How to choose your learning and talent technology partner in the current climate: 6 ‘must-haves’ to hone your search

Learning experience platform
Phil Purver
By Phil Purver | 17th June 2020

In the current climate, you’re likely consumed with helping employees adapt to new circumstances and ways of working. As Josh Bersin commented in The Big Reset, ‘We really are the heroes now. Just as the nurses are the front-line healers in the hospital, we are the front-line healers in the company.’

So while you won’t have forgotten the importance of L&D as a means of acquiring, nurturing, engaging, maximising, retaining and repurposing talent, perhaps you don’t have the resources, budgets and capacity to give this function the focus it deserves.

Against the backdrop of increasing digital transformation, imagine how revolutionary it would be to cultivate a self-driven career culture in your organisation. If igniting and satisfying curious self-driven learners was at the heart of working life, so employees were better empowered to take increasing responsibility for their development and were more accountable for their growth.

Talent is everywhere in our organisations but is often untapped. By nourishing inclusive cultures and societies, unleashing fresh potential can lead to a positive future.

Today’s L&D/HR technology platforms enable this reality. New technologies and improved user experiences are democratising opportunity and emboldening employees — even during pandemic conditions which demand remote and digital training.

This is about experiential and immersive learning within the flow of work, that’s tailored to individuals. Done right, it drives real behavioural change and impacts the bottom line.

“Since 2006 TWM has enabled us to keep evolving our employee learning offer to meet the needs of everyone - pre-joiners, employees, contractors, leavers and even our partners. Being attentive, listening, sharing ideas and co-creating solutions to drive engagement, TWM has helped us to deliver a learning solution that we are proud of (O2 Campus). You can’t get everything from one provider but with the right integrated solution, the learner can get everything they need from one place.”

James Little, Digital Learning Manager, Telefónica

But how should you select the right partner for your organisation? The L&D/HR market is fast-moving and noisy. Filtering your search isn’t easy, but there are indications you can trust. Consider how prospective “partners” perform in 6 key areas:

Client Longevity

To be a true business partner, your provider should be embedded in your business culture, understand your organisational DNA and daily challenges. They must align with your strategic goals, rather than focusing on one-off interventions. Seek out a partner with a history of building these long-term relationships.

Talent and Expertise

Assess their team. Do they have a solid understanding of your business? Have they been in your shoes? Do they have relevant expertise and deep knowledge of L&D? Strong account management is important, but as a client, you need technical proficiency paired with practical L&D experience to really drive returns.

Return on Investment and Excellence

Do they have robust case studies? Do they measure themselves against KPIs? Are they putting your strategic objectives at the heart of the digital learning, career and talent management solutions they offer? Anecdotal feedback isn't enough: demand evidence, hard stats and practical examples.

Heritage

Are they tenured players? How have they grown? Seek companies who’ve joined forces with respected experts in the field: this indicates a proactive, agile approach to client needs and the market.

USP

What are their unique strengths? Do they approach challenges creatively? In the strident world of L&D, it takes rich knowledge, practical know-how and expertise to develop a respected voice.

Trust

Are they recognised by market opinion leaders? Have they won industry awards? Do they have the relevant accreditations? Endorsement from the Learning and Performance Institute is a stand-out indication — their Top 15 Highest Performing Learning Technology Providers provide the highest quality service and user experiences.

Of course, many “partners” could do a satisfactory job, but today's climate demands excellence. You need a genuine trusted partner who’s invested in technology and adopts a people-first, consultative, behavioural approach.

For advice without obligation, please feel free to get in touch in order to identify that magic spark that will engage people in learning and proactive career development. After all, we’re in this together.

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