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Heads of Learning: Consolidate Your Learning Platforms to Increase Engagement

Jennifer Reid
Jun 15 2021

Employee training, learning and development are fundamental to employee engagement and performance across the enterprise, but in looking at the right platforms to do the job, it can appear to be a crowded marketplace. The knock-on effect of this is that many companies, particularly those that are geographically distributed, end up with vast organisational learning ecosystems with far too many platforms. 

It might mean that you’ve got both a Learning Management System (LMS) and a Learning Experience Platform (LXP). 

Or, your learning ecosystem might span everything from face-to-face instructional learning, to an LMS and LXP to learning hubs or ports, authoring tools, performance support systems, Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS), Learning Record Stores (LRS), intranets, and many other systems that may overlap with internal communication and document management systems. 

If either of these sounds like you, here’s a word of practical advice: consolidate. 

Why? Simply put, you’ve likely got a bigger ecosystem than you need and spending more than you have to, and it still may not be delivering on creating an army of engaged learners that drive company performance and profitability. 

In this article, we’re going to look at the state of the learning ecosystem today and why it needs to slim down. We’re also going to look at several Fuse customers who were able to consolidate their learning ecosystems with Fuse because of its universal nature. Get ready to be amazed at just how much this universal learning platform and Knowledge Intelligence Engine can do!

What Does Your Learning Ecosystem Look Like? 

From January to February 2020, the HR Institute surveyed 300 HR and learning professionals to produce its report, New Trends and Cutting-Edge Solutions for Cultivating Great Learner Experiences, released on March 11th, 2020. The report aimed to define the key drivers for organisational learning, and surveyed these professionals to determine what they believed was in their organisation’s learning ecosystem. 

As you can see in the report, a company’s learning ecosystem can be vast and varied. While face-to-face learning was listed as the most common component of learning ecosystems (which has likely been virtual during the Covid crisis), the presence of Learning Management Systems (LMS) was still significant at 63%. 

This is not a surprise, as often, we meet learning directors who have an LMS, which is a system that provides administrative tools to help L&D teams to manage learning programs, select and assign content, and assess learner’s progress. 

However, many of these learning directors find that LMS and course-centric learning lacks a connection with business and performance outcomes. While course-centric learning defines much of corporate learning today, this approach cannot keep up with the speed of change, nor can it provide adequate performance support. Fuse explored these concepts and how to develop a learning strategy that focuses on the learner in our research conducted with Brandon Hall, Learner Engagement and Performance: From Correlation to Causation

Many of these learning directors are in the market for a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) to enable their enterprise learners to gain access to aggregated content.

The good news is that you don’t have to have one or the other, or buy both. Fuse is a learning and knowledge platform that’s powered by our Knowledge Intelligence Engine for enterprise-level companies. It gets the tacit knowledge outside of the heads of in-house experts and into the flow of work, so that employees have knowledge at the point of need. 

Beyond the LMS versus LXP debate, our customers also often find that Fuse is so useful and multi-faceted, it can make other internal systems used for communication quickly redundant. 

Read on for some examples of Fuse customers who were able to consolidate platforms and save cost, while also accelerating enterprise-wide learning to boost performance. 

How Avon Went From Siloed and Sporadic Learning To Universal, Continuous Learning With Fuse

Avon Has more than 5 million beauty entrepreneurs spanning 53 markets who need to continually learn about new products and campaigns. However, its digital experience team had identified several learning-related issues that were hindering business performance. 

The company had 11 different LMS across 30 countries. Training was seen as too formal and sporadic, and there was a high dependency on field managers to drive and deliver it. 

As Avon’s Digital Experience Manager, Andy Stamps, who led the learning transformation in partnership with Fuse, explained:

“We had too many learning management systems and they weren’t engaging our beauty entrepreneurs in any meaningful way. We knew we needed a different, more appealing model - one that would create positive and habitual learning behaviours.”  

So, Avon swapped its 11 LMS’ and implemented Fuse as one universal learning platform. Not only were the engagement and performance results nothing short of miraculous, but the cost-savings associated with consolidation and resource management were also significant.

How Hilti Turned OFF Its LMS…..And Increased Engagement And Performance

Hilti is a multinational developer and manufacturer of products for construction and building maintenance has more than 3,000 employees globally. The company felt hindered by its course-based approach to learning, which was delivered via LMS. Its engineering modules took more than ten hours per course, and employee onboarding was a four week, in-person commitment. 

In 2017, Hilti turned off its LMS and partnered with Fuse to take an entirely new approach. 

In implementing Fuse, Hilti has changed from static courses, to, ‘learning in the flow of work.’ As the company says, what used to take 60-90% of the year to deliver in learning is now delivered as informal learning and knowledge at the point of need. The sales onboarding time and costs are the proof of the pudding: what used to be a 15 months sales onboarding process payback period has become a three month payback process with Fuse.

How Joules Retired Its Document Management System And Document Library And Empowered IT Support With Fuse

Fuse was launched in 2019 at Joules and began with a learner engagement level of 27%, but when Covid hit a few months later and its entire workforce went remote, engagement shot up to 81% almost instantly.

Why? Because beyond using its traditional learning functionality, Joules employees began using Fuse to connect during remote working, posting to the platform knowledge designed to support one another during tough times. 

They also used it for IT support in making sure their employees understood all the remote technology being distributed. When lockdown was about to end, they used it for training to help in-store employees understand new shop floor layouts and social distancing. 

Fuse became a communications hub, which was no surprise to Retail & People Director Lyn Warren who said: 

“Fuse serves additional business needs beyond learning. It’s great for internal comms and community-building - both of which are often tied to learning anyway. It makes sense to have all those capabilities in one central platform.”

The company also found that collaboration was so strong in Fuse that it was able to retire its document management system and move documents to Fuse. Keeping in mind that Fuse had already replaced a historic digital document library and many other formal training programmes, and you can begin to form a picture of consolidation and cost savings.

Be Honest

Is your LMS or other systems in your learning ecosystem system suffering from a lack of efficiency and accuracy, prompting a poor learning experience that hinders adoption? Are you seeing that few or even zero voluntary courses are taken, even if you heavily promote the idea of continuous learning? Or maybe you’ve got a system built for formal training, and not social or experiential learning?

It sounds like there’s every reason to consolidate to make life and learning simpler and more effective. If you’d like to have a conversation about the possibilities, get in touch today.

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