actually the part that don’t happen: the breakout session, the debrief of the breakout session, the whiteboards. That’s where, really, the thinking happen, that’s where the engagement happen. And unfortunately this is often the things that are shortened for various reasons.

NC: Why do you think that happens, Andy?

AL: I think, and I’m with Gaelle on this one, what we see, often, is people dropping into presentational mode. Now many folks who have been learning and development are very adept now at working in a physical space, you know, whatever that might be: whiteboards and flipcharts and activities, and those kinds of things. It’s a different, it’s a different experience --

NC: I mean you’re owning that shed, Andy there?

AL: Well, yeah, I am. Yeah, that’s absolutely right and I think to Gaelle’s point what we’ve got to do is to recognise that many people have defaulted now to presentational stuff. Now if we went to a face to face event and someone just sat there and talked to us we’d all be, kind of, oh my goodness, what are they up to? But because of the lack of experience we have, and obviously Gaelle has real experience around this and I think it’s a brilliant point you’ve made, we now have to leverage lots of interactive techniques in the virtual classes, and many folks will struggle with that. So I think the best, Nigel, maybe is that we’ve gone on to virtual classes. The worst is, we’ve defaulted back to really old style presentation and, to Gaelle’s point, there’s so many brilliant technologies we can use in the virtual classes which our learners desperately need for that to be a meaningful and positive experience.

NC: Great, well let’s just have a look with Marco at some of the things which are available out there. So before we specifically look at how to refine and improve, let’s get up to speed on some of these trends in L&D, I mean beyond the pandemic, I guess, as well. So just give us a taste of the whizziest stuff that people in many cases just haven’t adopted, maybe because they can’t afford it.

MF: Yeah, yeah so obviously the de facto one I’ll go to is virtual reality. It’s something that I’m particularly passionate and I have a number of portfolio companies that do virtual reality, but putting that to one side. Virtual reality has had a number of fault storms over the last few years. So each year it’s been the year of VR, it’s the year of VR and that’s not quite been the case, but the pandemic has made it so. And there have been more VR headsets sold in the last year, two years than has probably been sold in all the previous years.

NC: All right, give me a very simple example. I mean maybe not, not a very large firm that’s able to spend millions on this but give me a straightforward example of, say, a medium sized firm that has transformed its learning and development through VR?

MF: So one is about people actually being able to practice to do a process. So rather than be given a video and watch this process and maybe click on some hotspots, you’re actually putting something together, the physical thing albeit virtually, in VR. So you’re actually practising putting something together. One of my portfolio companies is talking to a company now on how you put E bikes together. So rather than get people into a workshop for four days, they’ll put on a VR headset, they’ll pick up the component parts and they will put that E bike together. And of course with the advent of AI coming into play, the AI will tell you whether you’re doing it or incorrectly, and will also coach you along the lines.

And with the advent of things like Glue, Spatial, Facebook, who we all know about, Facebook Horizons is very good where you can be an avatar. You can either be an avatar or utilise video, but you can be an avatar. And I like the uses of avatars because it actually plays to videocalls to the question you asked earlier, rather than me physically be there without my makeup, I could utilise my avatar in this particular call. But in those, sort of, those shared collaborative spaces we can have a whiteboard. I can be in a different country. I could be in the US, I could be talking to Andy in the UK and we have a whiteboard and he would have a pen and I could take the pen from his hand and write on to the whiteboard. We could have those, everything that we do physically, face to face, we could also do virtually.

NC: And Gaelle, I mean, I just wonder here because an organisation is able to adopt these technologies, I mean in theory they are by definition much more collaborative, much more interactive but what would you say about the outcomes. I mean we can’t automatically say that because they’re in use they’re going to deliver the results that we want.

GD-W: No, absolutely. I think any technology whether it’s advanced technology like Marco is working with or more traditional online technology, there is an art of facilitation that needs to be acquired. And to get to this other facilitation there is a level of mastery of the tools and it’s something I say, that we need to make the technology disappear. And to make the technology disappear we have to make sure that all the parts (inaudible) know how to find the tools, what’s the codes? What’s the code for me to actually grab the pen from Andy to write on the whiteboard? What am I supposed to do? How is it going to work? And that needs time to happen. We need either icebreakers or little way of showing people how to engage with the tools, tell them how to do it. 

And I think the problem with a lot of online is that we want them to cut as much time as possible, and that we cut times on what is absolutely essential which is how to master the tool. So it is definitely one of my pet talk is it make time for icebreaker, makes time to, and these days with just a tool like Zoom we assume everybody knows how to, you know, to find the chat in Zoom or to find the emoticons. But if you, if you actually, depending if you use the webinar version or regular version things are not exactly the same. And sometimes the icons disappear for whatever reason, because you haven’t moved your mouse. And now you’ve got someone who is slightly less technology friendly who is a bit put off because they can’t take part in a specific activity.

NC: Well, it’s interesting you say that because when we started doing Zooms and Teams and all that, we always had that traditional moment in the beginning, didn’t we, when we would explain to somebody they hadn’t got their video on or their sound wasn’t working. And we kind of stopped doing that now and we get really fed up with people who aren’t up to speed on that. And I can imagine that, sort of, across an organisation there could be a problem here with people just not being comfortable with even the basics.

GD-W: It’s true. And I think that’s why maybe an icebreaker is actually easier to do than showing people where to find the tools. So you identified who is taking part in, you know, introduce yourself in the chat, or point something on the whiteboard, depending on, you’re anticipating here what you’re planning on using later, right. So you said, OK, I’ve decided to do a brainstorming session, they need to use the whiteboard. So as an icebreaker I’m going to make them use the whiteboard. Now I’m spotting that Andy’s doing very well on the whiteboard but Nigel is not. So I’m going to say, oh Nigel, are you struggling with the whiteboard? Do you want me to explain to you? And that, I guess, is where the art of facilitation comes from. That you’re not bothering people who know how to use the tools because they’re already up and running but at the same time you’re giving an opportunity to others to identify, you know, where they need a little bit more help.

NC: There’s so much you can do but you do need a budget. You do need a very competent IT department. What if you just can’t run to that Gaelle?

GD-W: You can do research and there are multiple options that are not expensive. And with a little bit of search, with a little bit of planning and thinking and more of giving a little bit of time to the facilitator to own, they have to see the point of using this technology. How it’s going to add value to their sessions. Then, you can definitely build up some momentum with very accessible, basic technologies that can, are readily available to all.

NC: OK, well it seems to me we’ve got two extremes here. We’ve got Gaelle helping organisations to make the best of what might be still fairly straightforward and basic technology. And, in the other corner, we’ve got Marco with a lot of whizzy AI and a lot of new possibilities with virtual reality. So Andy, can you kind of talk us through the process? Say, our organisation knows that we need to maybe buy some new toys, we certainly need to train people so that our L&D people can actually use them effectively. So how would you suggest that you start upgrading what you do to get better results in terms of your learning and development outcomes.

AL: So whether we’re talking about virtual classes or we’re talking about virtual reality, augmented reality, any successful technological implementation has the end users at the heart of a design. It’s as, for me it’s as simple as that. And where, I guess, I’ve gone wrong in the past sometimes is I’ve been focussing on this from the organisational side and not the users’ side. And I think if we think about, for instance, artificial intelligence where we might use online shopping or we might use online movies, or whatever, we don’t even realise that we’re using artificial intelligence because the technology is so set up in order for me to succeed. So I think that’s a real key one for me Nigel. And I think as learning professionals we don’t need to start with a blank sheet of paper on how we do this implementation. Now I know many people who listen to these podcasts are, you know, you’re joining us from around the world but I just want to share something.

The UK Government has been pursuing a really strong digital transformation agenda which has looked at digital services for millions of people. And one thing that’s really struck me is at the heart of this they talk about it’s not the centre but the customer that has to be the focus. And I think that was a kind of a boom moment for me, that solutions are there to provide ease for the user and not for the organisation. And to that extent, I think, Nigel where I would start on all of these is to say we start with the user needs, if we don’t know what our user needs are whether that be virtual classes or virtual reality we will not build the right thing. And therefore we need to do the right research analysis, we need to talk to our users and we can’t make assumptions around that.

And when you look at the UK Government, kind of, guidelines around implementation, you can find those on the internet. They also talk about the importance of understanding the context of users, where are they? How are they going to use this solution? And we need to do the hard work to make it simple. And part of that process, and I think, again, this is something I’ve learnt over many years of doing this is you’re not going to launch the perfect thing first off. You’ve got to prototype this and get feedback around it. So I think my starting point, Nigel, is we’ve got to turn this round. 

So often organisations come from what suits the centre in terms of getting stuff done. But we’ve got to reverse this around to say what really suits the user. And I think that’s come through from what Gaelle said about virtual classes, through what Marco said as well. We’ve got to switch our design model.

NC: And in fact, Marco, do you want to take this on. If organisations are going to get the best of some of these whizzier things, what would you say about making sure that they’re going to do the job?

MF: Well I think both Gaelle and Andy hit the nail on the head, you know. There’s no point, you know, whilst I’m a big advocate of VR, for example, there’s no point doing it for VR’s sake, right, it’s got, you’ve got to have the right use case and it needs to deliver the right learning outcomes. Because that’s got to be front and centre. What are the learning outcomes or the business goals that we are trying to achieve from this element of learning, whatever that learning is. But I think Andy, sort of, touched on it without actually saying it, you know, and it’s been my, one of my biggest bugbears is that, you know, people in L&D, you know, and some are, I would say, so it’s just my view, most are, sort of, traditional thinkers. Very slow in embracing new things but also look at things very much from a silo perspective. And what I mean by that is they look at the world of learning from their viewpoint, and that’s understandable because that’s, they’re experts at that. 

But hang on, the world is being driven by the consumer and I would argue that every single person in our organisation is the consumer and it’s, to Gaelle’s point exactly, there is no point trying to introduce people to a newer form of technology if they have to click 20 times, or if they have to read a manual to switch something on. That was VR’s big failing with a headset. You had to plug it into a laptop, you had to set up some beacons. Then all of a sudden PlayStation, for example, Sony PlayStation created a headset where you just plug it in to the PC. So all the, and I won’t even say kids because, hey, I know people of my age who play games still, you know, you can just plug in a VR headset and you are up and running, playing that game in VR. Now with the new breed of headsets we just press a button and we’re up and running. So we don’t, we don’t focus enough on the UX and the UI and have the user, the consumer as I call them, at the heart of everything. 

If we do that and actually ask them what helps you learn? When do you want to learn? What makes you learn? Then we’re never going to make those changes and have those newer technology adoptions.

NC: And I wonder whether the lesson there from Marco, Gaelle, it’s actually relevant even if you’re not using a sophisticated platform. You were saying to me before that the technology itself ought to be invisible. What did you kind of mean by that?

GD-W: Well exactly that is that you want to be able to plug and run whatever you join a Zoom or a Teams or, you know, you’re using Miro whiteboards or, you know, VR headset. Nobody wants to be spending hours learning to master the tools. So you have to make it engaging. So now we’ve got also different environment and so different level of mastery of the technology, but it is the responsibility of the facilitator, of the L&D team to advise, you know, which tool is best and would be more efficient. So if you have to, if you have to, for example, do a virtual classroom for someone who is plan based, you know, you have to find them a room, you have to find them a computer, they have to, you know, start plugging in. They have to plug the thing.

NC: Yeah, we, we tend to assume everybody’s still in an office, don’t we?

GD-W: And, and it’s not.

NC: Or sitting at home.

GD-W: Exactly, and it’s not. So there’s like, you know, you’ve got the front desk people, you know, imagine a receptionist following a virtual classroom whereas, you know, supposed to engage and picking up the phone. And, you know, I had medical officers calling me, they said, oh we want to do virtual classroom training. And I was like, OK, for the front desk. And I was like, well how are they going to do it? Is it going to be of the time work or, or in the separate office? Ah, we haven’t thought about that.

NC: OK, and Andy you’ve kind of listened to both points of view there. How do you think we actually go about starting to measure that any of these changes we’ve brought in are effective or not.

AL: So I think when it comes to learning technologies often we go for the easy stuff and that’s often around the usage of the technology. And, and I, and I get that and I’ve made that mistake myself. You design some E-learning, it’s how many clicks, how many, how long has someone been on there. But we have to look at impact measurement of technology the same as any other area of learning. And, and for that we need just to step back and look at what the performance outcome or the business need is.

What is, what’s the technology supporting. So as Marco said if it’s supporting people to become competent in assembly skills or whatever, we should be measuring whether the assembly skills are being done effectively and whether they’re being done in a timely fashion. So I think, like, many areas of learning, what we do in terms of measuring the, the impact of digital technologies is we understand what does excellence look like and we then look at how the technology supports that. So I think that’s a really important point. We’re not measuring the technology we’re measuring the business performance. And I think as well for, for me often I’ve been in a situation when we’ve done technological investments that senior teams, let’s be honest about it, want to look at how soon can we get this kind of cost investment back again. And I think, really, what we’ve got to look at is how is it supporting the business improvement? So if it’s trial and error learning, my goodness Marco I’m guessing some of the things you’ve seen where virtual reality is being used in high safety situations, you know, the cost of someone sustaining an injury or a death compared with a cost of investing in technology to support that learning it’s just a, a no brainer. So I think we’ve got to make it very clear around those kind of things.

NC: Yeah, I saw an excellent example of that recently with the training for the Elizabeth Line which, apparently, has largely been done through, I don’t, it’d be virtual reality, I guess?

AL: Yeah, and I think, again, that’s where we’ve got to tie it into the business outcomes. And again, Nigel, I’ve seen stuff around customer service where we’ve done trial and error customer service learning using technology and it’s great, you can go and make a mistake. It’s very difficult, if you’re in the middle of a customer service intervention to make a real howler of a mistake which has a reputational impact on an organisation, but again with technology we can do those things. So I think looking at those kind of measures are really important. 

And I guess, as well just, one thing I’d just drop in for me. I think sometimes when it comes to technology we focus a lot around quant and data, quantitative analysis. Because the technology does drive a lot of data out there which we can use. But I’m passionate about underlying stories and I think sometimes the stories of how people have benefitted from technology and, also, maybe stories around why it was maybe difficult for them to use the technology are really crucial. So I’ll just throw that one in. We do need data. We need to be better focussed at harvesting and interpreting data but the stories of users and learners whose lives have been transformed for the use of technology is a powerful medium to report back to our senior leaders.

MF: I just wanted to chime in on a couple of things that Andy said there which I feel are important: one, you know, the high risk use case for VR, totally buy that, but interestingly over the last 12 months, Andy, the biggest take up for VR has been soft skills. And a great example, and we all know it, is equality and diversity. That’s a great use case. And I’m very encouraged by that because I’ve argued for many years coaching, not just in the UK but coaching around the world has, sort of, dropped, dropped massively. And now I’ve seen the advent, the uptake of coaching. So I’m, I’m very bullish about that. 

But I think from a measurement one, and I’ve always argued learning and development is cyclical and I’m seeing it now. If I go back those two decades that Gaelle referenced, you know, E-learning, I managed to, you know, build an E-learning company that became the second largest in the world. And I can tell you right now for the first five, six years of that new technology it was an ROI, it was. People didn’t have to do a one day training course anymore and all those ancillary costs that went with it because the E-learning cut that training time down into half, so four hours plus people didn’t have to travel. It was the ROI. And for me this is the elephant in the room.

People in business, and in L&D in particular, need to recognise that their companies, their profits have fallen off the cliff over the last couple of years. Or, you know, some companies in certain areas have. Therefore they are looking at cost cutting or, you know, looking at margins to be able to, you know, increase their profits back or even service debts that that they might have had to take on. So for me it’s almost like going back 20 odd years. They’re looking at that training that they’ve traditionally done that’s taken days on end and looking at using digital and technology to how can we shorten that back down to, say a day, a two day course to a day’s course, if you like, and therefore save some money. Now we might all find that a little bit abhorrent but, actually, there’s an argument from my side that, actually, we’re probably going to deliver a better solution if we can have the blend as opposed to just one or the other.

NC: OK, so to help that delivery then a final thought from each of you, Gaelle Watson?

GD-W: I think, Marco, it was very pertinent what you just said about the blend and, and I guess it’s putting back the learners at the centre, that what we’ve been saying all along. And once we define learning objectives and we know where we want to go, I think learning is a social experience and we learn better, well in some topics. Some topics are informative and maybe don’t need to be live, in person, and can be learned in an asynchronous way, on demand. But when we need to practice, when we need to, you know, discuss or brainstorm there’re multiple options that are available. But at the moment we start using technology we need to make sure that we, we make this technology human and that we, it’s facilitated in a way. So we equipped everybody, learners and facilitators, to make the best use of this technology and optimise the technology. Because the aim is to be more accessible, more inclusive and, and accelerate the learning, isn’t it?

AL: So I’m going to go back to the CIPD research with a, with a thought which has been focussed my mind over the past few months. Don’t be digitally vexed. Reacting to the pandemic and change but be a digital visionary who embraces technology, eagerly embraces technology as a catalyst for delivering excellent learning. And we’re seeing it’s the learning teams who are becoming more sophisticated in their vision and in their digital plans that are seeing rich returns.

MF: I think both of you have said it far better than I ever could. But I just want to take a little bit further something that Gaelle said because I totally agree with everything she said there. But it’s almost, you know, we, we talk about measurement and data and analytics. I think as, as learning and development professionals we’ve got to look at that lesson plan or that workshop for whatever that subject is and cut it down into parts, and then look at those parts and go, what is the best delivery method for that part that’s going to generate most impact? As opposed to taking a lesson and going, oh, yes, I think that will suit E-learning so we make it all E-learning.

We’ve got to look at the composite parts and deliver it in those individual parts. And I know that might, you know, add more time to the process. But I can tell you the user will benefit from it.

NC: Brilliant, well we’ve had so much good advice. Thank you very much indeed all three of you to Gaelle Watson, Marco Faccini and Andy Lancaster, and in fact that is our last podcast for 2021. We’re back in the New Year considering the great resignation. How far should you go to keep disenchanted staff onboard? Meanwhile, don’t forget to check all our recent and very useful podcast content. Help solve some of your tricker HR dilemmas and, finally, just some responses to our last edition which was on motivation, how to get your team mojo back. Gabrielle Shaw who runs a global communications agency suggests dropping everything for a bit and going for a walk or changing the mood by getting your team to brainstorm something entirely different to the problems of the day.

And if that doesn’t work another suggestion reached us, it was put music on as loud as possible and get everyone to dance on their desks. It’s only filling in the risk assessment form that may kill that idea. But until next time, from all of us here at the CIPD, it’s goodbye.

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Digital learning

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