Report | Learning in the times of Distributed Everything
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UpsideLMS’ latest research report explores Learning in the times of Distributed Everything

October 2020

Findings include present challenges, actionable statistics, and proven expertise from L&D leaders.

Over the past decade, workforce skilling has become one of the top most priorities for CEOs, which historically ranked amongst the bottom most activities. This has led CHROs to revisit the L&D function as a whole and rethink the strategy.

The latest research report titled Learning in the times of Distributed Everything, released by UpsideLMS in partnership with People Matters, gives deep insights into how hundreds of Indian organizations are reimagining their learning strategy and keeping capability building as the top agenda of the organization even in the times of crisis and a distributed work landscape.

Organizational learning has always been a much debated area of business in terms of ROI, but global businesses are fast realizing the necessity of workforce skilling in a fast-changing and dynamic business environment. Packed with actionable insights, the research report makes a compelling case for why CHROs need to accelerate their investment in continuous learning and learning technologies to advance talent development across the business.

Here are some key questions addressed in the report:

1. Should corporations take the responsibility of reskilling employees and prioritize their development in the times of crisis?

2. What are the current barriers to effective L&D with respect to the distributed workforce (especially brought about 'suddenly' by COVID-19)?

3. Why technology is a table stake when it comes to creating an impactful learning culture in times of crisis?

4. How can organizations future-proof employees for the new world of work - today?

Putting the spotlight on the need for embracing learning technology, the research report explores how ‘technology is a table stake when it comes to delivering an impactful learning program to a distributed workforce, especially in the current times.’

Speaking about the challenges with learning technology, Amit Gautam, CEO of UpideLMS, says, “Learning technology has been evolving in leaps and bounds over the last decade. The LMS, in particular, has grown from a rudimentary, clunky system that was largely admin-driven to an AI-powered learner-first platform that enables continuous learning in the flow of work. However, the rate of adoption has been rather sluggish owing to the speed-to-respond to changing user behavior, the organization culture and prioritizing of people development agenda in the Indian workplace. But that is changing now too as the digital transformation brought about by COVID-19 compelled organizations to embrace learning technologies in all forms and types without an exception, while on the other side of the table, it prodded learn-tech providers to up their game and expand their offerings and product features.”

The report goes a step further and also tackles challenges of future disruption and why investment in skilling is a must-have through case studies from successful companies, including Dr. Reddy’s, UST Global and Wipro.

“The disruption came in two fronts. In the blink of an eyelid, the in-person programs that we used to run for immersive learning became an impossibility. Quick redesign of the programs to adapt to the “virtual working” and hence virtual learning was the first challenge we had to face. The second challenge arose out of the overall climate of uncertainty that suddenly descended on the organization as a whole. How to keep the learning going when everything else was “locked down” was the question we had to grapple with.” 

-  Dr. Madana Kumar, Vice President & Global Head - Leadership Development, UST Global

“At Dr. Reddy's, the endeavor is to provide a “Netflix of Learning’ with multiple resources and empower learners to own their learning journey. Our LXP platform is geared at providing an end-to-end enriched and seamless learning experience whether people are working in offices, sites or homes. We will strive to provide learning resources which are adequate, integrated, engaging and relevant to build capabilities. The future of learning is more challenging yet promising at the same time.” 

-  Swatee Sarangees, Global Head -Learning, Leadership & Organization Development, DR. Reddy’s 

“At Wipro, we have all learning systems in place to provide the required skills and competence for our workforce – be it freshers or senior folks. Anybody having a laptop or a desktop or a smartphone can access the prescribed or aspiring learning modules at their “will” and at their place. We increased the Self-directed learning, Virtual Instructor Led Training, Role Specific training and Crowd sourced learning and project implementations. Even prior to the pandemic, all our training programs were available online. We also have a robust crowdsourcing platform wherein learners get access to virtual development environments to get hands-on experience on programming assignments as well as live projects. We were able to scale up the usage post pandemic.”

- P.B Kotur, Head - Global Freshers Engagement Program at Wipro

The full report can be downloaded here.