The first step is to ask what you’re trying to achieve with a digital platform and the challenge that you’re trying to overcome. As L&D professionals, it’s our job to provide the right solution and ensure that everyone has access to learning, especially in a post-pandemic world where flexible working is on the rise.
Your first port of call should be to do your research on the range of systems currently available on the market. Be sure to get a fully functioning demo from the provider so you can completely assess its functionality to avoid any mishaps arising when you come to implement the platform.
It’s important to explore the platform with the business’s needs in mind: how do its capabilities link in with what you need? For example, some systems will record learning data and host a variety of e-learning materials and tools, while others will support user-generated content and build its own learning ecosystem.
You have to look at the organisation as a whole, especially if your business has compliance training elements, as some platforms allow you to link directly with your HR system for enhanced efficiency.
You should also get your IT department, if you have one, involved at a very early stage to ensure everyone has the right equipment to engage with the platform, and also clear admin permissions for accessing external sites, such as YouTube. Your learning content should be system agnostic, so it will work on any device.
It’s also good to conduct surveys to ascertain employee accessibility, both from technical and inclusion and diversity perspectives. Questions on whether staff can access the content easily, and whether any adaptations will need to be made – such as adding subtitles – are key.
In terms of digital learning and development content, it’s useful to build content in advance just in case you need it, so it’s available as and when the learner needs to access it. Ensuring the content is not too brief but not too comprehensive, either, will give the feel of a personalised approach and help the learner feel it’s been created just for them.
If you’re working to a tight timeframe, you can always purchase content from an external provider. But if you’re developing the content in-house, I would recommend employing the expertise of an experienced digital learning designer if you don’t already have one.
Dipesh Mistry is digital learning manager at MyHomeMove