Learning and Development

Hyper-personalised learning is here

It all began with Marketing. The advent of the internet and the usage of electronic mail in the 1990s provided marketers with the perfect opportunity to move away from the conventional ‘one size fits all’ approach, and instead create drip marketing campaigns targeted at different customer segments. Although this was only a very basic form of personalisation, over the years - first through data provided by browser cookies, and more recently through the advancement in Artificial Intelligence – hyper-personalisation of marketing campaigns has become a norm today.

Tailored solutions - internally and externally

Hyper-personalisation in business offerings soon followed. Putting your customers first; listening to them and understanding their wants and needs; and then providing them with a product or service that not only meets their expectations, but also enhances their overall experience, is what every business aspires to achieve today. Aided by substantial investments in information technology, successful businesses have been able to hyper-personalise their offerings to an individual customer’s level. From retailers to e-commerce sites, from cab aggregators to OTT platforms, corporate brands have been able to provide customers with customised services and products that cater to their individual choice and taste.

It wasn’t only the customers; it was also necessary for corporates to look inward and personalise the touch for their own people too. As companies compete to attract and retain talent, personalisation across the entire HR lifecycle – from hire to retire – has assumed vital importance, proving to be a key differentiator between the success and failure of an organisation’s ‘Employer Brand’. Thanks to various HR technology offerings, personalisation within the HR space has already taken off across multiple dimensions. Recruitment, Onboarding, Employee Engagement, and Career Advancement, have all seen an early start in personalising their offerings to employees. Surprisingly though, Learning & Development (L&D) was a laggard in hyper-personalising its offerings. But that too is fast changing…

Revamping the world of L&D

Historically, L&D has followed a top-down approach. Somebody in the leadership decided what kind of training programs the employees at different levels had to go through. At that time, this approach actually made sense too. With the majority of the companies in the organised sector being role-based organisations, there were clearly defined learning needs for each role in the organisation. Further, training programs have always been delivered by L&D through a classroom or ‘instructor-led’ method.  These factors severely handicapped L&D from personalising offerings to the employees.

The advent of Learning Management Systems (LMS) revolutionised things for L&D. Employees could now learn on their own time, at their own convenience, at their own pace, and on the device of their choice too – all of this with minimal intervention from L&D. LMS has helped ensure greater training coverage, reduced organisational cost towards training, helped improve operational efficiencies, and most importantly, it has been able to provide employees with greater access to learning content. By letting employees take control of their own learning, LMS was indeed able to democratise learning at the workplace. But the disadvantage remained that LMS was only a catalogue of digital learning assets, a library of sorts that provided greater learning access to every employee, but could do very little to personalise their learning experience.

LXPs – The catalyst to this transformation

With Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) coming to the fore, hyper-personalisation in learning is finally here. Aided by Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Machine Learning, LXPs have the ability to design unique learning experiences for each learner that can help them achieve their individual goals. Some of the key features of LXPs are -

  • It can craft an individual’s learning journey based on various indicators like learning history, experiences, interests, and aspirations.
  • It can create customised learning pathways, to aid the individual’s learning goals.
  • It puts the user in control and lets them take charge of their development, by helping them explore their own strengths and opportunities for improvement.
  • It allows for learning avenues beyond the traditional ‘Instructor-learner’ interaction model. LXPs can provide for ‘peer-to-peer’ and ‘social learning’ avenues as well.
  • It can track user activities, such as time spent on learning something, and accordingly provide personalised recommendations for accelerating learning, thereby helping the learner attain better work-life balance and general well-being.
  • For the L&D team, creating, curating, and sharing training content has become easier than ever before on an LXP platform.
  • Since LXPs provide enhanced, and intelligent data reporting features, L&D can draw clear insights on various parameters, from identifying knowledge gaps to measuring post-training impact, data can be used effectively to further improve the quality of content over time.
  • Most importantly, because LXPs focus on enhancing the user’s ‘learning experience’, it is a win-win for both the learner and the organisation. A more engaging learning environment ensures better learning retention, and application of learning in the workplace, thereby enhancing individual and organisational efficiencies.   

LXPs are indeed turning out to be a major shift from the traditional method of delivering corporate training. It has been able to help organisations introduce new possibilities in learning, especially in the current hybrid mode of working. For learners, it provides a bottoms-up approach towards learning, by creating a skill-centred and personalised avenue of learning, and by putting the learners in charge of their own development. It is thus safe to say that with more organisations investing in LXP platforms, hyper-personalisation in learning is finally here; and is sure to be the way for corporate learning to be delivered in the future.

This article was first published by ET HR World

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