Closing the gap between opportunity and technology

Written by Armin Hopp on 24 July 2013

When speaking to senior managers of global organisations, it becomes clear to me that many already recognise the numerous benefits of e-enablement and are implementing programmes across various business areas. What's more, it was interesting to read in the latest Towards Maturity Benchmark Survey that there was almost four times as much e-enablement of language training in 2012 compared to 2010. The data also highlights that e-learning is still not seen as a management priority by 53 percent of organisations surveyed. Top obstacles to adopting learning technology included lack of skills amongst employees to manage their own learning and lack of knowledge about potential and implementation of technology. 

Social and mobile learning take up 

The appetite for social and mobile tools is growing fast, given the increase of BYOD, adoption of social learning and enhancements in mobile technology. In our own survey, 63 percent of respondents allow and/or provide mobile at work, but only 27 percent of these actually use it for learning. The adoption rate of social learning is similarly lacking. Gartner indicates that 'social is yet to be socialised', and that social solutions, while having a strong impact on recruitment, have yet to achieve any significant adoption in learning. 

Closing this gap between opportunity and usage of technology brings a couple of other technical hurdles to the fore, such as security and standardisation. Many organisations still have no secure BYOD strategy and risk leaking confidential information from a device's link to the organisation's intranet access point. The lack of standard operating systems also creates a barrier to mobile learning.

Improving market value by optimising talent 

Boosting business growth is not only and always about finding additional revenue streams. Rather, it is also about working with what we already have. Businesses throughout Europe have a long way to go before tapping into the profit potential of a culturally and linguistically diverse workforce. Optimising the business potential of multilingualism begins with a culture of inclusion. Real progress will be achieved if businesses, large and small, take stock of existing communication and language skills and use these to their advantage, while ensuring the consistent development of new learning methods that are both motivating and compatible with workforce demands. 

By taking time to understand the shift towards integrated talent management by means of cloud-based systems, organisations will create an overarching attitude of learning. Recruitment policies, training strategies and business plans are reviewed to ensure business communication skills training is an integral part of the organisation. Talent is further enhanced by developing creative and target-driven learning strategies from the ground up, which are adapted to the individual needs of each organisation. 

Strong communication skills open up opportunities that make the difference between success and failure. Organisations aiming to gain a competitive advantage and leverage talent need to step outside their local silo ways of operation and embrace the exciting breadth of global knowledge, learning content and connections available in their organisation. This can only be achieved with a strong and consistent communication strategy.

Impact on bottom line is evitable

As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate in the ever-changing 'borderless' workplace, the need to empower employees with business communication skills becomes more crucial to capability development than ever before. These changes will challenge traditional, silo-based approaches to L&D, as well as assumptions about the role of mobile and social learning. Organisations that are already embracing these changes are in a stronger position to retain talent, reduce staff turnover and boost the value of their internal talent pool. The result will inevitably reflect as a strong imprint on the bottom line.

About the author
Armin Hopp is the founder and president of Speexx. He can be contacted via www.speexx.com
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