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Connecting Employees and Organizations With What They Need Now


Mon Jun 01 2020

Connecting Employees and Organizations With What They Need Now

The Association for Talent Development’s Virtual Conference is all about building capabilities and connecting with experts in the field. In the just-released TD at Work collection, “Learning Technologies: Ready for the Now,” you can tap into the experience and expertise of fellow talent development professionals to grow your technology application capability. This is a capability included in ATD’s Talent Development Capability Model and is one of the eight developing professional capability attributes that encompass 15 knowledge and skill statements.

As the capability is described, “Disruption via technology will continue to be a reality for organizations and talent development functions. Talent development professionals must have the ability to identify, select, and implement the right learning and talent technologies that serve the best interests of the organization and its people.” With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, this disruption is occurring at a rate none of us could have imagined.


“Learning Technologies: Ready for the Now” provides guidance on engaging employees remotely, moving your training online, implementing microlearning to engage employees, selecting a learning management system, and creating mobile video. A common thread among these issues is that the best interests of the organization and its people are at the core of all the advice.

Engaging employees. In her issue of TD at Work, “Motivating Employees in the Digital Age,” Sharlyn Lauby provides a series of questions to ask employees about their comfort level and previous experience with technology. Lauby suggests you pose to employees: “Tell me about the last piece of technology you learned how to use. What was the situation and share one reason it was satisfying?” And “How could your work be improved with the use of technology?” Having this information will help you better understand your employees and how you may be able to motivate them using today’s tools.

Go virtual. In “6 Steps to Moving Your Training Online,” David Smith writes, “If we consider that learning is a journey and not an event, we need to think about how we can make sure the training program is supported before and after it occurs.” Thus, it’s important that not only learners buy into the virtual training experience but also that their line managers and other key stakeholders do. Make sure managers understand the experience that their direct reports will be going through so that they can better support them before and after the training.

Tap microlearning. Employees have limited time to learn each week, so it’s crucial that their learning time is engaging and worthwhile. To create microlearning—which is ideal in today’s climate, given that it’s short bursts of learning available whenever and wherever employees are—stick with solid instructional design principles, as Elise Greene Margol details in “Microlearning to Boost the Employee Experience.” Also conduct a needs analysis. What is the desired business outcome? What employee capabilities will drive this outcome? And what is the current state?

Consider a learning management system. If you’re contemplating purchasing an LMS and you find it’s strategically a wise investment for your organization, create a team with key stakeholders—including IT, HR, L&D, and end users. The LMS should be compatible with other systems, and employees have to want to use it—otherwise, they’ll only use it for training courses they are required to take. Further, in “Lay the Groundwork for LMS Success,” Konstance Allen advises, “Make sure your online learning goals follow the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) format so that they are concrete and make business sense to your organization.”


Explore mobile video capabilities. Finally, if you’ve been considering adding video to your training courses, now may be the time. Matthew Pierce serves as your coach in “And Action: Start Rolling With Mobile Video.” In addition to the technology guidance he offers, Pierce reminds L&D practitioners to answer these questions: Who is your audience for this video? What is the goal of the video? and How will you measure the success of the video?

This TD at Work collection gives you the edge on engaging your employees, while helping you provide them with the knowledge and skills they—and your organization—need them to know.

Share your ATD Virtual Conference experience on social media. #ATDVirtualConference

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